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Internet Learning

May 31, 2014Canadian, Education, Science&Tech

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Are you good at studying without a teacher?


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José: Umm, just on that same vein, (mm-hmm) because before I started doing Duolingo, I learned about Duolingo when I was on another website reading about Internet learning (uh-huh) and I was interested in Internet learning because I’ve been on a, mmm, I don’t want to say a tear but it’s kind of been at the top of my thought processes lately and I was doing uh work on Khan Academy. K-H-A-N Academy I think “.org” if you want just want to go to that URL (uh-huh) and that also is completely free. And it’s just remarkable what the interface and all of the obvious work that’s been put into this thing (mm-hmm) that is completely free.

Alex: Sorry, did you say this is also language learning?

José: Khan Academy actually is not language learning. I initially went to it because because I thought, “you know what, I should learn more about mathematics. (mm-hmm) I’ve always thought that mathematics and history were the two things that I –Sorry againJose's computer was making alert sounds during the conversation. That’s why he was apologising. (0:57)– uh, (don’t worry) that I should – that I should know more about. And I thought, you know, I’m I’m ac- I’m actually pretty deficient when it comes to things like algebra and and calculus, and I thought, you know **…

Alex: “Deficient” you said?

José: Oh yeah, completely useless. Ha ha. Beyond deficient, I’m worthless. I have a hard time adding up three number figures and… Anyway so I was doing that (mm-hmm) and then I started finding out about things like Khan Academy and that’s, you know as I was doing Internet research, That’s when I found out about Duolingo. (mm-hmm) But now there seems to be a whole bunch of stuff out there (mm-hmm) that is completely free like um, EdX., (uh-huh) Coursera C-O,

Alex: Coursera?

José: Yeah, and if you go there… uh, you you’re not going to get credits that you can turn over to a university and they’ll put it on your transcript and give you a university degree, but you’re getting, If you’re, uh, basically uh, a devoted student somebody who is indepe- who is a good independent learner, the equivalent reading list, the equivalent uh ability (yeah) to talk to professors over um Internet um communications, video and voice calls (uh-huh) and through Internet forums (mm-hmm) and chat (mm-hmm) to talk to your peers (mm-hmm) uh, you know, other students. This is this is just an amazing revolution in education I think.

Alex: Wow. It does sound amazing you know. I wonder where it will go. You know, maybe we don’t maybe we don’t need to go to uh, these uh, classrooms in the future.

José: I wouldn’t be afraid of of a situation like that. I think naturally for a lot of professors, a lot of teachers who don’t, spend a lot of time thinking about the Internet in their own teaching. I think the natural response is to think, “Oh my gosh, what’s going to happen from here,” and, “Will I still have a job?” And I think there’s there’s always going to be a job for teachers.

Alex: Yeah.

José: But, how it’s going to work in terms of um, how we get paid and, and, even if that’s maybe not a good thing in the short-term, I think this is only a good thing in the long-term. Democratizing education, making it cheap.

Alex: Yeah. Can’t be afraid of change. It’d be nice to have a change, maybe, you know (meow) You said it!

José: I’m sorry, my cat is hungry. Okay Alex, thanks a lot.

Alex: Yup.


What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages internet study?

How do you think the way you study now is different from how people studied 50 years ago?

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José Domingo Cruz image

José Domingo Cruz


Vancouver, British Columbia

Alex Bodnar Image

Alex Bodnar


Harriston, Ontario


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