Online School INTRO -Imagine rolling out of bed and turning on your computer, and boom, you are checked in to class. -The concept of Online Schooling is fast growing within our country. -Each year, more and more students from elementary school up to college are utilizing technology to achieve their goals in school. -Today, I would like to talk to you about the speed at which this growth is occurring and the pros and cons of such an occurrence on the students involved. BODY 1 -According to the nonprofit international association for K through 12 online learning, an estimated 1.5 million school children in the United States are taking an online course. -That number is expected to continue growing by 30% annually. -That is 1.95 million next year and then 2.5 million in the year following. -As this trend continues to grow, experts have started looking at just how beneficial it is for the students. BODY 2 -Diane Lewis is a founder of a very successful virtual schooling system in Florida. She is quoted saying, “a lot of kids don’t fit the mold anymore of four walls and a clock.”
-This is true. Advancements in technology have put a lot of students in a place where it is very difficult for them to sit in classes for 7 hours a day without access to a laptop, tablet or cell phone. -This program is, according to the VHS Collaborative, “a world where technology enriches the classroom experience. Where schools share resources. And where possibilities are not limited by where you live or go to school”. -Virtual school students are instead put in a classroom setting where they can wake up when they choose, work at their own pace, and take as many breaks as possible to text, watch tv, surf the internet or take a nap. -It seems perfect, but is it? BODY 3 -According to Karen Reid from the department of educational psychology at the university of Nevada at Las Vegas, students who excel in these virtual classroom settings are possessors of the following characteristics. -Self directed independent learners and highly motivated with good time managements skills. -They have a willingness to ask a lot of questions without being dependent on face to face interaction, and have strong support from their families. -Many students go into Virtual school this thinking it will be easier, but soon procrastination takes hold along with not having a teacher to keep
you on schedule or a group of in class friends to lend help in the form of study groups and test prep. -In some places the virtual dropout rate is as high as 60 to 70 percent according to Reid’s research. -A lot of “at risk” students are put into these programs with hopes that it will help them graduate, and too often that isn’t how it plays out. BODY 4 -Through Reid’s research she also determined the following. -These courses CAN promote academic achievement. -HOWEVER, additional research SHOULD be given to the developmental implications of social and cultural integration to THOSE students who have remained in the program for multiple years. -Basically she, along with quite a few other researchers on this topic, believe that this could be extremely beneficial to students. -But, after years of them only knowing a learning environment with a computer, social development of these students can be impaired, which ultimately can hurt them tremendously in being successful when it is time to break away from school in its virtual, non-human interaction form and attempt to join the workforce where human interaction is essential. CONCLUSION-At this point though, the concept of virtual school is still so new that the effects of it in the long term have yet to be determined.
-In closing, I just want to remind you about the speed at which online schooling is growing, and about the pros and cons of utilizing such a tool. -It seems like an excellent idea right now to some, and horrible to others. I suppose we will have to wait 10 or 15 more years to have enough evidence to conclude who is correct.
BIBLIOGRAPHY - Patrick, Susan, and Allison Powell. "Summary of Research for Online K12 Learning."Www.Inacol.org. Inacol, Aug. 2009. Web. 1 Apr. 2013. <http://www.inacol.org/research/docs/NACOL_ResearchEffectivenesslr.pdf>. - Hartnett, Judy F. "The Timeless Art of Education." The Free Library. Farlex, 1 Feb. 2011. Web. 1 Apr. 2013. <http://www.thefreelibrary.com/The+timeless+art+of+education.a0249603809>. -"Curriculum and Instruction” Index. VHS Collaborative, n.d. Web. 01 Apr. 2013. <http://thevhscollaborative.org/aboutus/careers/curriculum-and-instruction-coordinator-math>. - Reid, Karen. "Multiple Case Study of First Year Seminars." UNLV Libraries. UNLV, n.d. Web. 1 Apr. 2013. <http://digitalscholarship.unlv.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1063&c ontext=thesesdissertations>.