High School MOOCs and Educators – Why teachers are still important and class sizes should stay small:
With the age of the internet and new technologies coming about every year, many people have been curious about the direction that education will take in the future, especially when focusing on secondary education. Some have speculated that public “brick and mortar” schools will disappear and be replaced by MOOCs – Massive Open Online Courses – offering online courses built by professionals and being used by massive numbers of students all at once with all work being graded automatically. While MOOCs hold great potential, there are large flaws which make them ill-suited to replace the current educational system as a whole. Those flaws are first, that the massive student-to-teacher ratio does not provide the average high school student with the attention, accountability, and motivation that he/she needs from an educator. Second, that the “One program fits all” mentality inherent in MOOCs does not account for students with disabilities, accelerated students, or specific learning styles and assumes that all students learn the exact same way. Third, that the role of the educator in a MOOC is almost non-existent, leaving the students with, once again, a lack of accountability and motivation as well as lacking a clear method for ensuring subject matter competency. Though MOOCs are wonderful tools and provide excellent resources, they should not be considered as a replacement for the current educational system as a whole.