And what a boon it is for the kiddies! No one to bother them with conversation, or, I don’t know, human activity, of any sort… Just left all alone in their rooms… For years and years and years…

Some old bugger from Boulder – Boulder! tree-hugger city! – wonders how many internet internees “survive the boredom and isolation of school on a laptop” and actually graduate (their cyber-keepers make drop-out stats hard to get). He reviews the scandals that occur when teachers are air traffic controllers and administrators hedgies.

Like a lot of people, this guy is beginning to notice the class-based nature of school on a laptop.

Slick TV ads and corporate hucksters would have us believe the online school can teach even better than the best traditional elementary and secondary schools the nation has to offer. Yeah, right. The day that Phillips Exeter Academy replaces its teachers with laptops is the day I might start to believe them.

More and more people realize that online school represents a perfect 1%/99% matchup – it makes the first group even richer, and keeps the second group in the pointless nothingness which is its lot in life.

See the images on the Exeter website? This is how I spend my day, says the featured student. Out and about in nature with my buddies, and then engrossed in fascinating classroom discussion… This is the best education possible, and your public school will in various ways of course fall short of it. But your cyber school? LOL.

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3 Responses to ““The number of kids whose entire school experience is on a laptop on the kitchen table has topped 250,000 and is headed toward a half million in the next few years.””

  1. superdestroyer Says:

    The comparison between home-schooled children of computers to Exeter is a lousy comparison and would probably rate a lousy grade if one of your own students made it.

    The comparison is between home schooling and attending some 4000 student mega high school where students shuffle between classes. The students at the top of such schools succeed but most of just lost in the shuffle.

    It is like your comparisons between non-traditional colleges and the Ivy League when the real comparison should be between non-traditional college and third-tier failure factories.

  2. Margaret Soltan Says:

    superdestroyer: I wasn’t talking about home schooling. Home schooling is a whole other thing. I was talking about corporate-run, for-profit, cyber-exclusive, in-house education. I think the comparisons I’m making are reasonable ones.

  3. david foster Says:

    Why is it automatically an abuse that essays are graded in India? I’m sure it wouldn’t be very hard to find quite a few Indians whose English abilities exceed those of the bottom 50% of US public school teachers. The graders in this case may or may not be competent, but simply stating that they are in India doesn’t resolve the question automatically.

    “Students emailing a question to their “teacher”— often an uncertified “teacher’s assistant”— may get an answer a day or two later by return email”….someone who believes that the certification status of a teacher is a strong indicator of their quality loses a lot of credibility with me.

    I note that this guy works for a school of education. These institutions have plenty to answer for regarding the poor performance of American K-12 schooling in recent decades.

    There is indeed a danger that for-profit schools will fall under the influence of fast-buck artists, but there is no automatic moral superiority to “non-profit” organizations, as the behavior of the Blob that dominates our public schools continues to demonstrate. Not all hucksters are “corporate hucksters”.

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