“The comments are interesting. It has been my experience that:
1. Online courses are typically no more difficult nor easier than your typical off-line course. Some teachers are easier than others; some are more challenging; and
2. There have been enough studies now done to show that students cheat in no greater number whether a course is online or off-line.
As to acceptability and rigor, In California, for online courses to count for state university admissions purposes, courses must be submitted to the University of California for a - g approval. This ensures that the course, whether online or off-line, meets the same standard for University of California or California State University admissions.
“Comments here are interesting. In California, for courses to count for college admissions (whether online or off-line), they must meet what we call a - g requirements. Online courses are submitted to the University of California for approval. If they are not approved, then students may not use them for admissions purposes to either the UC or CSU systems. Having this rule ensures reasonable quality in both online and off-line courses.
“Using two facts to support your assertion in this case does not work without first identifying who the students are. Yes, there are absolutely place where what you assert is true, but, and this is key, often these are students who have tried everything else and it also has not worked for them.
It is a very different matter when it is a first or second choice.
“It is not unreasonable that we tread carefully in approving new schools, whether they be online, charter, private, what have you. However, it also shouldn't be an incredible uphill battle. If we ever hope to change public education in a way that works, we need to make bold choices.
“If you engage students, they want to be there. If you bore students, they don't. It really is quite simple. Here's a clue: Most students don't react well to lectures. How can you provide the information in a way that makes a student want to learn?
“It is interesting that what makes this online colleg e so successful is what can make an online high school so successful. It boils down to early intervention, track progress, and take student needs into consideration.
“Teaching math visually is one of those things that makes so much sense and, yet, appears to be difficult to implement. Why is not entirely clear. Lack of will to change how we have always done it. We start out at the kindergarten level doing a fairly good job with visual math, but it goes downhill quickly.
“Being a fan of Pearson and Connections Academies, it will be interesting to see how the companies eventually intertwine. Given that Pearson already has NovaNet and Pearson Virtual Learning (from FLVS), this gives them an amazingly large footprint in one fell swoop. A huge leap forward into online learning.
“"Schools spend billions on technology but use it to do the same old stuff in more entertaining ways!"
You have this exactly right. It is not about creating a better PowerPoint. It is about real-world application. Where is the Skype conversation with the book author? Where is the joint media project with the Japanese high school?
There are so many things that could have happened. Where was all that?
“I do understand why school districts might take issue with this suggestion, but there is a reality involved here. I think increasingly we need to provide more options, but also we need to start collaborating across districts and between public and private entities.
“I continue to re-discover that something is happening with boys in this country every time I visit my son at college. His college has 60% women. This is not at all unusual. Look at the statistics for many colleges and you will discover much the same. It is not entirely clear to me why this is true, but it is. More importantly, though, is how we fix it. Clearly, high school education is more geared toward girls than boys.
“This is a losing battle. See: Music. Somehow, someway, we need to discover a different path toward addressing this problem. Sending out DMCAs will only slow the inevitable.
I would be interested in what percent of downloaders then go out and buy another book by the same author. I have heard this argument (The reader tries out the author with the download, likes the book, and buys others). While I am sure it happens, the percentage would be interesting.
“It is always interesting when people assert that it absolutely one way or the other. There is no middle ground. We see this in politics and we see this in education. I would assert that blended learning, where we absolutely have a teacher, but we also use digital content intelligently, is more powerful than what the reader suggests. Why would we not take the best of both worlds?