Partial Transcript: Episode 31 (Online Education)

Virginia: This is just going to be us arguing for the next 40 minutes because I am head over heels in favor of online education.

Nick: I hate online education.

Virginia: I have my doubts about the current implementation, but overall, I think it’s a good thing.  So, go ahead.  State you case, and then I shall destroy it summarily.

Nick: Ok. My main gripe with taking college courses online is that they force you to spoon feed yourself.  By forcing you to turn in specific assignments at specific times, you don’t get to set your own pace.  Even if you do all of it ahead of time, you still have to come back later and hit the submit button.

Virginia: Let’s back up a second.  You’re talking about a UNT course that made you turn in certain things at certain times.

Nick: Exactly.  I finished all the coursework in the first two weeks.

Virginia: Let’s throw this all out and talk about courses that let you move at your own pace.  If you finish it in a day, you finish it in a day.  They don’t care how many times you log on and hang out in the chat room.  Nothing is locked down.

Nick: I have an issue with that as well.  Those classes remove the social aspect.  You’re just going through and checking all of the boxes.

Mike: What about the ones where there is video involved?

Nick: That’s the same thing.  Either one can have video involved.

Mike: I’m talking about a Google hangout and an instructor.

Virginia: Why is the social aspect important in college?

Nick: It builds your world picture. College is one of the most diverse groups that you’ll ever be in.

Virginia: High school was way more diverse for me than college.

Nick: Are you serious?

Virginia: Yeah.

Nick: How many people from other countries were in your high school and your college?

Virginia: To me, the types of people that I interacted with were much wider in high school than in college.  College was a much more middle- to high-income, educated demographic.  High school was a time when I socialized with people of vastly different socioeconomic backgrounds.

Nick: But you’re sitting there trying to group them when you know that it was much wider.

Virginia: To me, that’s just the way it was.  I had much more in common with other college kids than with my peers in high school.

Nick: I disagree.  I went to a middle-class high school.  When I want to college, that got blown up.  People were from different countries, states, and class levels.  It was way more diverse than the folks that I went to high school with.

Virginia: The people that I met in college who were from France, China, or India were much more like me than the other kids in high school.  I learned much more about the world in high school than I did in college.  I did study abroad, but…

Nick: You couldn’t do that in high school.

Virginia: Yeah, but people are the same everywhere you go.

Nick: But they are different…

Virginia: Their cultures are different, but, fundamentally, most people are the same…

Nick: I’m not saying that they’re cannibals, but their cultures are different.

Virginia: So are the cultures of different socioeconomic groups in our own backyard.  I saw more of that in high school than in college.

Nick: But you saw more cultures from around world in college.

Virginia: Yes, but the differences between me and the other cultures was not as large as the differences between me and my fellow high schoolers.  It’s just my opinion.  I had more in common with my classmates in college than with my classmates in high school.

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