As many Chinese parents have tried to give their children a head start, online education services, with their relatively cheap prices, are mushrooming across the country. What do you think? Should this mode of teaching be encouraged?
Online education is not new. It has been found effective in many countries where access to schools is difficult. It is very effective where it is used properly and provided by reputable and professional companies and teachers. It lacks the opportunity for social learning of course, but in most systems there are weekend, summer and winter "camps" where students can arrange to meet and interact with others as part of the courses. Such education is valuable in China for remote learning in inaccessible regions.
In other countries, companies offering online learning have to be inspected and certified as reputable and to ensure they meet required standards. Unfortunately China lacks this and there are now many companies and individuals who only want to make money from the inadequate and poor courses they offer. This has always been so here with private schools teaching very bad English, but now the internet has opened this up to a virus of cheaters.
Technology is a tool for professional teachers to use, and not a solution. Teaching is a profession and should not be just a poorly paid job, as it is in China. Turn teaching into a proper profession instead of spending money on vast amounts of technology.
I've taught online, and it was a terrible experience for me as well as for the students. In a real classroom, hands shoot up, students shout out questions, argue with each other and with me. I'm able to quickly correct misconceptions, gauge who's getting the material and who's not without waiting for their formal papers, etc. And what about socialization? Test scores are not good indicators of knowledge acquirement, merely of memorization. Computers are making us less thoughtful, more willing to skim along the surface of things. Deep learning does not occur in a virtual world, but in a real one.
I find that children today spend less and less time playing outdoors than we did when we were young. We have the technology to enable us to teach students to learn with an amazing variety of resources but I do hope not at the expense of losing their childhood.
I think education is not about learning or gathering only textbook knowledge. It's about communicating with others, discussing, group work etc. Online education means distance education. At present it is significantly spread all over the world. It has some good results too. But I like face to face education. It helps a student to build up his or her mental and physical strength besides textbook knowledge.
It really boils down to what kind of learner you are. If you are a self-motivated student, and can manage your own time online learning is for you. So long as you have the ability to learn on your own.
Online schools offer students with customized learning and help them gain access to courses that may not be provided in their assigned school. This is one of the primary reasons for the increased demand in online learning. Online learning is providing new options for kids and more choices for parents.
Source: China Daily