Don’t Let Bad Journalism Get in the Way of a Good Online Education

Henry Kronk, eLearningInside News, Feb 01, 2018
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I am often critical of traditional media in these pages (a tough sell in the age of fake news on social media) but my scepticism of what I read and view in supposedly trustworthy sources is well founded. This article makes a case. It cites as an example a Vox article from a few days ago that states that " virtual students statistically perform much worse than traditional students" based on a single study from 2015 looking at statistics from only 17 states. Now I'm no fan of charter schools but this report is not credible. It also cites a Wired article that says "online education, which is accessible, affordable and relevant, hasn’t lived up to its promise." This is supported only by a link to a previous Wired article which in turn cites no sources. Moreover, the author,  Lior Frenkel, "created the online education initiative nuSchool, and serves as a partner with others such as Jolt and altMBA," which are cited in the article as "online educators that have the potential to disrupt education." Interestingly, I was unable to verify the existenmce of a connection between Frenkel and altMBA, which is run by Seth Godin.

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