Sunday, November 22, 2015

On-Line Schools Disaster

I've always thought the idea of on-line schools or virtual education was one technological step too far. Now a new study  by the University of Washington, Stanford University and the Mathematica policy research group shows that students enrolled in on-line schools fair poorly when compared with those in traditional schools and classrooms. In the report by the BBC the problems are identified as many and significant and in some cases students have been found to lag as much as a year behind the counterparts in traditional schools. The report also identifies the "digital glitz" associated with the use of the internet and other technological forms of so-called learning.

On another on-line related but completely different topic, I discovered this past week that I have spent a third of the semester so far glued to Canvas. To be more precise, I have spent 160 hours loading my coursework for my three courses onto the Canvas Digital Learning Management System. This is in addition to the hours I spend each week in my classes face to face with my students. I wonder how much better off my students are because of this? I wonder how much better teachers they will become? I wonder what other criteria we should measure the success and value of  an on-line learning management system such as Canvas?

Just because we can, should we?  

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