Distance Learning

After learning more about distance learning though Oak Meadow’s program, in addition to what I have experienced in my own college years, I do not have a great impression of the concept as a whole.  Oak Meadow has a curriculum set up that essentially resembles a normal weekend day for a student.  For grades k-4, they encourage “much healthy activity and movement,” which seems to me like the normal routine of a child of k-4th grade anyway.  In addition to this, the main goals of early grades like kindergarten and first grade is to learn how to interact with peers in a social, safe, and appropriate way.  When a child is home schooled and exclusively sees his or her family on a daily basis, reaching the level of social interaction that a student in a class of 20 kids has is simply not possible.  Ensuring this social interaction is essential in developing both communication skills and greater problem solving strategies.  Additional disadvantages of home schooling are provided in the following article:

http://www.homeschool-companion.com/disadvantages-of-homeschooling.html

In my own experience of distance learning, I found a disconnect between the students and the professor.  I took a theology class through providence college over winter break, and saw that the professor took a backseat role in the students’ learning.  The extent to which she taught was limited to simply assigning readings to be used to write a series of three essays, then grading those essays.  Even in her grading, she failed to form a connection with the students in the class.  She assigned rather arbitrary grades and left little feedback to support them.  Because of this class, I plan to steer clear of distance learning in the future.  I find it incredibly more useful to pay and take a class in which you are able to form a real connection with the teacher and are able to listen to each other in a verbal way.  Often times ideas are confused or missing though written text.

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