By Marisa Yamada, Guest Contributor
University of Hawai‘i, Educational Technology Online Master’s Degree Candidate
As the first day of the TCC 2012 Online Conference comes to a close, I find my brain brimming with all the things I learned from a day full of great presentations. From topics ranging from Stanford’s SMILE program to Teaching Marine Species ID Using Web Based Learning Modules and everything in between, the conference seamlessly moved forward with an unrelenting pace!
One particularly interesting presentation, presented by Kirsti Dyer MD, was Growing Online Education & Use: Sedentary Lifestyles, Rising Obesity, and Overweight Rates. It raised the question of whether e-learning makes us fat. I thought she did a stellar job in motivating me to think about my health and behavior during my online era vs. my pre-online days. With straightforward questions like, “What has happened to your weight since taking or teaching online classes? Gained, Maintained, or Lost?” and “How many hours do you spend online each day (work and non work)?” she forced me to stop and think about how time flies when we’re online and how some of us forget to stand up every once in a while to get all that healthy circulation going that helps to prevent chronic diseases down the road. I know that after her presentation, I found myself standing up more often from the chair and vowing to eat healthier and exercise more and this on a non New Years Day.
Dr. Dyer is right. It is a serious concern, especially for lifelong online learners and faculty. Whether it is sitting on a bouncing ball in front of our computers or taking scheduled exercise breaks during an online class, we must find ways to integrate healthier living and sustainable housing with our online learning.
Readers: If you were an online conference participant, how were you personally affected by one or more of the presentations? Share your response by contributing a comment or two in the area below.