ERIC Number: ED484798
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Highschool.com. All Over the Country, Secondary School Students are Going Online For Classes. Will the Virtual Classroom Redefine What it Means to Be a Student or a Teacher?
George Lucas Educational Foundation
Virtual schools make available a world of new courses from obscure electives to advanced placement classes that challenge students intellectually and open up new doors educationally. Thanks to the anytime, anywhere nature of online courses, students with a range of special circumstances (from health issues to job or family constraints) don?t have to fall behind or drop out. From small rural communities to large urban centers, schools of all sizes and styles are looking to online courses to patch holes in their own academic lineups. For a student in a rural or poorly funded school looking for a class in marine sciences or Web programming, an online course may be the only option. "Many of these students wouldn?t have access to these classes otherwise," says Bob Blomeyer, a senior program associate with the North Central Regional Educational Laboratory, which provides resources to teachers and policymakers."There is a tremendous potential for education improvement." The flexibility of online learning is a big draw for students with a heavy schedule of extracurricular activities, too. During the past decade, virtual K?12 schools have developed from farflung hatchlings to a full-fledged industry that has allowed high school students to make excellent use of their high school years by cherry picking among the best teachers in several states. But what will the next 10 years bring? Will students sit in cubicles? Will everyone stay home? Not likely, say most experts."Online learning will never replace the classroom," says FLVS?s Young. Some form of blended learning online and in the classroom will likely become the norm, as students take one or two online courses to supplement their traditional schedule. Even when they?re enrolled in online courses, most students won?t be entirely on their own. An inclass teacher will act as a coach, helping students select online courses and making sure they stay on track and manage their time well. The local coach or facilitae ones. It is a model that will better prepare them not only for college where these skills are essential to success but for life in an information driven society.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Kindergarten
Authoring Institution: George Lucas Educational Foundation, San Rafael, CA.