by Jim Aird, Student Assistant in the Technology Learning Program Lab
Globally, distance learning is on the rise. Ohio, for example, has a state run selection of online educational options for K-12 and universities. Ohio State educators are very convinced that distance education can narrow the gap and provide a better educational experience for more learners. Florida Virtual School is an amazing model for what K-12 education could be like. FVS arguably employs the most engaging content delivery methods ever seen. Check out what is being developed by 360Ed. MERLOT houses thousands of freely available, on line, peer reviewed content objects to use. The models are out there, the content is out there. So, where is California?
The SF Examiner reports that California is falling behind. “Countries such as Indonesia, Mexico, Singapore, Turkey, India and China, along with the European Union, are taking full advantage of online education.” With all the technology and resources at our disposal in California not only are we failing to lead the charge, but we are mired in 19th century approaches to education and tethered to change resistant lobbies.
At CSU, Chico in the basement of the Meriam Library, work and progress toward expanding opportunities for distance learning happen every day. I am glad to be on board a ship that is heading out into the waters of the future, but who else is on this ship and who would rather see it return to harbor?