Today, I read an article by the Globe and Mail titled, Canadian schools falling behind in online learning, report says. I work in a small rural town where providing access to a variety of senior courses is challenging. We are asking a lot of questions and working toward a variety of options for quality programming for our students. Money is often the problem. We can’t run a class for 5 students. They still should have the right to an education in this small town.
Technology offers an array of exciting options where they wouldn’t otherwise exist. But technology is just a tool. In our rush to join the 21st century, we can’t forget the importance of relationships between teachers and students, that we learn best when we learn together, that educators need to understand where students come from. I worry politicians think that technology will make education more cost-effective. I think the 21st Century education that we really need will take more educators supporting fewer students whether that is online or not. While smart phones can be helpful, what we really need in every school is a sophisticated media lab or two and a fast internet connection. I don’t see more funding pouring into schools.
Students have a right to public, funded, quality education that will prepare them for the 21st Century. Are we falling behind on that?