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Thursday, August 15, 2019

The downsides of online learning | Opinion - mySA

Rafael Castillo, who teaches English and humanities at Palo Alto College writes, Individualized learning at home is clearly a convenience for students, but actual learning occurs between social negotiation, doing problem-solving in small groups, and navigating interpersonal life-skills.  

Online kindergarten readiness programs are pitched as ways to close the achievement gap, even as wealthier families place their children in play-based early childhood settings with limited screen time.
One of the paradoxical issues with online classes is the majority of students learn in isolation when they should be learning collaboratively.

Just the click of a mouse and a visual display of technicolor patterns and lists of intriguing questions takes the learner through a maze of obstacles without face-to-face contact or verbal communication. But it’s a fallacy to assume online classes are for everyone.

The national proliferation of online degrees should give parents pause to reflect: “Do I really want Muffy viewing the latest brouhaha between cosmetic kingpin James Charles versus Tati Westbrook on her cell phone, while she’s doing her math online?” Of course not...

Screen-Free Parenting, an internet site for savvy parents, points out, “We have started to see a shift in the conversations about the digital divide in the United States.” It also cites a “Screenagers documentary” making the rounds among parenting circles warning, “when those shiny laptops head home, children’s grades in reading and math go down. When high-speed internet access is provided to an area that previously did not have it, research shows the same thing: academic achievement declines.”

Source: mySA