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Old 09-17-2011, 12:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fisheye View Post
Isnít ďone size fits allĒ what we do with NCLB? I am not suggesting changing everything instantly. Evolution takes time.

We are loosing ground on the world stage. I am not playing the blame game. I am looking for direction. How can we improve? Just because one program does not work with some individuals today; is it possible to make it work tomorrow? Donít forget that todayís online education is in itís infancy - compared to our traditional educational system.
Absolutely. This is one reason that teachers protested so loudly, albeit ineffectively, against it.
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Old 09-17-2011, 01:25 PM
 
Location: Whoville....
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Originally Posted by fisheye View Post
Technology caught up with our business and industry. They installed robots and computers and managed to downsize and streamline their operations.

Why hasn’t the technology, that our schools love to teach, caught up with education? It is the next logical step. I know that there are some free online courses already available. However, nationally, we fight against taking the next step.

We should get rid of the “No child left behind” policy and thinking. We want our kids to reach for the moon and not be held back by others.

We need free, nationally accredited, online courses available to anybody at anytime in their life. We should team up some of our best computer game programmers with our educational programmers. Thus; creating exciting and challenging educational software - so that everybody wants to learn. These courses should cover every subject from grade school through college.

I am not advocating scraping our entire traditional educational system. Some students would still require remedial work. Some would require access to the computers. Our schools could still be the place for physical education and to hone social interaction. Finally; traditional education could verify the scores of any online system. The net effect would be a downsized and streamlined system.

Our taxpayers have shelled out trillions over the years for education. What we need now is quality education at an affordable price. We need a smaller, smarter, educational system. I know that there would be tons of problems - such as: copyright, legal, unions and unemployment. If we really want to compete; we have to think outside the box. It is long overdue to take the next step.
Because this requires something we are resisitng (which, ironically, is hurting traditional education too). It requires us to accept that students are responsible for their own learning. You have to be motivated to learn to do an online course. Some students are and some students are not. Therein lies the problem. We either have to accept that those who are not won't get an education or we can't go down that path.

I know of a teacher who was in charge of an online biology class last year. I spoke to her mid year and asked how things were going. She said they were awful. That she spent her day policing which sites the kids were on. Kids would do things like take a screen shot of the site they were supposed to be on so they could click back to it as she made her rounds and could see their comptuter screen. Kids, quickly, learned that the software gives grades based on what you did so they took their sweet time moving through the material. The school had to tell the kids they were going to be graded on the percent of the program they finished because they would finish the least amount of material they could get away with each day.

Education will go tech when we can plug kids in and do an automatic download (like in the movie The Matrix) that requires no work or even paying attention on the student's part.

Edited to add: As a classroom teacher, I'd love to use computers regularly but half of my kids will email, google (facebook and other social networks are blocked at our school), play games...anything but what I want them doing. The other half get a lot out of the activities but I get to spend my day policing the half who want to play so I can't give the ones who want to learn much of my attention at all.
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Old 09-17-2011, 01:37 PM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,393 posts, read 29,785,394 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fisheye View Post
Isn’t “one size fits all” what we do with NCLB? I am not suggesting changing everything instantly. Evolution takes time.

We are loosing ground on the world stage. I am not playing the blame game. I am looking for direction. How can we improve? Just because one program does not work with some individuals today; is it possible to make it work tomorrow? Don’t forget that today’s online education is in it’s infancy - compared to our traditional educational system.
Who in the world stage is using online learning??? Seriously, the only way this will work, and it will work in other countries but not here for this reason, is if students take responsibility for their own learning. In other countries, they do. Here we blame everyone except the student and they know it. It's not their job to learn, it's the teacher's job to make them learn. We are pushing a rope. Online learning works ONLY when you have self motivated students. If they were self motivated, it would be a wonderful tool because students could self pace BUT self pacing, all too often, means doing as little as possible here in the good old U S of A.

In short, our kids are lazy, unmotivated and have grown up to believe that their educations are everyone's job EXCEPT theirs. They are passive bystanders in their own educations!!!!! Education is something that is done to them not something they bear responsibility for. In other countries, students are held accoubtable. Here they are not. Until that changes, online learning will not work. Heck, in class learning won't work either but, at least, you have a teacher determining the pace of the class to keep some kids on track (doesn't work with all of them but online learning would work with fewer kids).

As a chemistry teacher, I'd love to go to online learning. I could spend my time 1:1 with kids answering their questions and then they could come on lab days to do the labs when they are actually ready to do them. I don't see this happening any time in the next two generations because our current crop of kids does not take responsibility for their educations and I don't see parenting changing any time soon.

Online learning is being incorporated into schools. Mine uses online courses to remediate students who have failed a course. Success is mixed. The teachers who monitor the rooms the kids use complain that they are hard to keep on task. They'd rather surf the web.
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Old 09-17-2011, 02:06 PM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
13,275 posts, read 10,653,405 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
Who in the world stage is using online learning??? Seriously, the only way this will work, and it will work in other countries but not here for this reason, is if students take responsibility for their own learning. In other countries, they do. Here we blame everyone except the student and they know it. It's not their job to learn, it's the teacher's job to make them learn. We are pushing a rope. Online learning works ONLY when you have self motivated students. If they were self motivated, it would be a wonderful tool because students could self pace BUT self pacing, all too often, means doing as little as possible here in the good old U S of A.

In short, our kids are lazy, unmotivated and have grown up to believe that their educations are everyone's job EXCEPT theirs. They are passive bystanders in their own educations!!!!! Education is something that is done to them not something they bear responsibility for. In other countries, students are held accoubtable. Here they are not. Until that changes, online learning will not work. Heck, in class learning won't work either but, at least, you have a teacher determining the pace of the class to keep some kids on track (doesn't work with all of them but online learning would work with fewer kids).

As a chemistry teacher, I'd love to go to online learning. I could spend my time 1:1 with kids answering their questions and then they could come on lab days to do the labs when they are actually ready to do them. I don't see this happening any time in the next two generations because our current crop of kids does not take responsibility for their educations and I don't see parenting changing any time soon.

Online learning is being incorporated into schools. Mine uses online courses to remediate students who have failed a course. Success is mixed. The teachers who monitor the rooms the kids use complain that they are hard to keep on task. They'd rather surf the web.

While you cite problems with our current online system; most of these problems could be remedied with better software. The key is to get the studentís attention and to maybe lock them out of other sites. These are problems - but they should not be insurmountable.

As I said before; it doesnít have to work for everybody. The idea is to free up classroom chairs. We are all individuals and some of us are better in different areas of study.
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Old 09-17-2011, 04:03 PM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
7,306 posts, read 15,350,001 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
Because this requires something we are resisitng (which, ironically, is hurting traditional education too). It requires us to accept that students are responsible for their own learning. You have to be motivated to learn to do an online course. Some students are and some students are not. Therein lies the problem. We either have to accept that those who are not won't get an education or we can't go down that path.
Also self-directed learning can work well for the motivated adult student, but may not be developmentally appropriate for the smaller humans. It's not easy to get 6-8 year olds motivated to learn multiplication tables, but that rote memorization is the building block for so much other math down the line that it can't be left up to them whether they learn it at an acceptable pace or not. Same goes for a lot of primary grades building block skills.
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Old 09-17-2011, 04:23 PM
 
102 posts, read 144,395 times
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A lot of people would benefit from what you propose. It's interesting that people see it as an "all or none" proposition. The early steps towards this are things like Khan Academy (? I think) and The lectures and courses that can be found on itunes and others. I don't think it will ever be ideal for most kids, since there will always be those who need to learn with others, and those whose parents wouldn't bother to take responsibility for their learning. But I agree, free online accredited classes should be the future for thise who want them.
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Old 09-17-2011, 04:24 PM
 
102 posts, read 144,395 times
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Oops, that was meant to be TED lectures in the previous post.
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Old 09-17-2011, 05:21 PM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
13,275 posts, read 10,653,405 times
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Originally Posted by Slinkygirl View Post
A lot of people would benefit from what you propose. It's interesting that people see it as an "all or none" proposition. The early steps towards this are things like Khan Academy (? I think) and The lectures and courses that can be found on itunes and others. I don't think it will ever be ideal for most kids, since there will always be those who need to learn with others, and those whose parents wouldn't bother to take responsibility for their learning. But I agree, free online accredited classes should be the future for thise who want them.
Thanks Slinkygirl,

Right now you can take free online college courses from MIT: http://ocw.mit.edu/index.htm
I haven’t tried them; so I do not know how good they are.

I do think that national accreditation is the big hurdle. I know that we believe in national standards on test. But; you never hear of anybody proposing national standards for online courses. I only hear people talking about the state’s responsibility.

I have a casino only about two miles from my house. It was supposed to bring down my property taxes (I never believed that it would). Every year my school taxes go up. They claim that the taxes would be even higher if we did not have the casino. Usually they hit me up for a 10% increase. The problem is that the private sector has not had a raise in about thirty five years (counting a raise as a penny over the cost of living).

This recession, that we are in, is squeezing the whole works. Until our nation gets back on it’s feet; there will be more casualties besides the United States Post Office.
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Old 09-17-2011, 05:41 PM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,393 posts, read 29,785,394 times
Reputation: 14503
Quote:
Originally Posted by fisheye View Post
While you cite problems with our current online system; most of these problems could be remedied with better software. The key is to get the studentís attention and to maybe lock them out of other sites. These are problems - but they should not be insurmountable.

As I said before; it doesnít have to work for everybody. The idea is to free up classroom chairs. We are all individuals and some of us are better in different areas of study.
What will you really have trained students for if you make school like a video game? Work isn't a video game and neither is life. Part of education is teaching students how to sit down and do a task. If they can't do that without being entertained, they will not survive in the real world. No one will entertain them at work.

Ideas like this are part of the problem. Instead of holding our students accountable, we blame the software....just as we now blame the teachers...we blame everyone except the person whose responsibility it should be to learn.
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Old 09-17-2011, 05:47 PM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,393 posts, read 29,785,394 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beachmouse View Post
Also self-directed learning can work well for the motivated adult student, but may not be developmentally appropriate for the smaller humans. It's not easy to get 6-8 year olds motivated to learn multiplication tables, but that rote memorization is the building block for so much other math down the line that it can't be left up to them whether they learn it at an acceptable pace or not. Same goes for a lot of primary grades building block skills.
I agree and I think trying to make online learning like a game to get and keep their attention is problematic in that we will have trained them to only pay attention when they are being entertained. I think supplementing with online materials is fine but I think you need a teacher there to decide when enough is enough.

I do use online resources with my students (10th and 11th graders) but I have to police what they are doing. There are too many distractions on line. I also find that if students know they can look at or do something later, they will procrastinate. They see no urgency when it's out there waiting for them. I had a discussion just yesterday with a student regarding a pre-lab write up I gave time to finish in class. One of my students just closed her book when I gave them work time. I asked her why she wasn't doing it and she told me she was going to type it later because it's faster. I pointed out to her that if she did it in class, instead of just sitting there, she won't have to do it later so she'll have more free time. She shrugged and continued to sit there.
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