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Friday, February 17, 2006

Mandatory Virtual Schooling

Another trend that I have noticed in the past month or so has been the idea or the push to get students in online courses. This began with a post that I made back in mid-January entitled "Requiring Virtual Schooling". I see this trend has continued:

As I continue to read these items, and maybe it is only in Michigan that people have fallen off their rockers, but I also pick up on these contradictory pieces from Stephen's Web ~ by Stephen Downes ~ Edu_RSS Most Recent - RSS old - " Students prefer online courses" (CNN) and Fear of Failure in the World of Online Learning. The first one is a CNN piece that talks about how students prefer online courses for their flexibility, the opportunities they offer, etc.. The second piece talks about how, unlike in the traditional classroom where teachers can pick up on some of the signs that students are just not getting it, because of the lack of these visual cues in the online environment students are more in danger of failing without any warning signs to the teacher.

But maybe the issue is larger than just preference and a different nature of teaching styles. An interesting piece entitled "How the Mind Makes Meaning in E-Learning" also from Stephen's Web ~ by Stephen Downes ~ Edu_RSS Most Recent - RSS old considers some important issues of cognitive science and how learning actually takes place in virual environments that everyone involved with virtual schooling needs to become more aware of, myself included.

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