Volume:3, Issue: 2

Dec. 1, 2011

Dear friends, colleagues, authors and readers of the journal,

Unfortunately, I am addressing you in this capacity and from this website for the last time. After long discussions and many painful thoughts, we have made a decision that the journal should be closed. This is not an easy decision to make but it feels that at this point it is the only right one.

Twenty-five journal issues is a lot, and at the same time it is not much at all, of course, depending on your point of view. Still, we can only hope that through the journal we have managed to bring attention to a number of critical and undeveloped issues in education in the United States and Russia.  Since everything remains online and free, you will have a chance to continue reading and perhaps finding some new ideas and inspirations there.

In conclusion, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to each and everyone who made this journal happen for nine years – our authors and readers, members of the Editorial Board and reviewers – without you we would have never succeeded and gained an audience from over 140 countries. Special thanks go to the journal web designer Alex Minakov whose skills and patience were exceptional. Thank you so much! It has been my honor and privilege to serve you all!

Always yours,
Tatyana Tsyrlina-Spady,

In This Issue
A Letter to the Readers
Tsyrlina-Spady, Tatyana [about]
It has been quite a while since last time we had the pleasure of introducing our journal to you. I need to apologize for the long silence – this No. 8 issue is late in the year and happens to be very short. The idea to offer an entire issue on distance learning didn’t turn as expected and a number of originally planned contributors from the U.S. simply disappeared. But regardless, we are up on the web and ready to go on with our activities. The best part of the whole journal adventure is you, our readers. We have accumulated quite a number of people from 106 (!) countries across the world. If you look at the picture below, you will notice that practically every continent has read our journal, which keeps us going and trying our best.
S.A. Amonashvili: A Humanistic Pedagogy Centered on the Individual
Boguslavsky, Mikhail V. [about]
Creating a unique, humanistic educational philosophy and implementing it during one of the most authoritarian periods in Russia’s long history, puts S.A. Amonashvili on the list of the nation’s outstanding educators. His still unfolding, 60 year career is covered with a stack of books, fairy tales, parables, and scientific research findings all aimed at promulgating the humanistic beliefs created, tested, and implemented by this famous thinker and his team.
Transactional Distance or Community of Inquiry: A need for a theory of focus in online learning
David Wicks [about], Janiess Sallee [about]
The authors evaluate two theories – Transactional Distance Theory and Community of Inquiry Model with the goal of determining whether one is more useful to those engaging in online learning research and teaching. The conclusion is that focus should be made on the second theory since it can aid practitioners with instructional design models and templates, and help to make sure that online courses address important issues related to social, teaching, and cognitive presence.
Distance Learning: An Important Direction for Institutions of Higher Education
Butova V.N. [about]
The Regional Institute for Finance and Economics of Kursk, Russia, has developed a unique system of distance learning that incorporates traditional forms of higher education with the latest achievements in information technology. V.N. Butova describes major aspects of the program, analyzes strengths and weaknesses, and provides ideas for future development.
The Practical Application of Innovative, “Blended Learning” Techniques in College: As Practiced at the Regional Open Social Institute, Kursk, Russia
Shoitova G.Y. [about]
Nowadays, digital forms of education are becoming an essential component of any modern educational system as they provide new possibilities in: accessing educational information resources; managing educational processes; updating educational resources and their administration; as well as implementing new forms of education through the application of virtual learning techniques which expand the potential of our traditional educational system. Increased efficiency of educational processes is achieved by combining various forms of digital education with mainstream educational strategies. This technology is called “blended learning.”
Computer-based presentation of learning materials: teaching techniques
Sholenkova S.P. [about]
Implementation of third generation educational standards for Russian colleges and universities is currently changing the class/self study ration towards increased emphasis on self-study. Recommended academic workload in class is 23-25 hours (undergraduate school) and 18-20 hours (graduate school)1. Among the key measures to intensify students’ self study activity are optimization of teaching methods and IT application. Up-to-date teaching and learning courses must be, at least partially, in digital form and contain links to online resources. Computer-based learning resources may be used both for class activity and self study either in computer labs or via distant access. New educational process requirements generate new ways of student-teacher interaction. While a traditional lecture or workshop allowed real time correction of class based on the students’ reaction, computer-based courses imply delayed feedback and hence adjustment of teaching methods. That is why development of digital educational resources demands that the teacher should not only demonstrate computer proficiency but apply his or her own didactic (teaching) experience to work out new teaching methods, but also analyze the practice of other colleagues who are using IT in their professional activity.
Education for Social Engagement: learning in the service of self and society in a global environment
Rojcewicz, P. [about], Hormann, Sh. [about]
Antioch University Seattle is a bold and enduring source of innovation in higher education. Students advance their lives personally and professionally through academic programs, supportive faculty, and community-based activities that respond to the world’s needs. Faculty, staff, students, and alumni collaborate to form a visionary community of learning and action that strikes a rare and essential balance between theoretical idealism and lived experience. Antioch is known for its innovative approaches to learning. Founded in 1852, Antioch opened its doors to women and African-Americans. In the 1850s, few other colleges took such bold, socially significant steps. Today, Antioch University Seattle (AUS), along with the other four campuses and two trans-campus programs that comprise the system that is Antioch University, continues to foster ground-breaking programs that are part of its social contract with the nation to offer undergraduate and graduate degrees as means of personal transformation, social mobility, informed citizenship, and ecological sustainability.
Distance Education within a Municipal Institution of Supplementary Professional Education of Teachers
Karastelina, S.V. [about], Shuvalova, S.O. [about]
Teachers’ continuous education and in-service training in Russia is systematically challenged by the idea that modern educators have become active creators of their own ‘educational routes,’ as well as by the necessity to consider various concepts and approaches, and the situation of growing independence and mobility of today’s specialists. Creating a new model of Russian education for modern economics requires not only adaptation of teachers to ongoing changes in the process of education but also an immediate readiness to realize innovations as well. Cardinal renewal of post-diploma education presupposes deepening of its individual professional orientation and changes in values and values’ systems. The concept of modern continuous education considers the unity of three types of education: formal, non-formal and informal. During one’s lifetime the focus shifts from one type to another, however, all of them remain interconnected and pursuing the same goals.

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