I have to admit, I have a bias here. I feel comfortable around technology and use it for education and social learning. I teach two online courses and use technology in my classroom for podcasts, vidcasts, and instruction; my students use technology as well for more than word-processing. So when I saw that Michigan was leading the way in online courses, I had to read the article, oh, and by the way, the article is online.
Twenty-four districts are applying for waivers to the state rules that require students in high school to be in the school for about 1,100 hours a school year. Sounds good, after all, there is more to learning than being in the room. But what will this change in paradigm mean for schools?
Of course, not every course can be done online. Physical Education would be a tough one. Additionally courses like Art or Physics that are dependent on labs and materials would be tough. However, courseslike Art and Physics could employ some of the online benefits and offer vidcasts of lessons for review, or use an online service to pre- and post-teach concepts. Think of how rich a slide show of painting masters displaying the art concept currently in study could be, coupled with online discussion and questions, all student centered. Just the thought makes me smile. And the best part, all of this could take place outside the classroom, preparing students for the instruction in the classroom with the teacher.
Online course will not get rid of teaching, teachers, or the love of learning. If used correctly, it could bring the spark of learning to a student who otherwise did not care.
Again, I ask, how will online courses change our school paradigm?
Read the article entitled, Waivers free high school students to study online, off-campus, at Freep.
I posted on a similar topic at the start of the school year, asking if we are using technology to improve learning. You can read that post here, TECH & TE(A)CH.
Additionally, I have started to store my thoughts on a variety of online services that can be used for education at Teach, Teach, Tech. I am a BIG fan of Twitter. What is your favorite online service application for education?