Eric Copeland, Online Teacher

Rothesay High School is one of two high schools that serve the Kennebacasis River Valley area—a bedroom community 10 minutes outside the city of St. John, New Brunswick. The school has a student body of approximately 650 and a teaching staff of 42, along with 17 teaching assistants, 1 library staff, 1 administrative assistant, and 4 custodial staff. The school has 2 computer labs and 1 mobile cart with 14 notebook computers.

Eric Copeland is a technology teacher at Rothesay High School. He teaches an introductory electronics course and a course in computer technology support. While teaching these courses, Eric must also supervise students who are taking online courses. Eric has two periods a day where he has online students. During this time, he sometimes has 15 to 20 students taking different courses. Computers are set along the walls of the classroom and moveable student desks in the middle to allow for both individual and group work to take place offline. Most of these courses tend to be technology related, such as information technology, computer-aided drafting, digital technologies, and computer science. These students work independently.

Because of the hands-on nature of technology courses, students cannot always complete activities while sitting in front of a computer. Many of the offline activities involve working with electronic equipment, such as multimeters and equipment for constructing circuits. Online work would involve instructional activities on programming, graphic design, and networking. When the online students complete their assignments, they submit them to their online teacher via a drop box in the learning management system. nb

The students also complete their tests online. When the students are ready to take a test, they inform Eric so that he can enter a necessary password into the system to allow them to access the test. Having it set up in this manner allows Eric access to the content from online courses, which he can use to supplement his own face-to-face content.

During these same two periods, Eric also has face-to-face students for the introduction to electronics and technology support courses. These courses were once offered online but are no longer accessible to students. However, they remain open to teachers to access the content for face-to-face courses at their respective schools, which allows teachers to use established materials while also allowing for modifications to meet the particular needs of their students.