Having taught online for over 15 years and developed educational games and platforms for online students, I must applaud this group for attempting to harness modern tech to teach. However, as it happens so frequently, many teachers and for-profit enterprises want to “make it simple” for students, when they really want to make it simple for teachers.
Here’s a fun fact: Online, about five percent of students learn well. These are the students who are self-motivated, focused, and retain information through most of the four modes: reading/writing, visual, auditory, and kinesthetic (by doing).
However, a high preponderance of learners are the last category, and they require face-to-face and physical hands-on learning, and most importantly, motivation from the teacher and fellow students.
I learned this through practice and failure. The best delivery system utilizes a “hybrid” approach of learning, with a focus on the kinesthetic (obviously) inside the classroom.
Sadly, Google, and the makers of its online “classroom,” are selling “simplicity,” which, as any real teacher knows, is not exactly the operative word for actual learning, and, most importantly, the implementation of the “critical thinking and retention” of that learning for students. Mostly, it’s a way to skim over things and do what I like to call “busy and buddy work” online.
I realize we’re in a crisis pandemic, but we must be aware that the big Silicon Valley investors want to make a ton of money off this, so teachers must be aware and not slip into the “easy peasy, lemon squeezy” methods that these Googlemeisters are constantly selling.