A neat report ran today on NPR’s All Tech Considered about e-learning during snowy weather. At the core of the story is a high school economics teacher in Indiana whose students are expected to log onto his class even when school is canceled. The current class project has them operating a business selling scarves. In essence, they’re telecommuting.
NPR’s Stan Jaztrzebski interviewed several students to ask their opinion of the format:
“Student Isaac Miller says he and his classmates are so plugged in outside of school that e-learning doesn’t feel that different—though, he admits, it doesn’t work for every class.
‘It’s really tough in like a math class, for the high-level math classes, because some of that stuff you can’t just learn by yourself,’ Isaac says. ‘You have to have the teacher there. You have to be in the classroom.'”
While assigning e-work helps kids make up time they’d otherwise lose at the beginning of their summer break, young Mr. Miller hits at an essential point. If e-learning were really an apt substitute for in-person learning, what would then be the point of going to school at all? The format’s intrinsic flaws ensure that the charm and glee attached to snow cancellations will remain… at least for now.
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