By Lance Winslow
There simply is not enough information available on the synergies or detriments that online eLearning will have on our children psyche. Especially limited are issues of the children's "self-esteem" and self-confidence building using these eLearning educational systems. When the Online Think Tank recently brought this subject up at a small meeting many diverse opinions emerged.
Below are some of my recent thoughts on the subject and issues surrounding this subject, only thoughts really, not based in quantifiable research other than in relation to my personal life experience. My biggest concern is that if we fail to develop high-self esteem using collaborative eLearning tools, then this will not give the leaders of the future confidence in making decisions, instead they will defer all decisions to the "mob" and historically that just does not work.
Thus, in my continued opinion, I comment on the social leanings being adopted by the minds of the students using collaborative online networked distance eLearning systems. Communism and socialism have their faults, just like run-away capitalism does [Adam Smith]. In many of the most successful eLearning Collaborative Networks like Quorum or Pangea, students do not get credit for their contributions or new innovative ideas.
Whereas some say that students may not get credit, but they also are protected from ridicule. Yes, agreed on the latter, yet we have a problem already of not keeping score in 4th thru 7th grade soccer does not help the kids become future leaders and where as "From Good to Great" [Stanford Collins] believes that leaders are better off with a less visible "ego" to help the forward progression of the Corporation or organization, they will still need that ego inside.
Additionally, "respect from your fellow man" [Maslow] is indeed pretty high up on the list and the students will develop self-worth, self-esteem and self-confidence if they are allowed to achieve this thru hard work and innovative thought. Simply being a good communist for the common good and surrendering your mind to the masses is not a lot different than surrendering to the Borg, Beehive, Gatica or current Mass Media Hysteria.
Self-esteem is a very important part of the human make up, Earned ego is not evil and eLearning Initiatives need to take all this into consideration. I feel they have not due to the socialist tendencies and liberal leaning biased of academia, with no regard to the reality of the middle ground, which has already moved left. No matter how one feels about the political implications, hijacking the minds of the next generation and enslaving them into low-self esteem mindsets is a disaster for the forward progress of mankind.
Of course my rational could fill up 100,000 words on this subject and this article has ended. I certainly hope this article is of interest and that is has propelled thought. The goal is simple; to help you in your quest to be the best in 2007. I thank you for reading my many articles on diverse subjects, which interest you.
By Lance Winslow