i The Dangers of Online Education | College Writing: Debate(s) In Higher Education
31. October 2016 · Comments Off · Categories: Blog Post 2

Mark Molitor

The Dangers of Online Education

In recent years, education has taken a huge leap towards trying to become more technological.  Larger state schools are trying to head towards more online education program.  Computers are beginning to become distractions for students more than educational tools for success.  People get a computer for school so they can do school work that is needed for the classes, not for distraction from school work.  The classroom community is being taken away by the idea of online education.  Creating relationships with others cannot be done in front of a computer screen.  Online education is a hit or miss when it comes to certain people.  Some people understand how to learn online and some do not.  People who do not grasp on to online education usually just try to find a way to pass the class than actually learning something.  Their computers become more like an answer search tool than a resource for education.  Online education should not be allowed in or outside the classroom with a few exceptions.

            Online education is reducing student learning.  This article explains how detrimental computers can be to a learning environment.  People are not focused when learning on a computer.  Students constantly find themselves looking at social media, watching funny videos, etc. when they are supposed to be doing school work.  In my chemistry class as a sophomore in high school, I had to complete homework on the computer, and I was constantly looking at sports articles or watching videos on YouTube.  When I actually was using the computer to do homework, I found myself looking up all the answers I did not know instead of looking in my textbook or notes.  Having the computer was more than a helpful tool, it is almost the same as stealing the answers from the teacher.  People have access to so much technology that they rely on it more than doing school work and using the materials offered by a teacher (textbook, notes, handouts, etc.).  Instead of using the computers to do the work that is given, most people are using the computers as a distraction.

Educational institutions and educators are taking away the social aspect of the classroom atmosphere.  Having the ability to hear from peers in the class and being able to listen to the teacher in person is a helpful tool for a learning environment.  In, “The Trouble with Online Education”, Edmunson states that a memorable college class is a collaboration between teacher and students.  I have always found it easier to learn when I can ask my teacher or classmates around me for help instead of having to email my teacher and wait for an answer.  Plus, the answer may not come right away, which is never helpful, and if I do not get answer from my teacher, I do not know anyone in my class to ask for help.  Building a connection with people is a part of college, and by taking the classroom setting away from students is just making it easier to lose that connection.  Meeting people is an important aspect of college, and it is hard to do that when everyone will be locked on a computer screen in their bedroom.

Online education is not for everyone.  Some people get into the idea that they never have to go and sit through a class, and some have a tough time learning information where no one is there to ask for help when questions arise.  A college course should create intellectual joy that everyone should enjoy.  I believe that online courses diminish the joy of taking class.  Students and even teachers are finding themselves lonelier than educated.  I have had to learn lessons online during my Spanish classes every once and a while during high school, and they did not help me understand the material better.  If anything, it made me more confused.  Since I was more confused, I would look up answers I instead of doing the work to find the answers.  I would complete the assignment, but I would not understand or learn anything from doing the assignment, which it was meant to do.

Most people who take online courses do so from home.  So, if they had a question to a certain topic in the course, the only way they could get help from the instructor of the course is via email.  The email could be answered within five minutes or it could take as long as a whole day.  I personally would not like to finally find out the answer to the question I had the next day when the question is not fresh in my mind.  Even students in regular college classes may email a teacher for help, but if they do not receive help they can always look to someone in their class also.  Online education may seem like a great idea until that first question arises.

Online education should not be the primary source of education.  Classroom setting education should be the way that classes are taught to students.  Relationships are built in classrooms, with teachers and other students.  Who knows, someone might meet their best friend in one of their classes.  I met my best friend at “school” in a “classroom,” not through the Internet.  Students being able to learn from someone who had to learn the same material helps since they understand that material can be confusing at times.  Understanding what a computer is there for is also an important point that many students need to know.  Lastly, if online education is not for everyone, people should not be forced to take it.  There needs to be options for people that would rather be taught in a classroom setting than in front of a computer screen.  Most people believe that if the world is becoming more technologically advanced, then so should education.  However, there is also people that say, “if it’s not broke, then don’t fix it.”


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