Tuesday, November 13, 2012

521 Blog Post 4: Project Tomorrow

Prompt 1. I have chosen the report titled "The New Math for Justifying On-line Learning." The article is basically an argument that is stating that in order for districts to be able to go along with shrinking budgets and higher demands, they need to start investing more in online classes. It gives statistics like one-third of secondary students would like to take an online class, and that parents are increasingly demanding online classes. The problem that I see with these statistics is that students of course would like to take an online class because the perception is that they will be easy. They can wake up when they want, never have to take off their pajamas  and do their lessons the same time as they are catching up with their latest TV show. This may not be the case in reality, but I believe that is the perception among high schoolers.

Prompt 2: The video that I watched is titled "Is Anyone Listening? Students speak up about Education Technology." The video includes a panel of secondary students that are talking about the lack of access to technology in schools. The students have well thought out and articulate arguments on why we should have more technology in schools. I agree with them that the schools should have more technology, but the big problem for me is the digital divide that is still evident in our society. I would love it if we could give every kid a laptop or a tablet, and have them do web searches and research online. However, the districts do not have that type of money, making this an unrealistic goal. I think what I would like to do is use the web as a tool that the kids could use, but not make it essential to the learning.

Prompt 3: I would really like it if we started a program at our school for students that were interested in teaching in the future. The benefit of this program is that they could then get involved with groups like academic success and Avid, in which they could act as tutors. They could be role models for some of the younger kids, and help out the substitute when the teacher is out. I would love to start an international club at this school, and have students from different countries come in and discuss their culture so we can celebrate our differences.


  1. I agree with you that high school students may feel that the classes are going to be easier online. I have taken online classes before, and they were not easy. They required more time and effort than a regular class. I also think that if online classes start becoming the norm, students are going to lose out on other important aspects of school such as social interaction, sports, etc. What is your take on that? I also agree with you that the web should be used as a tool to help increase student learning, but not an essential part.

    - Michael Corle

  2. Taken together with your summary of "The New Math for Justifying On-line Learning" and the presentation of Project Tomorrow we heard in class, I too am concerned about the push for on-line learning. It's not just that our job security would be threatened. It's much more than that. Students simply cannot learn as well from a computer as they do from a living, breathing, well-trained human teacher. I think there is a place for on-line learning--it makes life very convenient for busy adults with full-time jobs. It's a great option for students who need to add or repeat a course that's unavailable. Still, students need to meet with teachers to navigate the on-line teaching.