Friday, November 18, 2011

Blog Post # 13

My Teacher is an App

My Teacher is an App is an article about online education for high school aged and younger students. Students are taking classes in 31 states online and their test scores haven't really been up to par with brick and mortar schools according to the research. The schools are for profit schools that are making money off of the rich and not providing the same quality education that students would receive in a traditional school. For some, these schools are a last ditch effort for students to learn the material and for others, they are just tired of public schools and are looking for something different.

Cass Tech Brick and Mortar High SchoolThe problem is; the students have to be dedicated to their education to benefit from online schools and they have to want to learn. The computer will not make you learn, it is merely there as a helping tool (and a pretty stagnant one at that) that will assist you in your learning. The students enrolled in totally virtual schools have to want to learn in order to be successful and then if they don't truly comprehend what is going on, they need a teacher. The companies that run these online schools are there to make money and don't really care if the students learn or not. As long as their numbers are up, they are profiting and doing what they are out to do. It is obvious Rupert Murdoch is happy with the virtual schools because he cares about making money for his company and it is easy to do with the poor education system in many areas. Persuade the parents and administration that your product works and off you go. The students won't understand why they aren't prepared for college and the parents don't realize that they have wasted money when they were already paying for their child's education through taxes and the public school system.

Picture of Rupert Murdoch at a News Corp ConferenceInstead of sending your child to a totally online school, parents need to take more of an active role in their child's education and make the school boards do what they are supposed to do. We pay taxes so our children can have a quality education. This means getting rid of the riff-raft and getting quality educators in the school system. That is not to say that online learning is not beneficial because students do need additional resources and online learning is definitely a way to supplement the material learned in class. The schools where the students learned online and in the classroom did remarkably better than the totally online schools. And if you were not dedicated to learning (like not going to Algebra because you didn't want to) then you are destined to fail that class and possibly drop-out if things aren't going the way you expected.

There are advantageous and disadvantageous to online learning and the key is to make it work by determining what will work and what won't work. In a brick and mortar school, you can work online and also receive classroom instruction. The teachers are there to guide the students in the right direction and have the knowledge to answer questions that may arise. The students are able to receive the social interaction that is needed and collaborate to get assignments completed and assist each other in their learning objectives. If you work solely online, you can work at your own pace, you may be ahead of your peers and that is OK. You can get help from a teacher or parent or another credible source when they are available and schools don't have all of the overhead costs associated with a traditional school building.

Picture of High School and words Tax PaymentsI enjoy online learning but I also enjoy going to a classroom every once in a while like we do in EDM 310. This set-up is good for college students who are paying for school and are more likely to go to class and complete assignments because it is worth it to them. For high school aged and younger students, the costs associated with going to school at a traditional school or online are not a factor to them; they are not paying for it. I don't see them really expressing any more interest in an online school than they would a traditional school. With all of this said, I believe we should take virtual schools for what they really are, a business, and treat them as such. You will only get out of these schools what effort you put in. There isn't a teacher that really cares if you succeed or not as long as they are making money. In a traditional school if most of their students are failing they get reprimanded for it. According to the statistics, the students in the online schools are failing but it is not the fault of the teacher, it is the fault of the students because they are not dedicated. Online schools have a time and a place but it is not in primary and secondary education. Leave it for colleges and let them test the system. College is already a business but at this point the students' careers depend on what they learn so they will do better.


  1. When I received my first degree I did most of the major by online learning. I wish South Alabama had more online education degree. Some people have to work and can't go to to class on campus

  2. Ramsey,

    So, as usual, you greatly surpass your fellow classmates with your excellent and detailed post. Great job!
    Since I was home schooled for about two years, I can definitely see the advantages of online learning. However, I - like you - think that this style of learning can only be done by those students with powerful intrinsic motivation. They must be closely monitored and kept on task in order for this style of institute to be successful. In my opinion, dedicated parents and educators must still be involved in the online learning process. Just as in EDM310, there must be constant monitoring of the work being done as well as regular scheduling of face-to-face meetings. I also think something like the EDM310 lab makes the online class much more effective. All of these factors combined make the online learning environment beneficial - nothing more (well, maybe a few things) but certainly nothing less.

    Awesome job,

    Rebekah Lloyd

  3. Online schools are definitely able to help many people earn their degree. These people have learned how to manage their time well and balanced their commitments. It's good to know that there are many online schools which are also offering assistance in financial aid.

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