As we kick off 2022, I want to share the origins of Chalk & Tablet, the resolutions and motivations that lead to the creation of this wonderful company that I adore so much, and our plans for the future as we move forward in this new year.
I started Chalk & Tablet in 2018, but the motivation behind my business was born 15 years ago during my first year as a teacher. I always believed that online learning tools had the potential to improve education, but it was the ‘how’ portion that I was not yet sure of. My ‘aha!’ moment came when I was asked to develop online courses for students with chronic health problems. As I undertook this task, my eyes were opened to the vast inequities that existed for this population of students when it came to their education. The existing content provided to them during their extended absences was a hodgepodge of reading assignments and worksheets with little to no engagement or guidance.
I immediately saw where the potential of online learning I had already recognized could be applied: as a means to provide more equitable learning experiences for these and other students who may not have access to high quality in-person education for whatever reason or circumstance. This experience was the catalyst that drove me to earn my doctorate in curriculum and instruction, and I resolved to dedicate my professional life to creating high-quality online courses and teaching others to do the same.
After serving colleges and universities for many years, I realized that I could make the greatest impact by starting my own business and bringing these important services to a wider audience. And so, Chalk & Tablet was born.
Why We Do What We Do
As a mother of school-age children, a former classroom teacher, a consumer of online education, and a current expert in online course development, I am uniquely aware of the challenges educators, companies, and learners face. As Teddy Roosevelt once said, “complaining about a problem without posing a solution is called whining,” and I’ve always preferred to design rather than whine. Once I identified the problem, I knew I had the skills to solve it, and help mitigate the influx of inequity born from poorly crafted online education and improve the quality of online education overall.
Chalk & Tablet’s mission is to make learning more equitable and accessible. High-quality online courses are a great avenue for this as more students can be reached, costs can be lower, and courses can be structured to support different learning types and preferences.
The pandemic disruptions to education in 2020 taught us some valuable lessons and reminded us all that “online learning” is not just moving one’s in-person teaching strategy to the internet.
If we want more students to be reached and for their learning experience to be effective, then we have to commit to thinking about how online experiences differ from in-person ones, how to craft engaging and inclusive content, and how to identify which students are falling behind and in need of extra support.
Where We’re Headed
The Chalk & Tablet team has had the pleasure of crafting engaging learning experiences in a wide range of subject areas for a variety of clients, including individual educators, small businesses, large companies, universities, community colleges, and continuing education institutions. The courses we’ve helped build have reached students of varying ages, background, and interests.
2021 was a productive year for Chalk & Tablet, and we expect the next few years to be exciting as well. In fact, a recent report from the Associated Press and Business Wire projected an expected growth of $21.64 billion in the US online learning market by 2024. We are in a dynamic and growing industry for sure!
Expanded online learning has the potential to make quality education more equitable and accessible. However, developing and delivering quality online learning is only possible with the necessary training, time, support, and tools, and not all schools and companies have the ability to provide these critical resources.
Chalk & Tablet can help. We take pride in guiding our clients through all the stages of online course development, whether it’s planning the course structure, creating high quality eLearning videos, testing a course prior to launch, or any of the steps in between.
We can’t wait to take you along with us on our journey, and thank you for sticking with us!