Trinitas Blog

The Downside of Internet Based Instruction, Part II

Posted by Ron Gilley on Apr 27, 2020 9:58:34 AM

As COVID19 school closures continue, Florida is being held up to the nation as an example of how well internet based instruction can be done. Still, in almost daily briefings I receive about Florida’s schools, administrators and teachers are dealing with problems ranging from poor connectivity to students simply not showing up for online class. To say teachers, parents, and students everywhere are just trying to make the best of a nearly impossible situation would be the epitome of understatement.

Last week I decided to write about the downside of internet based instruction in an attempt to offer some balance to the idea that online school is the next best thing to being there. I am convinced it is not. Still, the internet does offer schools another tool to overcome the new hurdles we are all facing. In full disclosure, even since I posted last week, Trinitas has increased its online instruction for 9th – 12th grades. Most classes are now offering the option of meeting at least once a week online for some face-to-virtual-face time with instructors. Technology offers us a tool, and we are using it sparingly, cautiously. I suggested last week that the carryover from using the internet for entertainment will taint its use as a tool. Three detrimental effects particularly concern me as an administrator and teacher: passivity, shortened attention span, and diminished imagination.

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Topics: Blog Posts, Technology, True Education

The Downside of Internet-Based Instruction

Posted by Ron Gilley on Apr 20, 2020 11:56:20 AM

It became clear in mid-March that most of the nation’s schools would have to close for weeks that could turn into months. There ensued then a mad rush to get electronic devices into the hands of students. The nation’s school districts spent millions of dollars in the effort, and probably billions once the final tallies come in. Hand wringing over lack of internet access for rural and low income students quickly followed. When all was said and done, however, many of the nation’s students were engaged in some kind of internet-based learning by the first week of April.

And for what? One Florida school district set the goal of having students complete “at least one assignment each day.” I am acquainted with a freshman and a junior in another Florida school district who spend fewer than two hours each day on their internet-based school work, and a large portion of that time is squandered waiting for completed assignments to upload. Zoombombing has occurred to the horror of teachers and students. With each passing week attendance wains in many Florida school districts, and some teachers refuse to take attendance. Certainly there is no single reason this internet schooling doesn’t seem to be as successful as many had hoped, but I suggest that it can even be detrimental to the habits of good students.

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Topics: Blog Posts, Technology, True Education, Homeschooling

Season of Wonder

Posted by Ron Gilley on Feb 24, 2020 10:59:12 AM

Two chief goals of classical education are to help students become lifelong learners and to give them the tools they need be successful at learning for the rest of their lives. While a person may catch the bug for learning any time in life, there is no better season for inspiring that love of learning right down into a person’s bones than in the early years before he or she becomes a teenager.

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Topics: Blog Posts, Classical Education, True Education

Classical Education Creates Renaissance Men and Women

Posted by Ron Gilley on May 20, 2019 12:04:59 PM

As the school year winds down, we enter the season for reflection. For students, now is time for final performances, academic awards, and the accumulation of all kinds of accolades for the year. I am always a little in awe of Trinitas students as I look back over their accomplishments and realize all they have done, and done well, in a single year. Surely this euphoria upon reflection holds true for any hardworking student in any school—it is not reserved for Trinitas students. I am, however, always amazed at the number of Trinitas students who do so very well over the year in such a wide variety of activities. What I have found is that classical education exposes students to a broad range of experiences and then provides opportunities for students to learn, perform and compete in activities as different as baseball and drama. By encouraging students to drink deeply from many fountains of knowledge rather than specializing in one, classical education creates Renaissance men and women. 

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Topics: Blog Posts, School Life, Classical Education, True Education

Why Rush Education?

Posted by Ron Gilley on May 6, 2019 1:00:24 PM

Closeup portrait serious young man, child, making, showing time out gesture with hands, isolated grey wall background. Negative human emotions, facial expressions, feeling, signs symbol body languageI met a student recently who was about to graduate high school and the first two years of college all in the same day! Not only is that an impressive accomplishment, but also it is an accomplishment that has become increasingly common over the past decade or so. The rise of dual enrollment opportunities that allow high school students to take college courses has made it possible for thousands of American teens to graduate high school with an AA degree from a local college or university. Again, that is a pretty amazing accomplishment!

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Topics: Blog Posts, Parenting, True Education

Don’t Just Hand Them Over!

Posted by Ron Gilley on Aug 20, 2018 10:20:10 AM

Young people legs standing in circleI am usually guilty of not keeping up with the news like I should. Sometimes, though, the news is just too depressing to keep up with. I caught the tail end of a news story this week, for example, from a governor’s race where one candidate suggested that what our nation needs right now is an expanding of its moral compass. I think Christians will disagree with the candidate. Has God asked us to “expand” our moral compass or to obey His word? Well, of course, we are to obey His word, but that candidate I just mentioned could end up being the governor of a state and therefore responsible for its schools. I’m hoping Christians won’t just hand their children over to a school system that has as its goal expanding students’ moral compass.

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Topics: Blog Posts, True Education, Parent Involvement

Pull Them Close This Summer

Posted by Ron Gilley on Jun 15, 2018 2:30:41 AM

Mom with little girl reading book in sofa-2Our board president recommended a book to me recently, and he was really excited about this book. It is common for him to get excited about theology books and such, but this was a book by a politician—not at all common for him to get into a book like that. As it turned out, my family already owned the book. My youngest son had gotten it for his mother a few months ago; he had been so captivated that he read half of it in the bookstore before he bought it. (Is that even legal?)

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Topics: Blog Posts, True Education, Parent Involvement, Social Issues

The National Report Card

Posted by Ron Gilley on Apr 30, 2018 8:34:04 AM

A parent recently sent me this link to an article by columnist Walter Williams written in response to the 2017 National Assessment of Educational Progress, sometimes referred to as the National Report Card. In it, Williams reveals and then comments on some startling statistics concerning the state of public education in our nation. The parent who sent the article said this is “good motivation to keep doing what we are doing.” I agree wholeheartedly.

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Topics: Blog Posts, Classical Education, True Education, Secular Education

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