• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Algebra iPhone Apps and the Online Learning Revolution

    Picture the world in 1960 and imagine how much has changed over the past half century.  Now picture the average classroom in 1960 and today.  In both, you’d probably see roughly the same thing—a teacher standing in front of a row of desks.  Today, there might be a computer or two in the classroom.  But the set-up and the teaching process are probably about the same.

    This mental experiment highlights how education is one of the areas of American life that has been most resistance to change over the last 50 — if not 150 –years.  For the most part, students still pass through schools like widgets moving through a factory.   The school calendar remains based on the agrarian calendar.  Whether or not child had access to a great teacher often is still determined by where he or she lives.

    This is beginning to change.  Fast.

    Online or virtual learning is beginning to transform the way that children learn.  As we describe in a new report:

    In the future, students will be able to receive customized instruction from teachers anywhere in the United States or even in the world. The best teachers will use technology to reach many more students. Virtual and blended-learning programs will enable mass customization in education, allowing students to learn at their own pace in ways that are tailored to their learning styles and interests.

    As many as 1 million children (roughly 2 percent of the K-12 student population) are participating in some form of online learning. Today, 27 states offer statewide virtual schools that allow students to take a class online, and 24 states and the District of Columbia offer students the opportunity to attend a virtual school full-time.

    Harnessing the power of technology has limitless potential to change American education for the better.  Consider how technologies like the internet and iPhone are changing how we live and just imagine what similar innovations can improve how students learn.

    Here is just one example.  The Florida Virtual School, a pioneering online learning program, announced that it had created an application for the iPhone to help students learn Algebra.

    It is tough to envision what exactly American education will look like in 2020 or 2050, but you can bet it’ll be different than that 1960s classroom.

    Posted in Education [slideshow_deploy]

    8 Responses to Algebra iPhone Apps and the Online Learning Revolution

    1. randy sa tx says:

      the last thing i need is my teacher to get a hold of me when im not at school. and if i could afford an iphone i wouldnt b in school.

    2. randy sa tx says:

      ?

    3. Jeanne Stotler,Woodb says:

      What is not being said is that today's students are NOT being taught to THINK, most cannot write in cursive and cannot sit and do primary math. They are relying on computers. While I think computers are great kids need to LEARN basics, surely how to write and they must be able to think problems out, they also need to learn in HS how to balance a check book and file a tax form. Illeterate geniuses are no good for anyone.

    4. Steve, OH says:

      Technology is a great tool to be used by instructors, but going to virtual schools is throwing the baby out with the bathwater. There is so much more learning that goes on between those four walls that no measure of technology can replace. Will your iPhone tell you if you are doing your push-ups correctly? What about your art project? And most important, how about the simple social learning that occurs with physical human interaction? We are becoming a society that is continually more and more reliant on technological interaction (texting, emails) as a replacement for human interaction (face-to-face conversations). While the use of technology should continue to be encouraged by all in the educational fields, virtual schools as the only solution will threaten the very fabric of our society.

    5. Tim Az says:

      I see a couple of benifits from virtual school. One social engineering would be difficult if not impossible to achieve. And two this would be the end of teachers unions. The department of education should be abolished and return to the states the management of education and curriculum choices.

    6. Jon Feagain, Akron O says:

      I think this was a great article and really helped explain the vision of online learning. I work for an Ohio online homeschool for grades k-12 (OHDELA) and I am amazed quite often at the impact we can make by being more interactive. You can learn more about what we do at http://mydela.com and if you would like to do a feature article or another article I would be happy to help you out. We have a program where OHDELA second and third grade students involved in the Math Recovery Program are piloting PSPs (Playstation Portables) as a way to increase math skills. You can learn more about this at blog.ohdela.com

    7. Matt, Denver says:

      Here's an app by a teacher that allows the instructor to "shuffle" students for getting responses: http://awzone.com/hotseat

    8. Tom, HK says:

      I used to work at a startup company which deploy thin client systems for schools in NJ. Teachers can monitor each student's progress in lcass and send private messages to them. The company was one of the fastest growing companies due to its demand. USA's education system coupled with its technological and innovative nature will certainly be an example for other nations to folllow and learn from.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×