Can Online Learning be as Effective as Classroom Learning?
I came across this poll on Edutopia that I found very... interesting. Surprising? No, of course not. This is the 21st century! Practically every technological boundary has already been broken! This poll asked, "Can online learning be as effective as classroom learning?" The first time I read this I thought that online learning was crossing the line with our education, but then I thought of all the benefits we could get from online classes.
Some benefits from online courses are that they seem to be very convenient and you are able to work and learn at home. I think that this appeals to many people because of how easy it is and because people are constantly going ,going, going, that its nice to be at home. I know some of my fellow classmates have taken online classes for Driver's Ed. When I asked them what they thought of it, they told me that they liked it because they got through the course a lot faster than if they had taken the classroom option. To be honest, the whole idea of actually taking an online class scares me. I think most of it is because its such a huge change from what I know. I've grown up knowing that school was the place for education. I began thinking about how drastically our world has been changing, even in the past years; ipods, cell phones...And even education has changed, hence the poll question, and I think that education has become more stressed upon students at school. At Arapahoe, we are taught to be relivent. School has become connected to home, our present time, the past, and what the future has in store for us. This makes me think of Mr. Fisch's "Shift Happens" video (http://youtube.com/watch?v=sHGNNaiLTQU) and how it mentions that we as students are preparing for jobs that DON'T EVEN EXSIST YET! I find that unblievable! And because of that, our education has to become more important, more relivent, enhanced, if you will. Part of me thinks that if this idea of online classes help us learn the criteria, then go for it.
The thing that keeps coming through my mind (as I mentioned in my above paragraph) is that I don't feel completely comfotable with taking an online course. One thing that I think it is missing is the interaction between other people and the interaction between the student and the subject. I am a very hands-on learner, and for me, being able to talk and work with my peers is how I learn best. Hearing others ideas is another thing some of my classes are focusing on. Where will I get that online? Also, my teacher is who I am obtaining information from. I believe that teaching yourself and letting others around you teach you is a huge part to learning as well. But I also believe that a teacher is their to guide my growth as a learner. I like being able to get help from my teacher and go in before and after school to get that one-on-one time with them. Where will I get that online? The poll mentioned this: "In Michigan, completing at least one online course is now a high school graduation requirement". This also scared me. Will this happen to our school? One of the options for the poll was: "Maybe. Schools should offer online classes as supplemental education opportunities for students, but they should not be mandatory." This is what I would've selected as my answer.