The Saeculum Decoded
A Blog by Neil Howe
Apr 022010

This article in the Washington Post that describes the alternative to failing schools: going online. Like early college and service academies, the most innovative programs introducing on-line education to K-12 is happening with low-achieving, “at-risk”  kids.  Apparently, the school establishment would just as soon hive these off.  But they don’t dare give up their middle- and upper-achievers.

Interesting how parents are beginning to come around, probably due to the rising presence of Generation X (born 1961-1981).  On-line advocates need to stop trying to confirm quality of instruction and begin to address the community and civic dimensions of education, which I think give rise to most of the qualms.  The author mentions this objections, but doesn’t really say how the problem is solved.

She is absolutely right, though,  about the irony of the feds giving new R&D money to post-secondary schools to develop on-line education—as if they need it: The University of Phoenix is now hitting 500,000 enrollees, more than the Big Ten combined!  But nothing for K-12, which remains an utter backwater in the application of any kind of technology beyond the occasional classroom movie.  In this, the teachers unions truly are reactionary.

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  • vandalhooch

    “But nothing for K-12, which remains an utter backwater in the application of any kind of technology beyond the occasional classroom movie.”

    Complete hyperbole backed by ignorance. Nearly 1/3 of all our students take one or more courses online during their tenure here. Our school is a small (250 student), rural high school. We use online courses in order to offer a wider selection of electives, college credit, and remedial credits.

    I think what you meant to say was that for most, large, urban K-12 systems, technology or online education is not highly prevalent. The article had some good points but let's not cloud the issue up with unnecessary hyperbole.

    Of course you are a Boomer and that's what comes most natural. 🙂

    • Blog Reader

      VH, just because your school offers it doesn't mean the vast majority of American classrooms do. Before you accuse anyone of ignorance, at least be sure you're not the one committing it.

      • vandalhooch

        I wasn't the one making use of the terms like “utter backwater” or “of any kind”.

        I was simply pointing out that the article this post referenced listed several examples of online resources in K-12 schools. Thus the hyperbole in this post was completely inappropriate.

        I never claimed that the vast majority of schools offer what we have. In fact, if you had bothered to read what I actually wrote you would note that I specifically pointed that out!

        • genmax

          Deep Breath in; exhale; relax. Your post battle via posts needs a nice dose of civility

          • vandalhooch

            It's tough to convey tone online. I wasn't upset, it was more of an amused chuckle than anger.

          • dsohigian

            Smileys work well for attitude online. Although a 🙂 may look silly, it
            really can help in conveying tone.

          • vandalhooch

            I used one in my original post!

  • Lysdexic