I believe teaching is a natural parental (and grand-parental) instinct; I can’t imagine ceding any part of that instinct to a machine. And neither can I imagine our school system ceding its human face to a screen and keyboard. That said…
…according to an article in today’s NY Times, there has been a recent trend in some states to include online learning as part of the curriculum for grades K-12. This despite a cautionary review of research by the United States Department of Education in 2009. The review supported benefits in online courses for those in college, but it found that there was a lack of scientific evidence for effectiveness of online learning for grades K-12.
So why pursue it? It’s cost effective, naturally! It also is used to increase graduation rates and avoid federal sanctions. In Memphis, the computer classes have been instituted mainly for those who have fallen behind. So once again, it is the students who need to be saved from lack of human intervention who are sacrificed to save the bottom line.
At the start of the technology revolution, I thought the amazing attraction of the computer “gadget” would lead to more literacy since it would seem to be a prerequisite for computer use. But no. Grammatical mistakes are short-circuited by intelligent programming while spelling shorthand permeates cyberspace, text messaging and now, even verbal usage -* OMG! To add insult to injury, it seems that I am the illiterate one, since I’m not sure what LOL means – lots of luck, lots of laughs, or lots of love. And finally, teacher friends have told me that essays must now be written in class, since plagiarism from internet information sites is rampant.
I’m sure there is a useful place for online learning somewhere within the educational system, but until we have more research-based evidence RU ready for the computers to take over for teachers? **IMHO, no.
* Oh my God; Oh my goodness
** In my humble opinion
More from living