Thursday, November 29, 2007

Virtual High Schools

This idea bothers me a little bit. I understand that the opportunity for virtual classrooms can be a valuable asset for some students, but I believe that the traditional classroom is still an asset. These classes are great for the student who has an extended leave from school due to illness or because of a rigorous training schedule for a sport, like ice skating in the article. However, I can't say that I would ever seek this type of an education for my own kids. The experience of being in school and the interaction and communication skills that children learn is invaluable. How can you expect adults to work cooperatively on a project for a business if they were never expected to work on a project with their classmates? I'm sure my idea of this may be a little exaggerated because I'm so unfamiliar with this technology, but I don't see it replacing most schools. The article also talked about how this was a great opportunity for kids in low income schools with classrooms that were filled beyond capacity, but that doesn't seem to make sense to me either. If a student is from a low income community in a school that can't get appropriate funding, where are the students getting the money for a computer, internet service, or a webcam that may be necessary for videoconferencing with a teacher? If states can't fund schools so they have appropriate facilities and simple necessities like desks for each student, then how can they support and fund online schools? I think a lot of other needs in our school systems need to be addressed before we can create a successful online school. I guess I'll just learn about this as the technology develops, maybe it'll grow on me, but as of right now I just don't understand it.

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