Sunday, Sept. 13, 2009 | I’m currently taking online classes, but at the university level to finish up the final electives for my journalism degree. It was the only way for me to live in San Diego and complete my schooling at a Canadian university (Concordia in Montreal). For me, it’s ok because I’m self-motivated and can put aside the time necessary to study, do the readings and get good grades. It is weird though, to be “taught” and graded by T.A.s (teaching assistants) or a computer, and I never have contact with the professor. A professor is named and listed as teaching the class, but we never have contact with him or her.

At this level, not the end of the world.

But at a grade school level? I feel one of the biggest and most enriching parts of being in school was physically being there, going to class and interacting with the teachers and students. I learned so much outside the classroom that way and limiting students to a computer screen and “teachers” they never meet just doesn’t cut it, especially when they’re having trouble. I’m glad it seems to be working for many, but I feel that if a child is having trouble and can’t pass a class the first time, they need more interaction with the teacher and one-on-one help, not less.

Thanks for writing about this. I don’t think many people even consider “digital” classes as a possibility for kids at that age.

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