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Monday, March 19, 2007

Education in the future?

Checking who has linked with this blog lately, (I do that from time to time) I discovered another one owned and written by another educator. This is very encouraging because I see that more and more people in the profession are blogging and opening their ideas on the web. Anyway, her post Homeschooling:Rethinking our Schools and Our Society caught my attention immediately for it spurred an idea in me. I wanted to add a comment but her blog is exclusively for friends as readers have to log in. At any rate, what would schools be like in the future considering the availability and capabilities of technology?

In her article, she talks about her preference of having her child homeschooled. She informs us that more and more children are being educated through this process. So, too, does she give famous names who had been homeschooled and made it to the top.

I think homeschooling is not a far-fetched scenario given the extent of what technology can do today. For example, whereas we have to buy volumes of encyclopedia before just to get an idea on a certain topic, the same can be had with just a click on your mouse.

Let me take you further. As I envision it, our concept of what a school is will dramatically change in the near future. Schools as we know it will become obsolete. While there may still be a building we call a school, we will have no more classrooms per se but several roomful of computers where a teacher is assigned to each while the learers stay at home. Instructions will be in the form of modules and will be individualized for each learner who, in turn, will be more independent. Since progress will be up to the learner, the slow learners will be spared of the humilliation of being left by his/her peers for after all, there is no direct contact with them.

What this means is that a child no longer has to face the dangers of going to school; being run over by a vehicle while crossing the streets, the hassles of commuting to and fro' being kidnapped, be confronted by bullies, playing hooky :-) or whatever... that also means less expenses for baon, miscillaneous expenses, grouchy teachers, etc. (No more suspension of classes during typhoons provided there is electric current) All they have to do is to log in to a site, open their lesson and learn. This may also mean that we can go global. Enrol our kids to schools anywhere in the world. Ah, the possibilities are just limitless.



Blogger NOYPETES said...

Home schooling is fine. My Concern with home schooling is the lack of social interaction among peers which is very important in honing a childs independence to coexist in a society. I think some of the patterns in teaching fundamentals should be retained. I agree that the convenience of the IT or world wide web serves it's purpose well but in so many ways looses the intimate setting of learning with other kids and the full personal presence of a teacher. Just my .02 opinion.

Ex. No more class re-unions in the future.

5:11 AM  
Blogger ipanema said...

I think in other countries it is allowed. One of the girst bloggers I know home-schooled her children and they came out top of the state exams. One even topped the whole country's.

I can see where noypetes is coming from also. There's truth in it.

I think it really depends on how the child can cope with society once they go out and how parents prepare them.

5:47 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

noypetes that is the usual comment on homeschooling and the like. Syempre, less contact time with peers if ever.

Class reunions will have to change, too. Baka EB na ang tawag.

Ipanema I still believe that it is not in the school. It always depend on the learner. Yun nga lang, mas malaki ang advantage ng nakapag-aral sa magandang school because of the resources available.

9:32 AM  
Blogger NOYPETES said...

The typical Pinoy tradition of "Pakisuyo" among relatives, friends and neighbors will apply to home schooling in the P.I.

"Ay naku mare, walang natu-tutunan ang mga anak ko sa eskuwelahan nila! Puwede bang isama ang mga anak ko sa mga anak mo sa "Home School" ninyo? Tutal magaling ka namang guro sa mga anak mo at balita ko ay malaki daw ang pinagbago ng mga greyd ng mga anak mo! Sige na naman mare..plis lang tulungan mo naman ang mga anak ko na ina-anak mo rin!":-)

11:03 PM  
Blogger watson said...

Oh yes Tito Rolly. Actually this is already being done to some extent in other countries. Called distance learning, technology enables virtual classrooms to happen, mostly through videoconferencing and interactive boards.

Although it also makes me wonder that, in the absence of social interaction with their own peers, how would kids be able to develop emotionally and socially?

12:43 PM  
Blogger kat said...

like noypetes and ipanema suggested, one big detriment to home-schooling is the social aspect of learning. you also learn from your peers and from on-going interactions with classmates and teachers.

a balance of the two would be ideal if you were to choose the home-schooling route. but i think nothing beats the classroom experience, especially in college where just listening to other's opinions can be so enlightening.

seeing it typed on a screen is just not the same thing.

and like you said, it also depends on the learner. one can be a in a top school and not do well and one can be home-schooled and excel (and vice versa).

12:28 AM  
Blogger BatJay said...

at work, we're actually doing classes on-line already for product training. the costs are lower because the students don't need to travel anymore. we do it in 1 hour modules, as you've said.

does it work? yes.

but you lose something even as you gain these advantages - there's no more face time, which i think is very important.

6:43 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

noypetes hehe typical scenario which happens all the time here.

Watson Yes, as a matter of fact, I am in an online university called Writersvillage.com. Masaya!

Siguro naman they'd find a way to address this issue. I'm sure they had thought about it a lot.

batjay I know it works but yun na nga, what about the social skills which is very important, no?

8:52 AM  
Anonymous bayi said...

Like Noypetes, my first reaction regarding homeschooling is the lack of social interaction, which is very much an integral part of social education. We see an increasing number of students today who are unable to interact appropriately with their peers because they spend many hours of their leisure in front of their computers at home. Interaction with peers in team games are actually simulated scenarios of teamwork in real life.

Homeschooling would be better if there is a teacher to talk to the students. If there is total reliance on the computer, we will end up with a society of impersonal workers with minimal warmth and empathy.

I have fond memories of my childhood education. I wonder what the students can have in this respect if they rely too much on the computer. Sentiments of their first computer used for lessons?

10:06 AM  
Blogger auee said...

If this becomes the norm (disregarding the lack of socialisation), then Pinas will surely lose if our education funding and system don't improve in real-time.

Also the gap between the have's and have-not's will only deepen and widen. Considering we still have barrios' which don't have computers, then the kids in those areas will be severely disadvantaged.

A friend of mine said, publishing books will be obsolete soon. Then we've heard of the "paperless society" but working for software houses in the last 10 years, IT companies are the most wasteful of the lot. Afterall how can you read 500pages worth of specifications online without getting bug-eyed? Off topic na.

I'm just saying it's a nice idea and to some extent (open U) it is applicable, but I don't see my future grandchildren benefiting from this concept any time soon.

6:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with noypetes, bayi and the others that the biggest
disadvantage of home-schooling is that it lacks/does not encourage
social interaction. I have noticed, for instance, that my students who
have better people skills are more successful than those who are more
intelligent but can't socialize, are introverts or are poor when it
comes to teamwork.

Perhaps the remedy is to have these home-schooled children meet
somewhere to interact with each other or with friends and/or

With modern technology, I can even foresee parents choosing some
modules for online learning especially on topics with which they
aren't familiar. In fact, that is one of the things that I am
dreaming of - to be able to teach online and reach more students. :)

I also think that home-schooling can include a few other children
(like noypetes said "makikisuyo"). In this way, there will be other
children with whom to interact; at the same time, because there are
very few students (maybe 4 to 8?), teaching is more individualized.
My own classrooms had only an average of 14 students and this size
benefited both my students and me - easier to handle, personalized
teaching and closer and better teacher-student relationship.

I wonder what CHED will say ... remember my post about their policy
that prohibited free tutorials unless registered with them?


3:56 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

Kat I, too, believe there's a big disadvantage to homeschooling. It will remain as an alternative until this concern is addressed.

Bayi I think having a teacher monitor a student's progress is not the problem. The real problem is the lack of association with their peers.

Maybe an EB of some sort once a month?

Auee Yes, I forgot to mention the economic condition of the country. That plays a major role.

Bugsy Another observation I tend to agree with. Nerds become too idealistic and sometimes snobbish they don't listen to their peers. Or something to that effect. People with more social skills tend to be happier and more successful in life.

4:26 AM  
Blogger stani said...

hello sir rolly this is a bit non-sequitur, but i noticed just today that the blog your are linking to in my name has been defunct as of last january. you can find me now at either busy-signal.blogspot.com or call-waiting.blogspot.com (photoblog).

my take on home-schooling is not that positive actually. i consider schooling to be experience in social engineering, rather thank knowledge gathering. if everyone were to be home-schooled, they may lack the soft-skills necessary to survive the politics of the work environment.

also, there's only so much a computer can offer, even with our current technology. think of it as the difference between watching a movie you've just downloaded, or watching it in a moviehouse with your barkada.

in the end, it all boils down to what you're willing to sacrifice to customize the education process for each student. for me experience, not logic, remains the better teacher.

11:22 AM  
Blogger samantha said...

Sir rolly :D
I happen to agree with the aforementioned comments regarding homeschooling. I agree with them that there are many things mutually exclusive to formal learning institutions. Homeschooling raises too many red flags on social skills, standards, peer learning, etc. As much as it would be ideal to say that there are ways to mitigate the problems that arise with homeschooling, I don't think that is going to happen. I think that at best the accelerating progress of technology will reinforce formal learning institutions but I doubt that it would replace them altogether.

4:23 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

Stani I think there is no better teacher tahn experience.

Okay, I will change the link in my side panel. HOw are you? Have you graduated yet?

Samantha How are you, as well? Where are you studying now?

Right now, technology is being used to upgrade education already. Not replacing formal education? Don't bet on it. Nothing is certain in this world. It might be a long time coming but it may. We'll just have to learn how to cope. Probably...

9:42 PM  
Blogger samantha said...

Hey Sir :D
I'm actually studying at U.P. Diliman right now. I suppose in a way you're right. If there's anything I've learned in UPD its that nothing is absolute. I suppose I enjoy the whole school experience so much that I can't imagine anyone wanting to replace that with sitting in front of a computer. Anyhow, I enjoyed dropping by your blog again!

2:10 PM  
Anonymous julie said...

Hi! I have been blog hopping to your site every now and then but it is just now that I am leaving a comment. So sorry it is even late.

About homeschooling, I have been considering that too, for my 5yo son not only because of health reasons (he has asthma) but also because he is a bit advance for his age (does multiplication and division)and would probably be bored, or worse, regress his present level if he attends a class according to his age. Or, he may not be able to cope emotionally when with older children. I believe academics is not the only reason why children go to school but with his skills, I want nothing better than to hone these, and for him to put these to good use. Of course, I know and I believe that nothing beats experiencing school. We are still weighing the pros and cons. As it is, he is already late for school. Hah, me being a teacher doesn't reflect too well on me if my son is not in school yet (according to some people I've talked with).

Sorry for the long post. :)

2:30 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

julie That was not long :-)

Post your ideas away anytime no matter how short or long they are. Well, i just hope the comments here have somehow helped you consider what is best for your child.

7:16 AM  
Anonymous stef said...

Hi Tito Rolly! I haven't been here in a while, what a surprise to see you talking about homeschooling! I'd like to specifically address the "problem" of socialization. We've been homeschooling for a total of 9 years now (our eldest is 16) so I think I am qualified enough to be discussing this.

You guys don't know me from Adam (Eve?) but I hope you'll consider what I say -- that socialization is NOT a problem *just because* you're homeschooling.

#1 is you need to define what "socialization" means to you. Is it being exposed to other people? Being able to discuss? Knowing how to play with, get along with, avoid/fix arguments? These are all skills that can be learned IN or OUT of the classroom. And these are skills that one can fail to learn EVEN WITHIN the traditional schooling scenario.

For one, socialization is built into homeschooling, *naturally*. When I say naturally -- I mean, the person you would interact with the most would be your parents and siblings. Which is how every single person learns how to interact with the world first. If you can't get along with your siblings, how do you get along with friends? If you don't know learn how to respect authority (part of socialization) at home first, how are you supposed to learn it outside the home?

I think the misunderstanding begins with the assumption that these kids do nothing all day but interact with a computer or online, or read books, or do worksheets, etc. This is *not* the typical homeschooler's life AT ALL. There is no limit to the richness one can provide to a child's education, especially parents that truly care about their kids' future -- and most homeschooling parents I know DO care.

Another thought: are ALL kids who go to school "socialized"? Because if that were the case, we wouldn't have anti-social people, or criminals, or drug addicts (except in homeschooling circles).... because all the people who went to school would have been "socialized properly". Therefore we have to conclude that a traditional school education is not the prerequisite to positive interaction/socialization.

Hehehe.... re class reunions? I'm sooo thankful my kids won't have to deal with that. Honestly, what happens at class reunions? Let's see who's driving what now, or who married whom, or how much that person is making, or what designer clothing he/she is wearing now... I'd rather my kids get together with other kids who will lift them up, see them as people instead of price tags. Not saying that's always the case, but it does happen, right?

The "no contact with peers" problem is almost virtually non-existent. Have you checked out homeschoolers' blogs? If you did you'd see just how much "out in the world" they are. We go to plays, to the theaters, to the museum, we have co-op classes, ballet, baseball, art classes, etc. Sky's the limit, ika nga. When kids pursue projects, they interview professionals, apprentice at car repair shops and bakeries, they travel, they put up their own businesses, etc. It's not a deprived lifestyle at all, far from it.

Anyway, didn't mean to hog your comment box. As you can tell I'm really passionate about this. There are a lot of misconceptions there about homeschooling, I hope I've shed some light on them. Feel free to stop by my blog anytime and bug me about it. I think any Pinoy who wants a great education for their child should at least consider homeschooling as a viable option -- don't be scared by other people's concerns, kasi baka may hindi lang kayo nakikita or nalalaman na solusyon or impormasyon. The way homeschooling right now is in the Phils., that's just the tip of the iceberg! And it's not all about technology either, so don't think it's not an option for those who "can't afford". There is more than one way to skin the cat. PLEASE contact me if you have any questions. I'd be happy to help!

10:28 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

stef Thank you for joining in the discussion. Too bad that it's a little late. The very few regulars here seldom/if not at all, dig in the archives.
Having experienced homeschooling yourself, you could have provided for a very good discussion on the subject. Oh well...

I agree to what you said at a certain extent. I think the problem with discussions like this is that we tend to generalize. Will homeschooling not develop a child's social skills? With your experience, it does. However, your children are lucky because 1.) They have other siblings, which I assume, are almost of the same age. 2.) their parents are competent and have the time.

What about an only child? With whom will he/she interact other than those he/she meets on the web? I believe there is a difference between knowing someone via the screen and someone you get to meet everyday. I believe the interaction is different.

What about those whose parents are not as educated? Or those who do not have time? Right now, we see the proliferation of daycare centers because both parents are trying to earn a living.

As you said,

Another thought: are ALL kids who go to school "socialized"? Because if that were the case, we wouldn't have anti-social people, or criminals, or drug addicts (except in homeschooling circles).... because all the people who went to school would have been "socialized properly".

There are no definite answers! We can only guess and right now, because a child is with more people of his/her own age in a traditional set-up, people tend to think that it is more likely for him/her develop his social skills. That's all there is to it.

So, I guess that the question of whether or not homeschooling provides for the development of social skills will never be a certainty in the same way that it is not certain that traditional education will.

All I am saying in this post, anyway, is that soon, homeschooling will be an open option and that traditional education may soon be extinct. Who knows, huh? When that happens, you're lucky! You've had a very good headstart ;-)

5:04 PM  

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