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View Diary: A partial response to Bill Gates' op ed about teachers (247 comments)

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  •  This has been my experience (0+ / 0-)

    I do an online course:  I was an early adopter, by choice.  I'm always willing to try something new.  My students give online courses mixed reviews.  What it does NOT do is save money.  It only really works, for real learning, if there is a real person on the other end who is able to help.  That takes time, often more time than in person instruction.  Institutions also (again, first hand experience) do not want to put the money and time into course design, and re-design, which is what you have to do in order not to have a hunk of junk.

    It can be enriching.  It can provide access to off-campus learners, and I am a big fan of it for working parents especially.  But it is not a magic cost-saving bullet.

    •  For us, a rural district (0+ / 0-)

      it gives our kids, especially the gifted kids, access to classes - including college credit classes through the local community college - that we don't have the resources to offer as standalone courses. We can't run a class with 2 kids who want to learn Mandarin, but we could access an online course and provide support to kids who will put in the time to work it out. (We are getting bandwidth this year through e-rate, so we would be able to handle high quality video feeds, for example.) And similarly, we can give access to advanced mathematics with the support of our math instructor for when they hit a wall.

      But for kids who don't work independently, it is no advantage unless it is short modules with progress being monitored by the in-person teacher.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Wed Mar 02, 2011 at 11:43:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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