I respect Larry Cuban a lot. I’m
disappointed nervous about his most recent post. Not because of what he has to say, but because he is a guy who knows the history of technology in schools very well. So when he says that online schools are coming,he is probably right. (Yes, I know online schooling is not new, but he is talking about a much larger scale).
Larry talks about the hype cycle, but I think online schooling might be more problematic than previous technologies. When each classroom was outfitted with a TV, the teacher could choose to use the TV or not. When all schools go online, the teacher will have to teach online. Yet, as any techno-enthusiast will note (when sufficiently pushed against a wall) we need balance. Ya, that is true, but it’s hard to have balance between digital and non-digital instruction when school takes place online. When we get to the “trough of disillusionment” it will be too late – you can’t simply ignore the fact that your school is now online.
Oh, and don’t give me any BS about an effective teacher would have students doing science experiments in their homes. AHHHH! Maybe that is true, but an effective teacher can’t then notice an anomaly and ask just the right question at just the right time to stimulate that child’s interest and push their thinking deeper than if the student simply followed the directions.
We need to stop being led down this rabbit hole. Unfortunately, the siren call is coming from within. When you believe technology makes you a better teacher, you fall a bit further. YOU are what make you a good teacher. If you can’t teach well without digital technology, I am willing to bet large sums of money that you aren’t a very good teacher with digital technology.
Stop letting the Bill Gates’ of the world decide what our school should look like.
(end of rant, but no apologies)