Monday, November 26, 2012

Online learning

Tom Luna and his supporters sold one of their education reforms by pushing the idea that Idaho needs to prepare its children for online learning.  That's about all that came through to me, though I wasn't following the issue all that closely.

I never did hear why we need to prepare our children for online learning.  Perhaps it's so they can go on to enroll in one of the for profit online colleges.  I hope not, because those colleges are great at lending money and getting their students to go into debt to pay for the online learning, but they're not so great at graduating students.

Some suggest ("some;" Ha!) that Luna was mostly just trying to help his buddies in the online learning world by ensuring that Idaho provided a constant revenue stream.  Some even went so far as to suggest that Joe Scott contributed so heavily to the effort because of his interests in online learning businesses.

I'm not sure about the ostensible reasons, but I do know one thing.  The whole idea that we need to prepare kids for online learning is a crock of shit, and it stinketh.

Kids have taken to technology like a duck to water, so using a computer isn't a new, additional skill that we need to start up.  And one you can use a computer, the online learning is just another website or DVD, like any other.  There are no secret and arcane rituals or incantations that kids must know to drink of the well of knowledge online, other than perhaps "YouTube."

It's just silly.  Either Luna has no clue about the interests and abilities of kids, or he's got some hidden agenda.  Mandating that kids must take online learning courses to ensure that they can later take online learning courses is just a waste of time.  Why don't we mandate that kids must take breathing lessons to ensure that later on, they can breath?  That makes as much sense as Luna's laws.


ericn1300 said...

It always goes back to "follow the money". Public education is the single biggest expenditure in Idaho and the private sector wants that money and one way they can get it is through shifting spending from in class room to out of state online courses. As long as that huge pile of money that is public education exists then the more that private enterprise will attempt to get them some. Vouchers, Charter Schools, online courses all have the same goals and it isn't "children come first"

Alan said...

I agree that it's really about some folks trying to siphon off as much of that money river as possible. Twas ever thus.