Online education advocates have high hopes for what the move from the traditional classroom to the virtual one can do for education. The promises from advocacy groups such as Jeb Bush’s Digital Learning Now initiative are pretty fantastic. Students taking online courses experience personalized learning — anytime/anywhere — from a select pool of great teachers.
Stanford University and Middlebury College have both allowed virtual schools to place their prestigious names on online courses offered to K-12 students. The Wall Street Journal recently published a review of the many successful online education programs, including those supported by Rupert Murdoch’s NewsCorp (the parent company of the WSJ) acquisition, Wireless Generation. The Washington Post ran a guest piece from the founders of the Innosight Institute outlining the path to a 2019 future, where 50% of all K-12 courses are taken online.
Many seem to be on board with this sweeping change of public education that will unshackle students from their desks, and allow the voices of the most gifted teachers to rise above the rest.
Why, then, does this climb to the mountaintop feel more like the Bataan death march?