A Classroom of One: How Online Learning Is Changing our Schools and Colleges

Overview

This is Gene Maeroff's "report from the front" on the short history and status of online learning in the United States and around the world. Maeroff is a reporter who takes you to the schools from Penn State's World Campus to the Florida Virtual School to the newly emerging online learning initiatives in Afghanistan. His journey ultimately provides a snapshot of the way in which technology is changing the minds of people with regard to the nature of higher education. He looks at the method of electronic delivery,...

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A Classroom of One: How Online Learning Is Changing our Schools and Colleges

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Overview

This is Gene Maeroff's "report from the front" on the short history and status of online learning in the United States and around the world. Maeroff is a reporter who takes you to the schools from Penn State's World Campus to the Florida Virtual School to the newly emerging online learning initiatives in Afghanistan. His journey ultimately provides a snapshot of the way in which technology is changing the minds of people with regard to the nature of higher education. He looks at the method of electronic delivery, the quality of the information being delivered and quality of interaction it engenders. He looks at the way learners are adapting to this new technology and how much responsibility is put on the student's shoulders. Finally, and maybe tellingly, he looks at the business of online learning.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"One of the few even-handed discussions, A Classroom of One brings some much needed clarity."—Scott Eliott, Dayton Daily News

Praise for Maeroff'sAltered Destinies:

"A must-read...Maeroff shows again and again how the altered lives of a few can serve as testament to what is possible for many." —The American School Board Journal

Publishers Weekly
Most of the recent flood of books about online learning can be divided into pro (Internet-based education will replace overpriced, rigid, traditional institutions and provide a profoundly better product) and con (online learning is a fringe educational activity pushed by untrustworthy for-profit dot-coms). Maeroff, the author of 11 books over the past 27 years commenting on education, has steered a prudent middle course. He sees online education as an important and growing part of traditional instruction, a tool that will help solve many existing problems. His clear account of those problems helps explain the appeal of the Internet. But he also sees a central role for traditional face-to-face instruction in physical classrooms for the foreseeable future. The line between classroom and Internet instruction will blur as traditional courses add online content and online courses take more responsibility, he says. Internet use will be heaviest for students who are not well served by bricks-and-mortar instruction. The author covers Internet use from elementary school through college and post-college education, home schooling, legal issues, accreditation, professional certification and international courses-all the while describing the subject's history, current state and potential future. His broad knowledge and irreverent style make the dense material more than readable, but this is still a weighty professional book with comprehensive coverage backed by hundreds of interviews and citations. Regrettably, the book fails to discuss the technology itself or the economics behind it. Still, it's the best general work on the subject for educators and administrators. (Feb.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Long before the Internet or even the computer, there was distance learning, known in the mid-19th century as correspondence courses. The latter half of the 20th century saw the advent of telenet classes, where students met at various sites but were connected to others, including the instructor, by telephone. Video conferencing soon followed. The Internet has taken distance learning to another level. Maeroff (Altered Destinies) chronicles this innovation, claiming that online learning isn't as different from traditional classes as some may think. There are still instructors and textbooks, and there is still interaction between student and instructor and among students in the same class; students still submit papers and take exams in the form of open-book tests. The author cautions, though, that online education shouldn't be seen as the cure for higher education's ills or as the ultimate in educational technology. Problems exist in this new format: balancing the needs of students and faculty can be tricky, and not all subjects work as online courses. But Maeroff's argument that such courses can provide educational opportunities where none previously existed is convincing, and he offers balanced insight into the workings of this new way of learning. Both academic and public libraries will find this book a welcome addition to their collections.-Terry Christner, Hutchinson P.L., KS Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781403960856
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 2/1/2003
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

Gene I. Maeroff is Director of the Heichinger Institute on Education and Media at Teachers College/Columbia University and the author of Altered Destinies.

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Table of Contents

An Invitation to a Revolution

• Delivering the Goods

• The Quality of Interaction

• Adapting to the New

• Responsibility for Learning

• The Business of Online Education

• But Is It Legitimate?

• Controlling the Process

• In School, On Campus

• Faster Than a Speeding Bullet

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2006

    Classroom of One- Unexpected but Good

    A Classroom of One is not your typical handbook on how to take internet classes, but it does provide an interesting history of distance learning, from correspondence courses to on line classes. Maeroff offers enough detail in easy to read language for anyone interested in the subject to learn about it. Many people have said that the internet will replace education in the future. Others feel that it will not change anything. Maeroff takes a stand somewhere in the middle. He presents both sides, and shows the pros and cons of each before stating his own opinion that we will end up with a mixture of traditional classes and online ones. While it was not what I was expecting when I picked it up, the book is a good overview of online problems and concerns as well as advantages and support.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2005

    One Classroom Comments

    Gene I. Maeroff's A Classroom of One: How Online Learning Is Changing Our Schools and Colleges describes in detail how the Internet is playing an increasing role in education, both on the college level as well as in secondary classrooms. Maeroff details how online learning can accommodate anyone's schedule. The numerous benefits of online learning are discussed as are the types of learners best suited for online learning. He brings forth concerns with online learning, both from those who have engaged in the process and those who reject the credibility of online learning as an acceptable alternative to the traditional classroom. He then goes on to combat those concerns with well-thought out solutions. Some of the benefits the author discusses are the ability to complete course work anywhere and anytime, increased opportunities for parents, homebound learners and others unable to attend 'brick and mortar' classroom environments. A few concerns examines are cheating, the validity of online learning, and the fact that some are beginning to profit from the online learning system. Maeroff also points out the necessary ingredient of all types of learning: interaction among students and with the professor. In my opinion, this is an extremely well written, well thought out and well researched book. The text throughly describes all aspects of online learning and its features. Many of the situations Maeroff describes are similar to experiences I have had in 3.5 years of online learning. The author includes his own feelings and opinions on some of the topics as well as using research to support his thoughts.

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