Kentucky Schools vs. Chinese Schools

In Kentucky, I wring my hands about the quality of the education. I blog about it, I become a thorn.

In China, the new eSchoolbook program is being launched, and even from the tiny bit of information I can find, it sounds pretty awesome. Now, if only I could get this type of high-tech education approved for home schooling my own — or permitting them to have quality distance learning.

This weekend, I talked with a client over lunch about the educational systems in Kentucky and Georgia. And his idea, married with this high-tech concept, makes perfect sense to me. Why not have the BEST teachers in the country teaching the classes and doing the presentations and have the local teachers on hand to answer questions that arise from those presentations?

Personally, I think it’s brilliant. Now, I’d like to add to that the concept of having children and their parents not only have choice in selecting a school, but also choice in providing this type of education via the Internet. Where we live, I’d prefer to have the kids at home “in school” during regular school hours on a computer attached to my DSL. Have the best teachers present the materials via webinars and have the other teachers on hand to communicate and answer questions via chat, voice and/or whiteboard through a Tablet PC.

Would I buy this for my kids? Heck yeah! And would it be possible to retain the classroom environment with the appropriate software? Sure! So, in this world of high fuel costs, time shortages and far-flung individuals… why not avoid the transportation issues, shorten the school day by nearly two hours of travel time and improve the quality of the education being offered?

I can’t see a single “down side” to this.

The way the prices in the UMPCs are dropping, the amount of money this could save the school systems by simply providing basic hardware for students and bulk licensing for educational software might even balance out. And if it doesn’t balance out, if it doesn’t actually SAVE money in the long run, at least it might improve the quality of the education offered.