The Virtual Classroom Does it narrow the digital divide? Jenn Bradstreet 3/3/8
The Doolittle family, Augusta, Georgia
Public schools don’t address the needs of their children.
Home schooling is costly and burdensome.
Mainstream education teaches too much to the “test.”
Virtual school allows students to work at their own pace and get greater attention.
Georgia Virtual Academy
A hybrid of home school, public education and online learning.
In its first year of operation.
1 st grade through 8 th grade; 2,650 students enrolled.
A daily lesson plan must be accessed online by each pupil.
The lesson plan can consist of computer work assignments and book work.
Instruction is also given during assemblies.
The children are able to ask questions with a microphone, indicate they don't understand with the click of the mouse and receive live instruction through Web-based chats.
Benefits of the Virtual Classroom
Lessons five days a week.
It’s portable; can be accessed by students that are ill or who travel with family.
A free computer is provided by state-charted schools.
Resources provided through the virtual program include a microscope, Petri dishes, counting blocks and everything they would find and need in a traditional classroom.
Virtual Classroom Statistics According to the Minnesota Dept. of Education, 2007 Cyber Village Academy in St. Paul
85 percent of the academy's pupils were proficient in reading, compared with 77 percent of pupils statewide.
In math, 70 percent were proficient, slightly better than the state's 69 percent average.
The school also had a higher attendance with 99 percent. The state as a whole had less than 95 percent.
Criticism of Virtual Classrooms
“ My belief is that we've tried to shove the technology into the old school framework, and we've spent millions - I suppose billions - of dollars around the country over the last 20 years trying to supercharge the old system," Mr. Graba said. "Frankly, I don't think that you can get the real benefits of these technologies if you don't fundamentally change the structure of school and schooling."
What to expect in the future?
Schooling in the future might resemble Boy Scouts of today - children of different ages working at their own pace with a variety of adults, said Tim Waters, the president and chief executive officer of Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning.
How many of you have taken online classes?
Any success stories?
Criticisms of the virtual classroom?
In what ways could a virtual classroom narrow the digital divide?
Cyber Learning Virtual School Expands Horizons
Greg Gelpi (2008, February 18). Cyber learning Virtual school expands horizons. The Augusta Chronicle,A.1. Retrieved March 1, 2008, from ProQuest Newsstand database. (Document ID: 1431686461).