Letters

Online courses make education accessible and inexpensive

It was refreshing to read the extensive March 30 article, "Online courses aren't just for home-schoolers anymore." It's about time! The Florida Virtual School motto - "anytime, any place, any path, any pace" - is becoming a reality everywhere. The barriers of bricks and mortar, fixed classrooms, and a conventional teacher-centered model for learning are slowly coming down. This will be a huge benefit to educating people of all ages.

The use of video-game platforms should be an integral part of automated assisted learning and virtual schools. These portable devices do not need a communication tie to the Internet, and they are inexpensive.

Canned video courses operated on game devices can provide content which is needed before students go online for more extensive learning. And they can provide immediate assessment and feedback, which are essential to learning.

Now is the time to break loose from the big expenses of bricks, mortar, busing, and printed materials and move toward electronic virtual schools.
G. Stanly Doore
Silver Spring, Md.

The US needs to reassess NAFTA

Regarding George W. Grayson's March 30 Opinion piece, "Mexico prefers to export its poor, not uplift them": Mexican society and its government may be partly responsible for the exodus of its citizens to the US to seek a better life, but we need more information about what else has changed over the years to cause this current influx of immigrants.

Our US government passed NAFTA in 1993. What happened after NAFTA in terms of jobs, earning power, and unemployment both here and in Mexico? What happened to the agricultural industry in terms of the profitability of crops, the number of small farms being gobbled up by the agri-giants, and the farm subsidies offered in each country?

Perhaps immigration isn't the problem that needs reform. NAFTA is now 13 years old, and it's time to take a look at whose personal wealth has improved and whose has deteriorated as a result of free trade on both sides of the border.
Barbara Commins
San Francisco

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Mail letters to 'Readers Write,' and opinion articles to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, or fax to (617) 450-2317, or e-mail to Letters.

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