Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Supporting the activity of homeschooling

Via Joshua Porter, here's a service for supporting homeschooling. From the blog announcement:
What is Simply put, it is a web application that allows you to create, record, and review your homeschool activities quickly and easily. We want you to spend time with your kids, not your computer, so our focus has been on quick and easy setup. Create your courses, enroll your students in the courses and you are ready to create this week’s schedule. Are you someone who prepares your schedule a month in advance? Terrific, we have recurring activities and easy input to build your schedule as far out as you like. Or are you someone who creates your schedule the night before (like at our house, ahem)? No problem, we make it easy to enter tomorrow’s activities before you drop off to sleep.
Zuboff and Maxmin point out that the rise of homeschooling relates to the more general desire for customized experiences. This desire manifests elsewhere as a trend toward co-customization (Victor & Boynton, theoreticaly elaborated by Engestrom). On a related note, Castells argues in The Power of Identity that the US is undergoing a kind of shear across local, state, and federal control, a shear that (particularly on the right, at least in 1997) manifests in terms of shifting control over money, mores, and education to individuals or local authorities. The trends toward (1) localization of control and (2) customized experiences are greatly abetted by the spread of information technologies, so I am not surprised to see that sites such as are being constructed. In fact, I expect that far more such communities are developing sub rosa in Facebook, Ning, Google Groups, and other community venues.

What will be really interesting to watch, I think, is how such communities handle localization issues related to state and county statutes. Online communities connect far-flung locations in rhizomatic networks, but those locations are also spatially, legally, and economically situated within hierarchies and markets. So we can expect to see mechanisms for adapting general solutions (in this case, homeschooling solutions) to specific locales, whether those mechanisms are formal or informal.

1 comment:

danial said...

good blog