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Personalized Education: Online High School Around Your Schedule

08 Sep

Personalized Education: Online High School Around Your Schedule

Posted By: 
Mark Guay

Nov 8, 2013 8:11:00 PM

Today's question: How can online high school curriculum best gear students for the modern world they grow up in? (tweet this!)

I love when students read the brilliant article called Nacirema.

Spoiler alert...

The article is an ethnographic study of a strange people called Nacirema, who do really strange things like go to the holy mouthman, defecate in a shrine behind closed doors never to be seen by anyone else, and stuff hog hairs in their mouths in a bizarre daily ritual. 

These people are not unlike the National Geographic studies of the bizarre cultures throughout the world you may have watched as a child.

You may have spent days stuck glued to the television watching fascinating people anoint darts with poison from a dart frog for hunting, or the women who wore neck rings as a symbol of hierarchy. 

It turns out that Nacirema spelled backwards spells American and you should see the contorted faces students have made when they flip this switch. "What!?... Whoa!" they usually scream. 

The point of the lesson? Defining normal. Normal for one may be bizarre for another. 

At one point, farming was normal and sending kids off to school a strange thing. This reversed in the late 1900s and now students spend 8 hours per day for 180 days out of the year in a square building with desks in rows. 

Quite annoying to do when:

  • Parents travel for work
  • Students become professional surfers or musicians
  • When students want to be more creative 

Normal school now has become online learning, blended homeschool learning, and building the school day around your unique needs as a student (tweet this!)

And the thing about normal? It can be culturally redefined by just two generations. Just take a look at the foot-binding in China.  A Chinese cultural "normal" tradition of over hundreds of years became the bizarre after two generations of a missionary social-change effort.

What do you think? What has online homeschool allowed you to do that you couldn't do before?