Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Online K-12

I have a problem with this:

In its latest foray into higher education, K12 Inc. has teamed up with George Washington University to launch a fully online private prep school for high schoolers.

The partnership between a major research university and the virtual education company aims to bring higher quality curriculum and online classes to students around the world as well as to allow George Washington University and the Herndon, Va.-based K12 Inc., to conduct research on curriculum development and instruction in online learning environments, said Bruce Davis, the executive vice president of worldwide business development for K12 Inc., which operates online public schools in 25 states.

Here s some of the advertising claptrap the program's website is hawking:

GWUOHS college preparation is all-encompassing, helping students with every aspect of the college selection, application, and matriculation process including:

* Student portfolios
* College selection
* Test prep for SAT, ACT
* Top-tier college visits
* College representative sessions
* Application completion and submission
* Teacher recommendations
* Application essays and personal statements
* Scholarship applications
* Financial aid
* Preparing for college life

Counselors engage in personalized coaching, offering the kind of tailored advice that only results from forming a close relationship with each student. Counselors work with students and their families to understand goals, the financial situation, academic performance, extracurricular interests, geographical preferences and constraints, career interests, and special talents. This provides them with a holistic overview, enabling them to provide customized support to every student.

In addition to online college fairs, virtual visits by college admissions officers and tours of college campuses, GWUOHS students will have the opportunity to meet with a representative from the George Washington University Undergraduate Admissions Office.

What the hell is a "virtual visit" by a college admissions officer?

You know, in the old days, they used to call that "Hey - somebody's emailing you!"

Now it's a virtual visit.

As for the personalized coaching and counseling, again, this stuff is being done ONLINE. Just how personalized a coaching or counseling session can you get ONLINE?

Here's more claptrap:

Every Journey Starts with a First Step

The Journeys Symposium is a unique four-year sequence that takes students through a journey of self-discovery, leading to a fulfilling high school experience and a successful college placement. It also provides students with a framework for living life well. The Journeys Symposium emphasizes four core elements:

* Immersion in Self-Awareness
Here students will explore and evaluate their personal interests, habits, and preferences through exercises and guided experiences that will give them greater self-insight and provide a starting point for their journey. Part of this “immersion in self-awareness” is an assessment of their learning styles and needs. Each student emerges with a concrete set of goals as well as an initial college search plan.
* Team and Community
Here students learn how to incorporate their newfound self-awareness into the realm of team and community. Students will experience and reflect on the dynamics that lead to healthy team action and community living. Each student receives hands-on, direct community service experience—including an analysis and inventory of what was gained and given in that experience—providing a blueprint for future team and community work.
* Stewardship and Generational Awareness
Here students take their sense of self-awareness and sense of community/social awareness and begin to build—and tell—their own unique story. We devote time to developing the understanding that each person adds a chapter to the whole human story. The primary goal is to craft a capstone personal essay that will be used as the student’s all-important college essay.

You know, that all sounds great - if it were happening in the REAL world with REAL people in a REAL classroom on a REAL campus in a REAL community.

When it is happening in a VIRTUAL world ONLINE, there is an emotional and spiritual disconnect that renders a lot of the community building and personal interaction VIRTUALLY non-existent.

Humans evolved in the REAL world through AUTHENTIC social and emotional interactions.

For anyone to think that the above kind of program can work solely ONLINE with no ACTUAL human interaction FACE-TO-FACE, they're either in need of a lot of therapy work or they're in it for the money.

In the case of some of the people promoting this stuff as the future of education - like Joel Klein and Bill Gates - it's both.

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