What Is Synchronous Online Learning

Synchronous online learning has been in the news. Several leading educational corporations have released new, mainstreaming and digitalizing education, according to a report by American journalist Molly Crabapple.

I began doing side work in hopes of supporting my husband’s career. I was a secretary to one of the secretaries at the trade association where we were both members. That job turned into more of a clerical position where I typed up signatures, answered phones, and did whatever else needed to be done. Then there was an opportunity to be a secretary in the executive office to a guy named Peter. When I worked there, I also happened to meet someone who created software. At first I thought he was there for a graphics job and we both wanted to know about it. I soon found out he was the chief designer for the software. Soon after I came to work there as the site administrator for the organization and began my small role in the website work. A month or so later, Peter left the organization and we started dating. I was in love at first sight, but before we knew it I was married, the kid was born, and the two of us moved to Utah, where Peter got an opportunity to work for the magazine software company he came from.

Then one day a friend of mine called, saying her husband was getting transferred to Utah. I was stunned, since they hadn’t actually called me to say anything. But I thought they’d call from an actual person. Anyway, I called him up and told him that his friend was calling, and he told me he was moving to Utah too. It’s been more than 25 years and I still can’t believe he really pulled it off. We both speak fluent snowbird.

Growing up in the city, I went to public school and then school in the more rural South. I found out what it was like growing up there as a girl. From a societal perspective, it wasn’t bad – but it was very isolationist. We often went to school together, but it was mostly for recess. I couldn’t imagine living in a place with sand roads and no running water. And the idea of a wooden schoolhouse with, oh I don’t know, a person on a horse somewhere had been around for so long that it was no longer considered unusual. No matter how much I worked to encourage the kids to be active, I hated having so many of them in the playground and with nothing to do. It was like being stuck in a small city.

I remember watching TV as a kid, watching shows like Little House on the Prairie and The Beverly Hillbillies. That’s what you would watch. I remember watching Leave It to Beaver when I was about 12 or 13. I’d sit in my mom’s bedroom and the TV was right there. It was an evening show, a family show. And it had a clothesline set up out the back door of the house and it was so beautiful to see it and look at the clothesline. It wasn’t complete lunacy or anything like that. It was just simple elegance. I remember thinking, “I don’t care if I could do that. I could do anything.” At the same time, my brother was a great athlete. I thought it was great that he could play sports with his brothers and sisters and bring the family together. My dad was a sports coach and, growing up, he came from a long line of excellent sports coaches.

When I think back on what I know now about what not to do, it’s hard to believe I didn’t know then what I know now. I see myself in a completely different light.

The author worked as a volunteer at Girls Inc. of Greater Salt Lake Utah for almost four years. She was most recently the board member for Snowbird Ski Resort. She currently lives in Park City, Utah.

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