Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Online High School

Who doesn't want to join this school?

I would like to think of myself as a advocate for increased integration of technology in schools and someone who is not "old school" in anyway whatsoever. However, here lately I'm starting to feel like that push for technology in education that so many of us are calling for are starting to be addressed in the wrong manner.

Recently I was contacted by a nice young named Victor who worked for a company called UDEMY. Victor asked me to answer a few questions regarding technology and education, and last one he asked was one that kinda lit a fire in me...the question was:

As a teacher, do you think it is possible to one day have all-online classroom in the future?

A fairly harmless question at face value, but it was compounded with countless advertisements I have heard in the past few months that promote attending high school online. This got me thinking, is using technology in this manner really an making valuable use of technology? I can see the purpose of online courses and degrees for adults, but do we really need to move high school to the internet?

Call me old fashioned, but there is something special about the human component that comes with junior high and high school. While I do advocate the integration of technology into education, I don't think that making a high school diploma available online encompasses what school is all about. The way I see it technology should be used as a tool to help engage students in a lesson. In my ideal classroom, I would use heavy components of technology with my students that would require them to use technology outside of the classroom to connect with what we are doing in class. However, I still believe the the relationships that are built in a physical classroom are too valuable to leave behind and cannot be replaced by any form of technology....but, that's just this old timer talking (Class of 2003!)

Joe McClung
Fayetteville, AR USA

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