Distance Learning as an Effective Enhancement to the Elementary School Curriculum

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Distance Learning as an Effective Enhancement to the Elementary School Curriculum Distance learning does not replace the existing classroom; rather it has proven to be an effective and useful tool in expanding the elementary school curriculum. Distance learning is defined as the “education for students working at home, with little or no face-to-face with teachers and with material provided remotely, for example through email, television, or correspondence” (Encarta World English Dictionary, 2001). The concept of distance learning has been around for centuries, evolving from primarily correspondence courses, to the Internet and two-way audio and video connection that are used now to establish a connection between the teacher and the…show more content…
The computer and Internet have become dominant distance learning technologies, and hold the potential to take away from the human aspect of learning, so students do not learn the proper social skills they need to develop early on. Children need to learn to interact with one another, and function properly in a social setting, they learn this primarily within the classroom, and if distance learning alters these classroom settings, then they will not learn how to function in the normal social school setting. Since all schools do not have the tools and financial means needed to establish and support effective distance learning programs, they would not be able to keep up with the advancing technology in education, and therefore their students would not receive the same advantages as other students in the schools around them (Ravaglia & Sommer, 2000). Greenwood (1998) states that schools using distance learning are just contracting out their educational responsibilities and that such courses result in the elimination of teaching jobs. He feels that by using distance learning to teach students, they are minimizing the teacher’s job of actually teaching the students and designing lesson plans, and therefore slowly eliminating the need for teachers in the classroom at all. It is thought that there is more emphasis being placed on teaching than learning, and as a consequence schools are using distance education
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