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New technologies benefit the homeschooling model

Posted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 12:46 pm
by berrtus
I think the public system, in spite of things like differentiation, generally moves kids through a system where everything is the same for all students. In fact some see unequal outcomes as an injustice. That means everyone gets the same outcome. But that means the students that work hard and have ability have to be punished and I would argue that the public system does punish them by holding them back.

I see the internet as providing a new model of individualized education. I would argue that students should ALL be on their own independent study path with tutors that guide them. There are so many internet resources, books, and ways to approach a subject. I think as it gets more and more organized the public system will fade as VASTLY inferior. An entirely new individualized approach to education is emerging.

Posted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:08 am
by Theodore
Well... I would say that new technologies such as web cams, high speed connections, sharing methods such as whiteboards, GoToMeeting, etc. tend to support the distance learning model, but very few teachers are actually making use of them. Everything is usually done via email / forum, which doesn't offer (in my opinion) a level of interaction that makes tutoring competitive with real-life community college courses. There are also some subjects such as Calculus and lab science which will never be as easy to do via distance learning, it's just too hard to transmit complicated formulas in real time, and too expensive to buy $1000 of lab and safety equipment.

So in theory you're correct, in practice not so much so.

Public School Vastly Inefficient

Posted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 9:53 am
by berrtus
It's been a while but feel like continuing this. I think it is true that many may not follow the internet model even were it properly developed. And It has a ways to go the be fully developed. I think it's not going to just be private instructors with white boards. It's going to be wikipedia like collections of lessons. Then with private instructors as coaches assisting students and developing individualized plans. The public system is vastly inefficient compared to this model.

As a teacher I have 'issues' with the public system that herds kids from class to class. In actuality there is almost ZERO differentiation (individualized learning that meets the student at their level.) Further I believe the process is beginning to favor over socialization. Individuals that operate on only a social level are operating at the lowest human level Dogs are social. We are above animals because we are rational beings that care. Socialization DOES NOT develop these qualities except in a sociopathic fashion. Smaller groups of students following Wiki like lesson plans is more suitable for proper functional happy human development.

The left won't accept it because:
1. They want to be in charge. It's about money.
2. I would lead to unequal outcomes

Posted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 5:20 pm
by Theodore
I do think that the Internet makes it much easier to individualize your education. If you need to learn something, you don't have to go hunt down a textbook and/or sign up for a class, you can just find a good teaching site or online resource. This is especially valuable for my field (programming), where copy and paste is far faster than typing in code from a book :)

Not that books are outmoded, mind you - I still read quite a lot of books for fun, and there are subjects such as math that are better done with textbooks - but much of what a person needs to know these days can be found more quickly (and cheaply) online.

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 6:36 am
by MelissaM
I know that it's a bit of a cynical outlook, but my husband wonders if the limitations in public education are intentional, as they serve to help control the masses. It seems that critical thinking is getting lost in the pressure to get kids "through" sometimes, and I am constantly surprised by the poor spelling and grammar of people in the workforce who have graduated from high school.

Without creative and critical thinking, society will come to a standstill and/or regress. Different mediums of education will help to overcome this, and may open doors to those who may not otherwise have access to a challenging education.

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 8:54 am
by vmsgirl71
Being that I just took my son out of the public school system 2 weeks ago, I was very sick of this "no child left behind". They push these kids through the system regardless if they have the knowledge or not. My son does have LD's, yes, but there are plenty of other children who are in his same spot and not learning disabled. I think that the materials available are not used due to the laziness of the teachers...not ALL teachers, but a great many. It takes creativeness to keep these kids interested and involved , yet many only go through the motion and work with the kids who are "easy" or self starters.
I could go on and on about this but I don't want to go off topic.
Bottom line...
public school system fails our children...the children don't fail the system.

Posted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 3:21 pm
by berrtus
Ironically, for the left the internet may provide free or nearly free resources available to all. I have downloaded several math books for free that might have cost several hundred dollars. It also saves on paper. A single book reader and a computer could house a potential library of texts. I think there is going to be an increase in the availability of online lessons. Consider a math topic where you can view online video lessons, written material, and java applets. Then assess your progress, and finally say have a mentor to guide you. I have always believed that the group model of public education slows things incredibly even for the slower students.

The left won't give up on the public model for the reasons that it is a money source for their constituents, it is a way to control the population, and it is a way to implement their agenda.

Posted: Fri May 01, 2009 7:29 pm
by Theodore
To be fair, not all teachers are leftists, and I think you'll find that both sides of the aisle are a bit leery of cutting funds for education, it just sounds bad on paper. Not good if you're a politician trying to get elected.

However, history has shown that one of the most productive ways to spread propaganda is to start with young kids, especially if you can do it in an environment that crushes independent thinking. Better be part of the group think or your school experience will be pretty miserable...

Harnessing technologies for learning, if only parents know

Posted: Sat May 02, 2009 10:50 am
by judyh
Though in essence, i do agree that with the advancement of technologies that supports individual learning, we must also bear in mind that not all parents or even teachers are that savvy enough. The overload of "free' information could be more of a disadvantage as homeschool parents can sometime lack judgment in deciding whats best for their kids. I am all for homeschooling but to totally discredit public school system, that would be unfair too. Both public and homeschool do have its place in education.
It all boils down to what parents want. For me, the number 1 reason would to impart religious values, which otherwise, may be "unguided" if left to the public school.

Posted: Sat May 02, 2009 1:56 pm
by Matt Conrad
> An entirely new individualized approach to education is emerging.

Yes, and it is exciting. It is so easy to learn about nearly anything you are interested in these days. New options like MIT's OpenCourseWare are transforming education from the inside out.

Really, so many free and cheap tools for learning are available, I would say now that the limiting factor to learning almost-anything is the amount of effort you're willing to put forth. Now if someone could just figure out a way for me to easily increase my own effort level . . .