Last week the State of the Nation: K-12 e-Learning in Canada lead researcher – Dr. Michael Barbour – was the focus of a CBC News online news article.
E-learning is no boogeyman, but would be costly to implement properly, expert says
Province has revealed few details about rollout for mandatory online high school courses
· CBC News
Striking teachers of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation picket outside of the Toronto District School Board head office on Yonge Street in December. Teachers are taking issue with a variety of provincial measures, including the introduction of mandatory e-learning courses. (Cole Burston/The Canadian Press)
Online learning isn’t the massive problem that Ontario’s embattled teachers unions are making it out to be, according to a leading expert in the field — but he says to properly implement it across the province would likely prove very costly.
Michael Barbour, associate professor of instructional design at the College of Education and Health Sciences at Touro University California, told CBC News that political rhetoric is masking the possible benefits that e-learning could bring to Ontario. But with few concrete details about how the program would roll out, he says it’s difficult for people take an informed stance.
One thing is for sure, Barbour says: to do this right wouldn’t be cheap. The province would need to hire more teachers to support students, properly outfit classrooms and computer labs, and work with telecom companies to ensure broadband access in rural areas.
Later in the day, Dr. Barbour was interviewed on NewsTalk 1010 Toronto.