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Beware the “Let’s rethink education!” vultures and grifters.

How the pandemic is reshaping education - The Washington Post:

School systems in America are not done with remote learning. They want more of it. After a year when some systems did nothing but school by computer screen, it has become clear that learning virtually has a place in the nation's schools, if simply as an option. “It's like a genie that is out of the bottle, and I don't think you can get it back in," said Paul Reville, former Massachusetts secretary of education and founding director of Harvard University's Education Redesign Lab at the Graduate School of Education. "In many respects, this is overdue." Few suggest that remote learning is for everyone. The pandemic showed, unmistakably, that most students learn best in person - in a three-dimensional world, led by a teacher, surrounded by classmates and activities.

The article goes on to suggest that remote learning will be a boon for less popular courses that can’t garner enough interest in a single location, but which could be offered online and attract students from all over.

That sounds great in theory, but it sounds suspiciously similar to all the long-tail flim-flammery of MOOCs and “the flipped classroom” from 5-10 years ago.

Here’s my prediction for what will happen instead: The MBA efficiency-and-standardization crowd will swoop in and tell us all that this is how we get more bang for our education buck, how a single teacher can now use Zoom to prep a hundred students for their standardized test, instead of the wasting time and money having a teacher interact with kids in a school that is based around and supported by a real community.

Because anything that doesn’t lead to productivity growth and feature delivery is waste, and all waste must be eliminated.

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