Right now, I'm teaching eight undergraduate political science and history courses, with a ninth to start a week from tonight. As Pittsburgh gets buried in snow, and I'm up here in the more fortunate suburbs of Cleveland, I was able to work on six of those classes at two institutions, even though one closed for the weekend early.
These are all reasons why I like online teaching. I'm at my girlfriend's apartment, baby sitting her dog while she finishes off her workday. I'm doing my work at her computer and did not have to venture outside into the cold, except for the needs of the above-said dog. She has a brutal commute home from Cleveland. I've got a dog.
Furthermore, the convenience extends to the students. The students at La Roche College
are all concentrated in the Pittsburgh area. The ones at American Military University
are scattered across the United States, and the world for that matter, including combat zones in Iraq and Afghanistan.
I don't know how any of this could be possible without online teaching. Correspondence schools have existed for many years, but lack the potential for near real-time feedback and reaction. What would take eight weeks for an Internet-based class would, almost certainly, take at least twice that in one based on snail mail.
Don't get me wrong, I still love the traditional classroom, and there's no substitute for teaching in person. I have to be dragged kicking and screaming from that to an entirely online professional existence. But there's no doubt that online teaching mixed with the brick and mortar classroom is one of my favorite professional experiences. I don't see either how I could teach as much as I do, and have students from Pittsburgh to Kabul and beyond, without it.