Thursday, December 15, 2005

Online Learning in Michigan

According to an article that was published this week in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Michigan's State Board of Education is considering (and is expected to approve) a proposal that high school students be required to take at least one online class in order to graduate.

How's this for a turnaround? While some people are still arguing whether online learning is really learning, Michigan is progressive enough to take a stand in this area. It makes me think that if enough people are exposed to this form of education, new ideas will blossom to make it even better.

As a former resident of Michigan, I can only applaud this approach and look forward to seeing the results!


David said...

George, I've got to disagree with you on this one.

Online learning works if the format used matches the learning style of the student. This doesn't even take into account issues with learning and physically disabled students as well as the technological gap between school systems.

Our schools have a horrible time even finding a student's learning style let alone adjusting to those needs.

When I started back to school for my bachelors I had to take learning style assessment to see if online classes would work for me. My score came back as a massive NO.

So if I was a high school student in Michigan, would this mean that I would have to take a class online even if I would have a better learning experience in a classroom?

George said...

You are more than welcome to disagree. That's why I make some of the dogmatic statements I do, to get people to disagree with me.

Back in the Middle Ages when I was in high school, I was forced to take math and science courses for which I was constitutionally unfit. The only upside (in my fevered 15-year old mind) was that at least I was getting a glimpse of things like logarithms and islets of Langerhans so that I wouldn't be totally at a loss if these things ever came up in conversation. (Not that they have...)

To me, what's important here is the experience of taking an online course. I think that having been involved in such a course helps the student understand his or her learning style better, and exposes the student to an alternative. I don't think anyone is saying that all high school education should be done online.

For decades, all learning was done in one style, regardless of how individual students learned. Mixing it up like this broadens everyone's experience.

Alice said...

Oh online learning sparks a row! I am surprised no one over at BlogJunction has jumped in with some statistics...?