Bush floats new eLearning plan

Now here’s a novel idea – a New eLearning plan involving building an eLearning Clearinghouse to promote all the online courses available to students and adults from both public and private sources.
Apparently, the motivation comes as a result of a recent OECD report that shows the US slipping behind in the areas of college attainment, college dropout rates, and high school reading literacy.
Couldn’t help thinking here of what’s happening in New Zealand, with discussions around the future of The Correspondence School, Learning Media and Te Kete Ipurangi. There is a pervasive belief inherent in these discussions that all are fundamentally involved in resource development, and that there is a duplication of effort which could be minimised by collapsing them all into one organisation… sound familiar??
While I don’t fundamentally oppose this idea, I am concerned at the possible over-simplification of approaches that assumes (as in the US?) that the ills of an education system will somehow be addressed through “delivering” more resources (albeit they high quality etc.).
Something missing in the discussion is the role of the teacher, the importance of the “discourse” elements of teaching and learning, and the value of “connecting” with other learners in a variety of ways.
I’m all for creating an open-architecture, federated-search enabled learning object/resource repository – but I get nervous when this is regarded as the panacea for distance/online/elearning.

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