Distance Learninig: Quite Traditional

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by PaulC, Nov 28, 2003.

  1. PaulC

    PaulC Member

    My mother is getting up in years and has been giving away pictures and documents to family members for a few years now. I'm sure she wants to feel that these things important to her will live on with other family members.

    To my surprise, on her Thanksgiving Day visit yesterday, she arrived with a very special document that I did not know existed. It was the original diploma awarded to my grandfather from the International Correspondence School (ICS) for studies in Refrigeration. It was awarded July 9, 1925 with the original gold seal of the school very well preserved and securely attached at the bottom of the diploma. The seal indicates an incorporation date of September 14, 1901. The diploma is personally signed by the Dean of Faculty, President, and Secretary.

    Aside from this being of personal significance to me, it gave me pause about this whole traditional/non-traditional premise associated with brick and mortar and distance learning. Here we have a man completing his post high school education via a distance model utilized 78 years ago. How long does it have to exist to be considered traditional? I say 78 years is long enough and hereby proclaim distance learning as a died in the wool, traditional as they come, old fashioned educational model.

    Congrats to my grandfather for having started the tradition of distance learning in my family, though unbeknownst to me until yesterday. Three cheers to ICS for offering education to the masses at a distance.
  2. Mary A

    Mary A Member

    Hi Paul - what a thoughtful gift! About two years ago a colleague of mine shared an original recording (not sure of the technology but it was on a black tube) but the recording was made by Thomas Edison and was for a correspondence course... I'd love to see a copy of your grandfather's certificate! Hope all is well with you and that you had a lovely Thanksgiving!

  3. PaulC

    PaulC Member

    One interesting and pertinent note I failed to include is that my grandfather retired at age 63, after 38 years as a refrigeration mechanic. The distance education he received appeared to have served him very well.
  4. oko

    oko New Member

    The subject of distance learning not being accepted (by insignificant few) is only here in the United States and especially a few in this forum (which further propagates it) when they should be promoting good distance education.

    I am originally from Nigeria. Perhaps other Nigerians in this forum will support my statement that distance learning is very traditional and well accepted in Nigeria and in the United Kingdom whose educational system Nigeria has adopted. Growing up in the 70s I saw so many people got their high school diploma, law, economic, accounting and many other degrees through distance education. Many of them went on to be professionals of national and international repute. The biographies of many prominent Nigerians are filled with degrees from such institutions as University of London and the likes that they obtained through distance education many of whom went to be educators and professionals of high repute at home and abroad.

    The idea that unless you sat down in a physical classroom you have not learnt anything is as silly as it sounds. From so many statements I have read here it seems to me the United States is perhaps a new comer to the world of distance education.

    The only thing that should matter in education is accreditation not the medium by which the diploma is obtained. I cannot emphasize this enough. While I have read about the horrors of people uninformed questioning online or distance education, I have yet to witness it myself and I work and we hire people with accredited distance education diploma regularly. They are performing just as well as the rest of us with so called brick and mortar education.

    I think those who question a properly accredited distance/online education are themselves insecure about their place in the new world of learning. The world we live in today requires less of the so called traditional learning many of us got. Why bother traveling 20-30 miles or more one way to class when it can be delivered live to your computer desk or lap top? It is ridiculous to say such a medium of delivery is insufficient when many decisions of national importance are often made that way by many agencies.

    Congratulations to your grandfather for being a pioneer of distance learning in the United States.

  5. uncle janko

    uncle janko member

    Paul, Godwin: Wonderful posts! Thanks so much. The old Romans would have called this pietas. Well done.
  6. tcnixon

    tcnixon Active Member

    Very cool, Paul. I might add another cheer for American School that has been offering high school diplomas through distance learning since 1897. 106 years and still going strong!

    Tom Nixon
  7. Laser100

    Laser100 New Member

    Distance Learning


    Cool story! I'm in the Indiana State University BSET program it is done completely by distance. They have many distance programs in several fields of study.

    Paul Clark

    P.S. - Note my name, I know their is several Paul Clark(s) in my city, is that your name too?

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