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Saturday, May 7, 2011

Top 7 Reasons Why the U.S. Needs to Spotlight Distance Learning or Else

Okay, yes we're falling behind...very badly!  The following countries are looking back at us in their rear view mirrors and leaving us in their dust.  And, things just keep getting worse and worse for our high school students from year to year:

1. China
2. South Korea
3. Finland
4. Canada
5. Japan
6. Switzerland
7. New Zealand

It begs these three questions:  1) How much more (at the federal, state and local government levels) do we need to focus on our kids' education programs, classes and courses?  2) What are we doing from both a holistic and tactical standpoint that is strategically incorrect to prepare these young adults for life after high school? and 3) Will we need to leverage distance learning (e.g., accredited online colleges and universities) in the future to try and stay competitive with these continually evolving countries? 

In the latest scores from a global standardized test given to a sample size of students from developed countries in 2009, the U.S. finished well below other countries in the areas of math, science and reading.  Most notably were the results from China, which blew away their competition in an amazing showing of technical abilities and is in line with the fact that the country is becoming an extreme world superpower and not surprisingly is predicted by many to take over the number one spot from the United States in terms of economic superiority over the next ten to twenty years.

What is really troubling is that the scores for our U.S. high schoolers are either slightly improving or staying neutral from 2003 to 2006 to 2009, while those in the aforementioned top seven are making great strides in areas that are the backbone of programs, courses and classes which are taken at levels through college and beyond.  And the fact that we are now having to cut back on federal programs (including pay, benefits and pension to teachers) due to our huge debt/deficit crisis makes education an even bigger question mark for our country going forward. 

And what about those that don't make it through high school or cannot attend college/university for various reasons?  What type of careers and national impact will they have on the progression of our great country?  As it stands now, these questions will become even more pronounced as the U.S. languishes in a state of high unemployment, stagnant job growth and general distrust of big federal government.  What makes it worse is the constant bickering on both sides of the political aisle at these important cost cuts.

One saving grace could be distance learning, including the many online universities and online GED programs that are now so prevalent in our society, which at the very least give hope to those more underprivileged and impoverished people out there and a chance to attain that goal of a high school diploma or college degree.  To some an online learning classrom may seem to lack the quality education that might be achieved at a brick and mortar institution, but to others in the masses accredited online programs can be a godsend and ultimately a path for our country as a whole to keep up with the advancing countries that are outdistancing us every year.

Let's keep an open mind and start focusing on what really matters for our young people:  a great education and a chance to compete globally with the very best.  Some may ask why distance learning, while others will ask why the heck not?!!


Virtual Universities provide education at your own pace within your own space
We developed NWMDIU
TO assist students around the world
Prof. Louis M. De Bruin PhD

Hi Dr. De Bruin, thanks for providing a much needed resource for students globally!


Education is very important and there are a few ways we, America, can improve it. First separate church and state unequivocally, stop the debate about theories. If it's science and they have proven a hypothesis it's now a theory. Get it? Stop forcing everyone into college!

Guess what, that job as a receptionist, although demanding and something I wouldn't want to do, does not require a college degree. We are forcing kids who have no realistic hope of grasping what is being taught at this level. in response the Higher Education institutions dumb the courses down enough to get the highest percentage through. Although they still have their "weed-out" courses to make sure someone doesn't try to get into grad school, where the class pass rate is at 40%. And how about the amount of post-grad degrees being given out now? WTF? It seems that you can pretty much buy a Masters or PhD.

We need to educate our workforce but for what they are doing (or plan, this can become difficult obviously). You want to be a machinist? Excellent, here is a vocational school and information about apprenticing.

We need people that do those jobs, I mean who is going to train the cast iron specialists? The poor guys with a business degree that rake in over 500k that need a new fence at their mansion, where are the quality installers they ask? Those business men need to launder the illegal money somewhere. Oh wait, they haven't been charged with any wrongs, but we bailed them out. Oops, did I just go off-topic? Sorry.

Parents need to step up to the plate or they need to never, ever, ever complain about what a teachers salary is. I taught. Either there were a lot of kids that had behavioral/interacting with fellow human issues from not being taught morals/social etiquette at home or the use of mind altering substances is even worse than we thought.

Lastly, please for the love of Whales, Learn, live and love Critical Thinking (You see what I left out back there don't you? CT at work). This concept has the ability to get oneself out of a tremendous amount of problems and prevent you from becoming involved in questionable decisions. This concept allows you to look at "the big picture" and based on the evidence and facts, arrive at the correct solution most of the time. I think the "Birther's and their issue" will attest to the fact that we have forgotten to teach critical thinking or the majority have unlearned everything taught to us that was important (it does seem the majority have mixed up the one "correlation does not mean causation".

Nice commentary Jim! It looks like you really care, like I do, about what strategies we need to put into place that can help us focus as a society on what types of education are good for each group of people. Like you said, not everyone needs a PhD or Bachelors! But at least now there is an opportunity for everyone to receive some education, especially if we put our thinking caps on and explore the different options.

online education has become more popular in across the world. There are so many people in different countries of the world that love to take educations from online schools or institutions. There is a lot of advantages of online education including no need to go out of your house to study, you can carry on from the comfort of your own house.

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