Former Spellings Commission guy Robert Zemsky talks with University Business this month on the problem with online learning:
One of the big problems is that we’ve gotten the idea that “it’s about the web.” It’s funny—there’s a whole lot of interesting technology on learning, but it’s not on the web. The really interesting stuff is on discs. The web just doesn’t work. We’ve adopted a distribution system that is like trying to run a race in a sack.
The web is very linear, and learning on the web is equally linear. You do the problem, it gives you the answer, and if you get the wrong answer it circles back, and so on. That’s not the way you are going to learn a foreign language, for example. You can use really interesting technology to learn a language. Just don’t do it on the web.
That’s right – the future is DVD-ROMs, because learning on the web is too linear.
I knew we were screwed by the Spellings Commission, and I knew they were out of touch. But that statement shocks even me.