Education Online Discriminates in Favour of Dictators
By Ian McAllister
Distance Learning Education Online Needs a Dictator
Education Online: I know that it is politically incorrect to suggest that you should work to pass your exams because it discriminates against lazy layabouts. But...
Conventional Education for the Lazy
If you are at a politically incorrect school the teachers will be the dictators. They'll lay down the rules about what homework you must do and when it must be presented. They'll keep an eye out for any learning difficulties that you have and try to help you.
You will be spoon-fed. If you are very clever you will sit in the classroom and learn without any effort, just because there is nothing else to do so you might as well listen to the teacher. The teachers won't let you wander away to do something more interesting. They are dictators!
My son couldn't understand why his school reports always said "could do better" when he was top of the class. He never did any work, so his success was really the success of his dictatorial teachers.
My Distance Learning Home Schooling
My father set aside a room in the house for our distance learning. There was all I needed there for study and no distractions. I had to sit in that room till the job was done.
Boredom is many times worse for me than work, even though I am very lazy, so I read all the textbooks from cover to cover and invented a good way to memorise vocabulary that allowed me to learn languages with very little effort. I was an ideal candidate for home schooling and distance learning.
That was my whole aim in life - to do as little work as possible with as little boredom as possible. Because my father was a dictator I got into the way of doing everything as soon as possible, so that my father would let me have time to myself when I had finished.
In other words I became my own dictator forbidding myself to procrastinate. Without a dictator your home schooling, distance learning, education online - call it what you will, will fail because you never get around to it.
Education Online Needs Dictators
Someone is going to have to be a dictator. If you are a parent with children homeschooling online you will have to be the dictator. If you are a student using distance learning guess what...there isn't anybody else to be the dictator so you'll have to be your own strict disciplinarian.
You'll have to rule yourself with a rod of iron.
Keep Yourself Motivated for Education Online
Fine - if you don't have a dictator what is to prevent you failing to put in your projects on time? Nothing. So find the fun in the work. There is always enough fun in any job for some misguided individuals to do it as a hobby.
There is a forum associated with most online education. Become the "answers person". Whenever another student has a problem you answer the question before the lecturer gets round to it.
Oh yes, it does mean that you're going to have to work hard to get the answer before anybody else does, but remember that the others will probably be procrastinating, and the teachers will have finished their 9 to 5 day and won't reply till tomorrow, so you won't have much competition. I revel in the thanks that come my way when I help another student's education online.
Some studies will still need you to be your own dictator. I used to do one hour a day practicing the harmonium and one hour each day practicing the violin.
I was fortunate because my Father was a dictator. If I hadn't done my practice towards the end of the day he would interrupt whatever I was doing and order me off to do my practice. This politically incorrect procedure made me determined not to be caught out again. So I completed my practice before I started doing what I really wanted to do. Later on I had got so much into the habit of doing my practice as early as possible that I could be my own dictator.
What if there isn't a dictator?
Then don't consider education online. You will fail if you keep putting off your study. You need a dictator to keep you going even if you are your own dictator. There must be no compromise or distractions.
My boss once congratulated me because I was continuing to write a computer program while the partitions in the office were being torn down and new wiring and equipment installed. The noise was horrendous and people had to keep going round me and my computer. My experience with distance education had taught me to keep at the job ignoring all distractions. You'll have to do the same to benefit from education online.
The Sweetener to Education Online
If you are your own dictator you can do the projects with the related study in a fraction of the time that a conventional course would take. So you can enjoy yourself for the rest of the time, or if you are a real glutton for punishment, you can take two distance learning courses at once and get twice the satisfaction when you succeed.
Someone invented a tape recorder that would record a lecturer speaking at 50 words per minute and play it back at 500 words per minute without sounding high and squeaky. They found that our brains can handle the 500 words per minute better because our thoughts don't wander off after distractions. So if you can read at 500 words per minute perhaps you can do ten home schooling courses at once?! I feel tired just thinking about it.
About The Author
Ian McAllister is constantly amazed by the way people procrastinate without the advantage of home schooling. There are also some disadvantages. See more than a hundred viewpoints about online education here.