Virtual learning etc.

Discussion in 'MKJ Off-Topic' started by TroyBill, Aug 8, 2020.

  1. Virtual learning etc.
    TroyBill

    TroyBill Junior Member


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    I still do a lot of teaching. I have taught at USC, University of WA, UNLV, and Baylor and a few others. I really hate doing virtual learning or virtual teaching. Some big conferences that I was to be teaching at have been cancelled and are going virtual due to covid. I go to the big conferences more to network and reconnect with friends more than anything. I have had to grade presentations and case studies by video. I hate it. I guess I am old fashion and like to do my teaching and learning live. I have seen that this virtual learning during the covid has not been an overwhelming success either. Anyone else have thoughts on this?
     
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  2. Troianus Acies

    Troianus Acies Junior Member


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    Virtual learning over the internet can rapidly become a capital venture. Start an internet school that claims the latest in electronic teaching for your children while they remain comfortably at home. Throw in a few television ads promoting the latest in online schooling from K-12 (just as they do for online colleges) and drum up even more enrollments. This is the most obvious scenario for virtual learning to take place. Later, there can be virtual headsets with learning plans and the home equipment to virtually attend class by wearing the headset and turning on the days lesson plan for you to follow....But, then the ugly problems associated with this scenario crop up.

    Who will be around to interact and or individually supervise the student during any on going lesson?
    Who will be around to actually ensure that the student is attending all learning sessions?
    How will work assignments, homework, if any, or class assignments be handled, graded, recorded or supervised to assure that the student did not have someone else do their work?
    How can the schools enforce drug taking by students deemed to have a learning disability and required to take them?
    What do you do with all of the existing school infrastructure such as, buildings, playgrounds, libraries, audio visual equipment, class computers etc. etc.?
    What do you do and what is your recourse when a student flips you off virtually and tells you to go to hell?
    How do you prevent some young savant from hacking the virtual school website and electronically disrupting the network?
    How do you socialize your child with the same amount of interaction as they would get in a traditional school setting?
    How do you have multiple classes such as Physical education, history, chemistry, biology that require exercise equipment, laboratories, and other items?
    How do you have trade classes for robotics, auto repair, electricians, carpenters, welders, pipe fitters, etc. without the necessary equipment and materials to learn and work with?

    There are so many more things to consider that I would be here until tomorrow listing them.

    I truly believe that virtual classrooms and training will never match the realism of getting up, getting dressed, going to the school location, doing the actual assignment to be turned in for grading, being responsible for the homework to turn in the next day, interacting with all the other children from all races, cultures, religions and backgrounds that is so necessary for socializing an individual and so much more. The act of having to be responsible and on a schedule requiring you to physically and mentally perform on a daily basis builds work ethic, character and so much more, that you cannot get via virtual learning.
     
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  3. TheRealAirbns

    TheRealAirbns Junior Member


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    Until about five years ago, I regularly took classes at local colleges and universities, mostly junior college. I stopped because I hated the trend to online learning and technology. Not just in online classes, but in the way some of the techniques from them bled into in-clalssroom experiences, too.

    The problem is that the pedagogy at the places I attended was all over the map. Some professors required attendance at specific times. Some merely recorded their lectures for viewing, anytime. Some didn't "lecture," much, at all, and simply plopped the slide decks online that textbook book publishers now routinely produce to accompany the books they publish. Some in-classroom teachers would simply flip through those slide decks, too, merely commenting whenever they had a thought that strayed from the deck.

    I had one teacher in an online class who used a program that took over our computer screens, showing his computer's desktop. He required attendance at a specific time, like a regular classroom session, and actually noted who was online with him. But because his software took over our desktops, we couldn't use our computers to take notes. So he'd blithely ramble on for two hours, with four or more windows open on his desktop at the same time, all displaying some different program, flipping back and forth, one to another to another. One had notepad running, where he'd jot down thoughts. Another had a slide deck, etc.. But because he was using a computer, often with pre-prepared material, it was impossible to manually take notes fast enough to keep up. So not only did we have to attend the lecture, but we then had to watch the recording of it, just to take meaningful notes. It was a nightmare, and a huge waste of time.

    As I said, each teacher adopted a different way of teaching, and technology turned out to be a huge pain in the ass for students. It certainly was for me. Virtually every class required a major effort just to work out how to take meaningful notes from the way that particular teacher taught. I absolutely hated it.

    Of course, this was a college experience. What's going on for young children may be quite different. God help them if it isn't.
     
  4. Troianus Acies

    Troianus Acies Junior Member


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    I can assure you that the K-12 would equal your nightmarish sessions with virtual online learning.
     
  5. Area51Trojan

    Area51Trojan Junior Member


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    I have a totally biased view of this as I have been in this space for sometime.

    In the early 2000's I was leading the Cal tech incubator team from my VC to fund technologies and the first one I did was a virtual classroom that came from CERN. The drawback was they were using Internet 2 which just was not practical even with dedicated ISDN.

    Later our backend became licensed to the software many of you use today from Blackboard, WebEx and even Dim Dim which went to Salesforce.com. One of the greatest achievements in my career was in the middle of a 50M raise we had a 85 year old Native American using our software do a portion of our presentation from Chotaw Nation which they thought was a canned presentation until she asked them by name if they had questions.

    I was funded two weeks later.

    It works, expectations have to be managed, everyone needs ample bandwidth, computers and training. But when that is reached it is a worthwhile experience. Would I substitute it for in class sessions? no. However, it was never meant as a full-time replacement of certain situations. Labs etc. However it has opened doors and possibilities never before thought possible. It is a brave new world....
     
  6. TroyBill

    TroyBill Junior Member


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    My biggest problem is I am not as computer competent as many of you younger folks. When I was in practice I dictated most of my notes. When the EMR systems came into play it just killed me off practically. Too many drop down menus and navigating which took too much time and reduced my time with patients. When doing online teaching, often I have to use more than one screen. I only have one. I have to minimize one screen to in order to go to another instead of having two side by side screens. My kids and grandkids are naturals at using this stuff. Me not so much.
     
  7. fssca51

    fssca51 Junior Member

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    I have done some teaching HVAC and math LBCC and LBSU, as a part of my training duties as a division head of an industrial facility, and at a private Christian school where I taught 8th grade science. As an active Coast Guard Auxiliary vessel examiner , I have watched as the Coast Guard's public education programs went from in-class to on-line sessions. I have several observations. 1) Disciplining a class is an essential part of teaching. On-line teaching cannot provide that opportunity for the teacher. 2) A teacher observes progress of individual students in a classroom and can provide individual support as needed. That may be done to some extent on-line but cannot be as effective as it would be in classroom and 3) A teacher, by force of personality, leadership skills and command of subject matter can make a huge difference. That is missing with on-line teaching.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2020
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  8. Troianus Acies

    Troianus Acies Junior Member


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    We just have to be careful how "Brave" this new world really wants to become. Remember lessons of the old saying that the grass is greener on the other side...or the Socialist refrain of Utopia that always ends up as another version of hell on earth.
     

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