"I believe that education is the civil rights issue of our generation." – U.S. Secretary Arne Duncan, October 9, 2009

Are You Pro or Anti Virtual Schooling?

I struggled to answer this very question after I dug up the article Virtual Schools Are Growing–But Are They Any Good? . After some thought, I decided online education indeed has its benefits, but comes with drawbacks.

In my experience of an online course in college, I came to discover the wonders of video lectures. Pause…take notes…rewind..notes…fast-forward. I was able to do it all. Didn’t catch that last vocabulary word? No problem. Want to run that concept by again? It’s all yours. Taking an online class allowed me to do what I could not do in a typical class setting. Rather than rushing to jot down notes, I was able to absorb the material and take more effective notes. I could turn on my computer at anytime, anywhere, and do my work.

But I must admit, the online coarse was not all sugarplums and gumdrops. The coarse required the same amount of work and studying as my other classes—that was fair. The drawback: I frequently found myself wanting to raise my hand while watching lecture videos. But this was no Avatar; I couldn’t get my immediate questions answered by my professor or ask for clarification on the material.

Though online education has its perks, I feel it can never replace the classroom experience. It’s not just the fact that you can speak with your professor and get questions answered on the spot that is the advantage of classroom learning, but also the ability to engage with your classmates, feed off of their comments, make insightful ones of your own, and make connections to their ideas—all things you wouldn’t be able to do while sitting alone in your sweat pants in your dorm room. In conclusion, I welcome the changes that virtual schools will make in education, but let’s not forget to kick it old school and go to class.

If you’ve taken an online course before, what were the benefits and drawbacks of your learning experience?



Single Post Navigation

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: