The NYTimes has a a write-up about high schools using online courses to target under performing students, non-core curricular offerings, and post graduation study/work skill courses (link here). The article raises some interesting issues. Are online courses being used by districts to speed unqualified students through the system? Does e-learning cheapen the educational experience by allowing student to cut corners?
Of course these vast generalizations might apply. But the fault does not fall on the technology but the districts and personnel involved. I’ve said it here before; A passionate teacher will succeed in any environment, be it a classroom, bus, laptop, phone, etc. An educator unwilling to put the time, energy and preparation required to educate will always produce low quality lessons. When this last category, i hesitate to call them teachers/trainers, are put in control of any curriculum, again be it classroom, et. all, students will be the ones who suffer.