There are four candidates running for two open six-year terms on the boards. Smita Nagpal, Diane Friese, Karen Delhey and Paul Hynek will appear on the Nov. 6 ballot. The candidates have paired off to run as teams, with Nagpal and Friese running as one team and Delhey and Hynek running as the other. Voters, however, are free to choose any two they wish.
See the candidates side-to-side when the Saline High School student group Students Reinvesting In a Valuable Education (STRIVE) hosts a candidates forum at 6:30 p.m., Oct. 25 at Saline Middle School.
Here is today's question:
What’s your view of online learning and how it should be implemented in Saline schools?
Learning is a very individual process. If online learning is beneficial to a learner I believe it should be made available. However, I do believe that public schools are the birthplace of social learning and citizenry. I would not like to see any student being education totally be machine. Human interaction is crucial to the developing brain, and to the development of a healthy society.
At a recent board meeting, we watched an amazing presentation by Kara Davis about the BYOD (Bring your own device) program at the middle school. Access to information that was not possible in my generation is now available at kid’s fingertips. And when shown how to use it the right way, it is an incredible tool. As you look at the business world, you see a large majority of people referring to their handheld device as their ‘office.’ Higher Education is turning to online learning as are a large number of continuing education programs. It is a part of the mission of Saline Schools to give our students the ‘technological proficiency …necessary to succeed in an increasingly complex society.’ By offering some courses online at the high school level, we are not only helping prepare the students for their next steps after graduation, we are also allowing resources to be reallocated.
Being a “technology guy” from way back, I am an advocate of online learning. Online learning allows students to work at their own pace, without the occasional exasperation of classmates when some students “get it” and other students “don’t get it” and the teacher has to review. Put an app on a device…our students will pick it up. Colleges and businesses (training) have embraced online learning. Some of our teachers have completed their masters degree with online courses. The presentation by Mrs. Davis at the September 25th board meeting and her experiences with the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program at the middle school was an eye-opener on how our students adapt to online learning and the technology involved. Searching out knowledge online enhances the goal of lifelong learning among our students. University of Michigan classes offered on web-based Coursera platform have attracted hundreds of thousands of people who have signed up. Granted, on-line learning is not for everyone, but for those who embrace it, the option should be available, with the appropriate mentoring and monitoring.
I believe that computer and web technology is here to stay. Creative and innovative use of technology, i.e. leveraging technology, is important for our students to acquire 21st century skills. The BYOT (Bring Your Own Technology) initiative by some teachers at the middle school is a great example of how opening up technology can be used to enhance learning. However, opening up technology does not mean that technology should replace the student-teacher relationship, which is an equally important, if not more important, element of the learning process. In my view online learning, particularly entire classes that are online, must be introduced with great thought and careful consideration to the social emotional aspects of learning. Online learning should be an adjunct to traditional classroom teaching, and not something that replaces it. In my experience as a parent of a student who took two online classes during his schooling, one online class can differ significantly form another online class. While one class my son took was very enriching, the other quite simply turned him off online learning. Students who have taken online courses at SHS should be polled in order to find out their experiences and this knowledge utilized to design the best possible scenarios of online learning for Saline Area students.
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