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Thread: Should Public Schooling Go Online?

  1. #21
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    Re: Should Public Schooling Go Online?

    Public school can use some online classes for students.in my country I graduated publick school and now studying in college. Truly say in college I used some online classes and got some tasks like writing research papers. As I am bad in writing so I am a customer of some essay writing service like PapersOwl.

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    Re: Should Public Schooling Go Online?

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoist View Post
    Public education is, no doubt, an essential investment. However, with it taking up more than a quarter of most state budgets, are we getting the most bang for our tax bucks? With the popularity of online colleges growing, I wonder how much can be saved and redistributed to other programs/returned to taxpayers if online options were offered to gifted students and students with no significant disabilities?
    The OP brings up an interesting question.
    As at least one poster has been asked to qualify their bona fides on the subject, let me briefly explain where I’m coming from.
    Quote Originally Posted by Geoist View Post
    You are making an awful lot of claims without sources to back them up...
    After serving 23+ years as an Army officer, I decided to continue my service as a school teacher. While on terminal leave, I began my graduate school alternate certification and earned my second masters in M.Ed. I teach at an Early College High School which targets low-SES, minorities, and first-generation students. We are wildly successful in getting students whose goals would have been simply earning their HS diploma and we send them to college. The last two years 100% of our graduating seniors have been accepted to 4-year universities. While many on this thread undoubtedly have more time in the classroom than I, the environment in our school is supportive, yet extremely demanding. We have an incredible professional development program which has propelled me to being a teacher often recognized within our district.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Jr View Post
    It's been online for at least 5 years bud.
    Quote Originally Posted by justabubba View Post
    i suspect the future will be a melding of the two approaches
    As some have already noted, online instruction has already found a home in our education system. However, largely it is a hybrid approach in most instances.
    There are three major uses of technology to provide on-line instruction.
    The most common hybrid approach is the “Flipped Classroom” construct. Here, students watch videos at home and use classroom time with a teacher to build mastery through practice and engagement in the classroom. Technology applications such as EdPuzzle allow for the teacher to ensure (a strong, if not overstated word) students are actually watching the videos and then provide embedded mastery checks to check understandings.

    The second is the use of videos and other information delivery resources to aid in tutorials. Khan Academy is a great example of this approach. Students have the opportunity to use these on-line resources to assist when they realize that their understanding is lacking when doing homework or studying for formative assessments in the classroom.

    The third most closely resembles what the OP seems to be suggesting. This is the full-scale replacement of classroom instruction for an on-line educational experience. We see homeschoolers using these resources, especially for students in the secondary grades. Where school districts most commonly use this approach is in their alternative campuses and for credit recovery.

    --continued--

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    Re: Should Public Schooling Go Online?

    I am a champion of the first two approaches, and while the third approach has its place, I think any quality educator realizes that this is an inferior approach to technology-infused classroom practices. Integrityrespec notes this in their post.
    Quote Originally Posted by Integrityrespec View Post
    Home is not the same academic setting as a school classroom. The setting, environment, the leadership of an instructor in the classroom and the discipline both behaviorally and academically would not be duplicated in the home in the way it usually is in the school classroom.
    Part of the art of teaching is being able to identify when a student is unengaged or lost in the instruction. While there are ways to have mastery checks on-line, what is missing is the follow-up. Being in a classroom allows for the teacher to provide instantaneous redirection and correction of a misunderstood concept. This cannot be easily replicated on-line, if at all.

    Moreover, the programs I’ve seen being used for credit-recovery and alternative campuses quite frankly are poorly done. I’ve yet to come across one which is truly engaging. Yes, the counter could be that we just need to have better programs/applications. But if the proposal is that this is a cost-saving endeavor I doubt that the quality of the on-line instruction will get any better.
    Quote Originally Posted by Slyfox696 View Post
    If you think online education will save taxpayers money, then you are wildly off the mark.
    As Sly has noted, a quality replacement for the classroom will not be a money saver.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cynical View Post
    What I see as more likely is that for content related coursework there will eventually be a "virtual" professor/teacher who will provide the lecture component for hundreds of schools with support staff to handle the rest.
    The problem with Cynical’s suggestion is that handling the “rest” to the same quality as the classroom doesn’t save time or money. For any of us who have graded/responded to on-line assignments can attest, it is actually far more time consuming than doing the same in the classroom. Why we use these assignments is most often to make the most of the instructional time we have with our students in the classroom. The other “rest” of checking assignments and providing quality feedback to our students is usually done at home, late into the evening. (Because, we all know that teaching is a just a 40 hour week.) Moreover, these tasks cannot be simply outsourced to non-certified staff as it is usually the most demanding tasks that a teacher provides.

    Moreover, what is missing is the ability to truly push students to higher understanding of a topic. IB, AP, and even Pre-AP coursework often will use instructional techniques such as socratic/Socrative seminars. Yes, these can be done virtually. But they still do not have the same results as actually being in the classroom, listening to student comments, and then guiding students to delve deeper into the subject matter.

    So, my bottom-line take on substituting classroom instruction for full-time on-line learning is this:
    If you want it bad—or cheap—you are going to get it bad and cheap quality.

    Sorry for my joining this topic late. I just finished grading a series of assignments. 😉

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    Re: Should Public Schooling Go Online?

    Quote Originally Posted by StillServing View Post
    Part of the art of teaching is being able to identify when a student is unengaged or lost in the instruction.
    As someone who has also spent a number of years in education I can state that unequivocally that no teacher can prevent daydreaming, especially in a class with 20+ students. The bottom line is that a students ability and interests will determine how much they learn and understand a given subject.

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    Re: Should Public Schooling Go Online?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cynical View Post
    As someone who has also spent a number of years in education I can state that unequivocally that no teacher can prevent daydreaming, especially in a class with 20+ students. The bottom line is that a students ability and interests will determine how much they learn and understand a given subject.
    Certainly no teacher can prevent daydreaming, but a quality teacher in the classroom can identify when they have lost the engagement of their students and redirect them. I do it every period in my classes. Moreover, it is a responsibility of the teacher to connect the student with the material being taught. Teachers are not simply information delivery services. Our very job is to target those students who are less interested and finding a way to make them interested and keep them interested.

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    Re: Should Public Schooling Go Online?

    Quote Originally Posted by justabubba View Post
    what do children receive in brick and mortar schools that they could not achieve online?
    i suspect the future will be a melding of the two approaches
    That's how it's done in my state. The full K-12 program is online. For some families it is great. Mostly parents who would have home schooled their kids anyways. Surprisingly, some students who have been long termed expelled from the traditional schools have enrolled online. I'll also add that it a great option for really, really smart kids, who can then progress at a much faster pace than any regular classroom, where they are often bored.

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    Re: Should Public Schooling Go Online?

    Quote Originally Posted by StillServing View Post
    Certainly no teacher can prevent daydreaming, but a quality teacher in the classroom can identify when they have lost the engagement of their students and redirect them. I do it every period in my classes. Moreover, it is a responsibility of the teacher to connect the student with the material being taught. Teachers are not simply information delivery services. Our very job is to target those students who are less interested and finding a way to make them interested and keep them interested.
    That may work better for some subjects vs others, ultimately no teacher can compel someone to be interested in a subject they have little to no interest in. One of the biggest lines of bull**** I received was that any subject content can be made interesting if you are a good teacher. As someone who taught science I definitively figured out that was complete BS. Most of the job was centered around classroom management and preventing cheating.

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    Re: Should Public Schooling Go Online?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cynical View Post
    That may work better for some subjects vs others, ultimately no teacher can compel someone to be interested in a subject they have little to no interest in. One of the biggest lines of bull**** I received was that any subject content can be made interesting if you are a good teacher. As someone who taught science I definitively figured out that was complete BS. Most of the job was centered around classroom management and preventing cheating.
    You can give science lectures in many formats, the most compelling of which tends to be one which readily makes obvious what the principles considered can be used to do. You can likewise give a lecture that will bore even the most interested students by reading from a book, never interacting with the class, using a single tone for delivery, etc. An outsider might claim some teachers are lazy not to tend to give more of the first type of lecture, but teachers usually have guidelines to follow, limits on the options they have and aren't necessarily paid enough to make revamping a whole course structure worth it -- and that's when they have the freedom to do just that in the first place.

    With that being said, some people will never be interested in physics. Not everyone is interested in things and how they work as demonstrated by the fact that not everyone graduates college in a STEM field. No amount of prowess on the part of teachers is going to make this change. And the problem is not unique to kids in elementary, middle or high school. I am a Ph.D. student and I almost fell asleep during one of my course this year. A course centered around incentive problems with insurance contracts is of absolutely no interest to someone who enjoys finance, macroeconomics and discussing policy problems. The same happened with some of the students who were more into empirical work in microeconomics this fall: they were forced to take a macroeconomics course, as well as a mathematics and programming course which deals almost exclusively with macroeconomic theory. I recall my office mate falling asleep half the time... And that's from a select set of people who really enjoy economics and knowingly enrolled in that program after having previously studied economics. With kids who probably do not enjoy most of what they see, it's only worse.

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    Re: Should Public Schooling Go Online?

    As the OP and others have pointed out, there are trade-offs involved with online schooling.

    Kids would see other kids in different circumstances, it might be more difficult to draw minority groups out of their cultural enclaves and have them interact with the broader society, it might be more difficult to monitor at-risk kids who have behavioral or cognitive problems, etc. However, it's cheaper to run a technical assistance service alongside pre-registered courses that kids can watch at their convenience. It's also easier to tailor education to individual students that way because the lectures and problem sets are available on demand and registered just once and can afterward be used for a few years. Many textbooks at all levels of education make it clear in their preamble that you can vary the course structure by swapping the order of chapters covered, skipping some and focusing more time on others, or selecting more or less advanced problems. The same can very easily be done with videos.

    Those are just things on the top of my head. It's also clear that a school could in principle offer to parents the choice of how much online versus onsite learning they would want. Maybe in some cases, nearly 100% is optimal; in other cases, maybe 50% online is better. Nothing forces one to pick either extreme.

    The only problem to me is that the current decision structure in the US is entirely inadequate to strike informed compromises. Public schools nominally are regulated by state legislatures, but the very many federal programs that make funds contingent on compliance with federal guidelines often decided upon by unelected bureaucrats in federal agencies tell a very different story. The people who actually have first-hand knowledge of how kids are doing are parents, teachers, and school administrators, but none of them has much of a say in how things are operated. Likewise, townhalls and states might have some problems specific to them that do not generalize well across the entire country, but they are all handcuffed in practice. If there was a contest held to pick out the absolute most stupid way to organize resources for publicly funded schools, the US model would be high on the list. Every time we read about a problem concerning how largely bureaucratic chains of command lead to nonsense, people think that if only a slightly different plan (of their preference, of course) was voted in action in Washington, it would magically be better.

    The real problem is that people who have relevant information and face the relevant incentives do not have anything resembling a say in how things are organized whereas people who have extremely high costs of acquiring this information and only incentive to rachet up their influence in one direction are in charge. As long as the decision process is not further diffused and therefore localized closer to the reality where people actually feel the consequences of those policies, you will get absurd nonsense of that system. The problem is always who decides, not what should be done when all decision units are necessarily bound by imperfect knowledge and an imperfect ability to implement any plan. If the intuition of the OP is correct, this form of schooling would emerge also for kids as a cheap way to learn without requiring anyone to mandate that procedure.
    Last edited by TheEconomist; 05-31-19 at 03:42 PM.

  10. #30
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    Re: Should Public Schooling Go Online?

    My son was home schooled until he was 14, then entered public high school. He is special needs but even so, we have a network of home schooled children here. This idea that home school children are less socialized is a popular myth. If anything they are better socialized because they have more time to pursue the things they love and the extracurricular activities we chose for school projects all brought him into contact with other kids. Most of his school work was done by the time the public school kids got home so he could spend evenings with his friends.

    The media has done a bang up job of convincing people that home schooling is backward but it's so widespread now that the systems are really effectual. You even have the unschooling movement now which designs curricula around the child's unique talents and interests. A family in our community did unschooling with their daughter who, from a very early age, showed interest in film. At 16 she directed her first film and it ended up in the Sundance Film Festival. She also learned to pilot an airplane by the time she was 18. This is all due to curricula being designed around what she naturally wanted to do.

    The only reason why my son went to public high school was because he wanted to.

    There are pros and cons to the public system, the cons being a high level of conformity and a guaranteed level of social dysfunction because classes are so huge and underfunded now. Your child will also have guaranteed contact with kids who were not given proper attention by their parents and are expecting the public system to raise them properly. I am so glad my son's primary years were spent home schooling. He is much further ahead of his special needs peers because he got specialized attention from his immediate community rather than generic help from strangers.

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