Friday, November 18, 2011

K-12 Education via the internet?

I read this article the other day LINK and the idea has been running through my head since.
I truly can't see that young students - pre-college students - will gain all that they should from this type of education. And yes I know that home schooling has also been gaining momentum and I have similar issues with that which I will discuss later in this entry.
This article highlights that the test scores of online schooled students are lower in every category (quoted from a study of 2010 test scores in Colorado) than students that attend traditional schools. This doesn't surprise me nor should it surprise anyone who has 'attended' a webinar or taken online courses.

The academic aspect though isn't what most concerns me. It is the isolation and lack of development of social skills. It is removing the mingling with all different kids, it is removing teams and music groups and activities.
It is removing the need for communication skills and it is removing 'penmanship' skills completely. And yes I know, NOBODY can write in cursive any longer but when you start cyber-schooling as a 5 year old, when do you learn to hold a pen and write? I am sure many of you know that skill is a developer of fine motor skills.

I understand that bullying is worse than ever - well I don't know that - what I do know is that the consequences of bullying are worse than ever. And I honestly have wondered what factors are at play in these consequences becoming more severe. Those thoughts are for another entry I suppose.

Back to this one on cyber-education - I am deadset against it. I can't see how the students will learn as well and the isolation factor is not something I can see them overcoming.

I believe strongly that children LEARN social skills, communication, and emotionally and cognitively develop better with interaction. And learning to deal with the fact that one child may excel at math, another at languages, another at soccer while others find those tasks challenging. They learn the ins and outs of social communication and they deal with varying levels of competition. Not to mention the fun of the playground!

So count me out for cyber-learning as an exclusive schooling method