Tuesday, December 13, 2011

K12 Education

My honest opinion. It wasn’t the purpose of cyber-school founders to make money on the backs of children. It wasn’t the intent of cyber-school founders to suck money directly from the government teat. They really wanted to improve education. I don’t even think it is the purpose of most people who work at cyber-schools to put profits over people. These sort of things just happen despite the best of intentions.

I read this article on K12.com today. It reminded me, I used to work for a subsidiary of Knowledge Universe Education, I have friends, who are good educators, that still do work for them. I also trained to work for K12 and Agora, also subsidiaries of Knowledge Universe Education.

I didn’t finish the training. I tried but I ran into glitches and couldn't finish without help.  I found it ironic that the training materials emphasised the need for teachers to monitor students closely and how to spot trouble spots early. Then as I had difficulties figuring out what and how to finish the last part of my training I couldn’t find anyone to help me.

At any rate the training course at least covered the basics as far as I was concerned. It just seemed to be more of an independent study program with the simplest form of assessments. You know the kind where they ask a question and you use a word find or a google search to figure out the answer.

In the end I never became a teacher for K12 and I was actually pretty glad I didn't. $12 an hour to be a part-time teacher isn't very exciting. On the other hand the fact that I haven't had money for luxuries such as new underwear isn't very exciting either.

The sad part is I think cyber-schools can and should be a part of the future of education. I think anyone can see how a cyber-school would be great for a motivated learner who wants to move beyond what is taught in school. I can even see how the flexibility of cyber-school could be a benefit for any student.

What I can’t see is:

  • How cyber-schools can improve education for students who don’t want to go to school in the first place.
  • How cyber-schools can help students who need more individualised support not less.
  • How cyber-schools can help students who spend most of their school day avoiding work and hiding from teachers.


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