The New Century School House is an intriguing idea. I looked at a few of the rooms. Designing curriculum would be a challenge for teachers, but students would be excited about the variety of subjects. I was unable to grasp a clear understanding of the way lessons are taught in subjects like football (one of the rooms in the high school link) which required tasks like strength training. I wonder how this type of task would be evaluated in an online environment. Webcams, maybe.
I’m thinking about the cost of implementing this type of learning environment and a few questions (to which I don’t have answers yet) surround the thought of whether this would, in fact, be more cost effective than traditional classrooms. School computer labs would require expansion. The only books that might be needed would be supplemental to the course. Word processing programs and email or similar tools for submission of lessons would reduce the amount of paper and writing implements needed. There would be no need for chalkboards or whiteboards, chalk and markers. These are just basic school items. I will probably come up with some more ideas on this later.
Something else that I thought about is the fact that if a student is sick or absent for some reason, lessons could be done at home if he or she had a computer. The price of computers is going down – a circumstance that might provide enough incentive for school systems to look into providing more computers or laptops. Here, in eastern Kentucky, we sometimes miss two weeks or more of school during the winter when road conditions make our mountainous terrain hazardous for travel. Most homes have at least one computer and say, in the future, every home has one that has been provided by an outside source, teachers and students could keep in contact about lessons even if school was not technically in session at a building. But, when one thinks about it schooling could be done from remote sights and an actual building to which students report everyday might not be necessary anyway.
But for the sake of this next thought, let’s say that students attend classes in a building but in an environment like N.C.H.S., class interruptions could be kept to a minimum because students would not necessarily need to change rooms; and loudspeaker announcements would not interrupt class nearly as often because a message could be sent to the teacher; and students could focus for longer periods of time.
These are just a few of my random thoughts for N.C.H.S.
Just for the record, I have to agree with Gloria about the effectiveness of the video slideshow that our professor is using to teach about spreadsheets. That was especially helpful to me because I could use the pause function, do the step, go back, press pause, and hear and see another step. Sometimes I require very thorough instruction.