Should computers be the focus of all activity? They can certainly connect people in far distant place, and provide curriculum that local sources are not able to provide. (This is the "why AP is good" argument.)
What about socialization ?? Children socialized to computers are not socialized to each other!
There are subtle social cues that one learns only from in the flesh interaction. Let me let you about the 18 year olds who "invade space"!
Education is a PUBLIC GOOD. As such it fits a different economic model than market allocated resources.
Remember this, people.
Does C's argument still hold if learning is assumed to be something other than the acquistion of content knowledge? Does online technology allow for gains in learning as displayed on p. 99?
The 4 Factors that will accelerate the use on on-line computer learning and its substitution for traditional methods:
1) tech and applications will improve;
2) customized fit for learning pathway;
3) "looming teacher shortage"
4) falling costs. (100-101).
Ok-- this makes sense. If it actually happens...
Virtual labs and other applications kick a** in situations where they are not otherwise available (say, rural school in Idaho or underfunded urban school). IF BOTH FACE TO FACE AND ON LINE INSTRUCTION WERE BOTH AVAILABLE AND BOTH EXCELLENT, WHICH WOULD WE CHOOSE AND WHY?
p. 108-- oh come on! "traditional teacher administered exams" don't work because they save it all to the end, don't test what's taught, and haven't practiced for the assessment. It doesn't have to be this way--and there are classrooms where it's not the case. See the work of Grant Wiggins and that of the Coaltion of Essential Schools.
Ted Sizer in the Horace series argues that education's mandate is the basics of math, writing, reading, and civic literacy. Is there anything essential beyond these? How do schools justify what they teach? Should society demand that schools do everything else? Would on-line education fulfill these needs at the basic or advanced levels?
Can every kid have a tutor? If not, what do we do?
Do we really want a 6 year old working on-line??
Where C seems to be most salient is at the high school level. Is there something fundamentally wrong about the structure of high school? Why not send them all out to apprenticeships for two years (see analogous system of Central Park East Secondary School)-- i.e., get out of school and away from a computer!