Online learning, the future?

There are a number of free (or nearly  free) online learning sites. I have spent a lot of time on Khan Academy, and it is a great site, but is that the future of education?

There has been a great deal of discussion on MOOCs, both for and against. On this site (jeffbohler.com – Rethinking Education), I would like to enable a discusson on the future of education, the business models that will enable it, the technology and methods that will support it, and other related concerns. I have initiated this discussion with a few of my former students who have graduated recently and have similar interest and questions about the future.

Below is a link to a list of free education sites from www.refseek.com. How many have you tried? What are the good things about each site? What could be better? What is missing from these educational opportunities? Please leave a comment about your thoughts on this very important topic.

A list of Online Learning Sites

 

6 thoughts on “Online learning, the future?”

  1. After 31 years teaching high school physics, this topic is kind of dear to my heart, and I’ll admit a bias. I don’t think Khan Academy or any online learning resource out there (and I admit I haven’t looked at many) can really supplant what I do in the classroom. So far, we are still humans, and I believe that for most things, we learn best from other humans. What I try to do (and on a good day, perhaps succeed in doing) in the classroom is to engage, excite, confuse (temporarily, and on purpose) students, get them to think (yes, “critically”) and share humor and joy with them. That works much better with physical presence, and I’m always trying to “get inside” their heads to figure out what’s tripping them up so I can metaphorically throw them a line to let them pull themselves back out of their confusion. Again, that’s on a good day (and there are some, at least!).

    That said, I have personally learned a great deal on my own, and this has only accelerated with the advent of the internet. There is a big role to be played by online learning, but I don’t think it will (or at least I don’t think it *should*) replace in-person instruction.

    Here’s somebody with a PhD on basically this topic, putting it better than I can:

    https://search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?p=veritasium+this+will+revolutionize+education&ei=UTF-8&hspart=mozilla&hsimp=yhs-002

    1. Thank you for your comment and link. While I tend to agree with your points, the need and the resources to meet those needs may require alternative methods of instruction that can meet the quality of face to face but at a fraction of the cost. What would that looking opportunity look like?

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