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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Another Virtual School Question

Clarence, over at Remote Access, asks an interesting question in Just Wondering....

If schools did not have a monopoly on students and their education, what kinds of classrooms would students choose to attend?
Do you think virtual classroom would have any of the characteristics that the students would include in responding to this question? Which characteristics? Which characteristics would students want that virtual schools do not currently offer? Could never offer?

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Blogger Kate Logan said...

I think we can take a hint from the adult education world. There are the traditional higher ed opportunities operated by universities and junior colleges. But there are on the job training programs, professional certificate programs, trade unions with apprenticeship programs, etc...

I think our current online high school examples equate to the traditional higher ed opportunities. But when are online high schools going to make the jump to less traditional programs that incorporate experiential learning and work experience into the schooling process...who knows? But I bet it won't happen until people from outside education start developing it.

I don't think that kind of shift can come from within the education community.

7:05 PM  
Blogger MKB said...


Are you talking about more informal learning opportunities? The reason I ask, not that I entirely disagree, is that there isvery little research done in the area of online, informal learning. A fellow doctoral student here at UGA is working in this area and regularly laments about how little we know in this field.


7:16 PM  
Blogger Kate Logan said...

No, I'm talking about very formalized learning opportunities. An apprenticeship is incredibly formal within a trade union. Private certificate programs like Microsoft or Cisco certifications are very formal, but are operated by private training companies (and some colleges, but to a lesser degree). On the job training programs within a company or organization can be very informal or very specific and articulated. One example may be a management track for white collar employees within their current company. TANF (new word for US Welfare) programs require all sorts of education, but most are outside of the higher ed arena. These included GED programs, job skills training, how to write a resume, and so on.

The types of programs I'm thinking of don't take place in higher ed, but they are incredibly important in creating a strong healthy workforce.

And I totally agree that there is little to no research about informal learning online, but it happens all the time. This is the first blog I've really participated in. I didn't take a class on blogging, I just kind of figured it out.

8:53 AM  
Blogger MKB said...

Okay, I see where you are coming from now...

As for the informal learning, there is tons of it. I'm always impressed by the workstations that you see in galleries and museums and wonder why they aren't a more researched topic - how visitors to the gallery or museum learn informally from the interactive opportunities provided by that gallery or museum.


10:12 AM  

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