2019-05-03 09.23.57

Read Read by Tony Bates (tonybates.ca)

This series is turning out to be longer than I initially anticipated. In the first three posts I looked at the following possible reasons for online learning:

– Ontario’s strategy to use online learning to ease pressure on high schools
– using online learning to reduce the cost of higher education
– using online education to support disadvantaged students: no online learner left behind.

In this post I want to look at a fourth justification: developing the skills that students will need in a digital society.

📜 Read “Rethinking the purpose of online learning: 4. Developing skills for a digital society”

by Tony Bates

2019-05-02 15.19.42

Read Read “Rethinking the purpose of online learning: 3. Supporting disadvantaged learners” by Tony Bates (tonybates.ca)

This is the third post in a series on rethinking the purpose of online learning. In the first post, I discussed Ontario’s strategy of making it mandatory to take four high school courses/credits online. In the second, I examined Kevin Carey’s claim that online learning could radically reduce the cost of higher education (at least in the USA).

In this post, I want to look at which students do best or worse in online learning, and whether we could be doing a better job supporting ‘weak’ or struggling students.

📜 Read “Rethinking the purpose of online learning: 3. Supporting disadvantaged learners”

by Tony Bates

2019-05-02 14.24.48

Read Read “Rethinking the purpose of online learning: 2. Using online learning to reduce the costs of higher education” by Tony Bates (tonybates.ca)

This is the second of three posts examining the purpose of online and digital learning. In the first post I looked at the government of Ontario’s strategy to require high school students to take four of their 30 credits online.

In this post I examine Kevin Carey’s claim in the Huffington Post that online learning could dramatically reduce the cost of higher education but hasn’t done so yet because of the commercialization of online learning.

📜 Read “Rethinking the purpose of online learning: 2. Using online learning to reduce the costs of higher education”

by Tony Bates

2019-05-02 09.38.23

Read Read by Tony Bates (tonybates.ca)

What is the purpose of online learning?

Online learning has been hitting the headlines recently:
– the Ontario government requiring every high school student to take four online courses out of the 30 high school credits required for an Ontario high school diploma;
– claims that online learning is not appropriate for low income and under-represented minorities
– Kevin Carey’s rant about OPMs and the creeping capitalist takeover of (American) higher education

I have found myself being asked by the media to comment on all these, but underlying each of my responses has been my considerable unease about the gap between some of the claims and the reality on the ground, and above all not knowing the possible motives behind some of the developments we have been seeing. Each of these developments raises questions about the perceived purpose of online or digital learning.

I examine this through three blog posts:
– mandatory online courses in Ontario high schools: good or bad strategy?
– can online learning dramatically reduce the costs of higher education and reduce inequalities in the system?
– beyond access: rethinking the purpose of online learning

📜 Read “Rethinking the purpose of online learning: 1. Ontario’s k-12 initiative”

by Tony Bates