ALL THE RESEARCH THAT I HAVE READ GIVES ME THE UNDERSTANDING THAT TECHNOLOGY IS A GREAT TOOL FOR STUDENTS AND EDUCATORS; HOWEVER, WHY IS THE STUDENT IN COMPLETION RATES SO HIGH? WHY IS IT THAT STUDENTS' LEARNING ONLINE DROP-OUT FASTER THAT REGULAR CLASSES?

WE ARE TAUGHT THAT CREATING AS POSITIVE STUDENT EMPOWERMENT AND INTERACTION WITH TECHNOLOGY WILL SUFFICE. I HAVE YET TO SEE THAT ONLINE LEARNING MODELS STIMULATE INTRINSICALLY STUDENTS TO EFFECTIVELY LEARN THE SUBJECT CONTENTS .

MOREOVER, MY EXPERIENCE SO FAR, IS THAT THE MAJORITY OF STUDENTS HAVE BEEN SOCIALIZED WITH TECHNOLOGY, BUT DON'T UNDERSTAND THE TRUE POTENTIAL OF LEARNING ONLINE?

AM I WRONG? PLEASE SHARE, IAN

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Good comments, Thank you,,,Ian
So much to talk about and I'm happy to share, Ian.

Start with "technology is a great tool." Yes it is, but like any tool, you need to use it and use it effectively. There are millions of teachers with "technology" in their classrooms that they don't understand, and don't use. There's even more technology in their classrooms that they don't even recognize as technology. Having a lamp in the room won't shed a lot of light if you never turn it on, or turn it on and don't let anybody near it. And it's nigh on impossible to assess the effectiveness of light on learning if you don't recognize that a kerosene lantern is a light, too.

Moving on to the non sequitur on drop out rates. I think students are dropping out because the historic disconnect between what students believe about the education they're being subjected to and what the adults are trying to convince them of is greater than at any time in modern history. The "get a diploma so you can get a better job" promise has been ringing more and more hollow with each passing decade since *I* was in school in the 60s. Cynical youth is calling the world's bluff. I'm not sure they're not right. Even teachers are having serious discussions on the relevance of Education. If we don't believe it, how can we expect students to?

As for online students dropping out "faster" ... This is the first I've heard that. I've always heard that student retention in online courses is substantially lower -- fewer finish online courses than classroom based ones -- but I've never seen any statistics to indicate they drop out sooner.

I do believe that many online teachers have problems with retention rates, largely because they don't know how to use the tools to engage the students. I've been teaching online for several years now and I find that students drop out of my courses primarily because they didn't understand the time commitment necessary in an online course often exceeds that required by classroom instruction. Many of them think that it'll be easier because it's online. My courses generally lose about 10% of the students in a semester for that reason. If I can get them thru the second week, they almost never drop.

On the subject of being "taught that creating as [sic] student empowerment and interaction with technology will suffice," I'm not sure who's teaching you this. It seems oddly incomplete ... Suffice for what? Your observation that learning models fail to stimulate students is a good one. I'd not limit that to "online learning models." Learning models don't stimulate anybody. It's possible that applying a few good learning models in appropriate ways might help create experiences that would encourage learning, but I agree with you on the efficacy of figuratively laying a learning model in the middle of the floor and expecting students to learn anything.

As for students understanding the true potential of learning online, I'm not sure I agree there. I know an awful lot of students who learn a great deal online. My own kids learn much more online than they do in the classroom -- anecdotal evidence at best, I know, but I think indicative that students know perfectly well how to learn what they want to learn online and they're very, very good at learning it.

The breakdown is that I don't think most teachers understand the true potential of teaching online and as a result they rely on classroom based strategies and patterns to inform their online teaching, and when it breaks down, assume there's something wrong with the technology -- or the students. Generally speaking, cars don't float, boats don't fly, and airplanes go really slow on the ground. It's the same thing trying to compare classroom and online teaching. What works in the classroom doesn't necessarily work online and vice versa but very few teachers have ever been taught how to learn online, let alone teach there.

That's my take on it, Ian. Hope you find it helpful.
Excellent feedback....Thank you, ian

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