… VIRTUAL SCHOOLS AND VIRTUAL LEARNING Latrice Brown W200 Summer 2011
TRADITIONAL LEARNING IS NO LONGER THE NORM The way the student learns is so forever-changing, the teacher standing in front of the class feeding information is on the verge of extinction. To think that there are online classes for elementary school grades k-12 is saying a lot about the future of the teachers teaching in the traditional classroom setting. Look below to see the new look of the new emerging classroom coming to your house soon.
The virtual school market is exploding across the United States. According to Kellogg (2008), at least 40 accredited virtual schools are already serving approximately 520,000 students. These schools once offered only advanced placement and remedial classes, but they now provide supplemental coursework and, in some cases, core curriculum. Seventy-five percent of the virtual school programs are delivered through purchased or licensed outside providers, and the other 25 percent are developed by the school systems. The target audiences for virtual schools are 75 percent of home-schooled students, 30 percent of elementary school students, 68 percent of middle school students, and 100 percent of high school students (Kellogg). p.5(3)
What will my teaching experience look like in the future? http://find.galegroup.com.proxy2.ulib.iupui.edu/gps/images/favicon.ico When I think about the future of education and how I initially envisioned how I would be teaching my students it never crossed my mind that I would be possibly not have an actual classroom but be teaching lessons only through technology and computers. My mindset at what I initially expected has definitely changed tremendously.
Is it a difference? Some states in the United States, including Maine, Indiana, Michigan, and Virginia, have begun to implement one-to-one computing (Bonifaz & Zucker, 2004) in schools where each child gets his/her own laptop to use during school hours and often to take home. For instance, the Maine Learning Technology Initiative (2002-2004) supplied every seventh and eighth grade student in Maine and their teachers with laptop computers, and 40% of the middle schools allow students to take their laptops home. Although few research studies on the effects of one-to-one computing on teaching and learning have been reported, teachers report that students in one-to-one computing programs are more engaged and motivated and interact better with teachers (Bebell, 2005; Silvernail, & Lane, 2004). At the same time, recommendations for abandoning one-to-one computing programs citing the high cost, potential access to inappropriate material, and lack of proven impact on student achievement (Hu, 2007; Vascellaro, 2006) have been widely published. Still, the number of U.S. schools adopting one-to-one computing programs continues to increase every year, according to a survey of the largest 2,500 school districts in the United States conducted by the Hayes Connection and cited in the New York Times by Hu (2007). Virtual homework
I think we may be on to something? By using a system such as the ASSISTment system, students can learn more than they would by doing their homework with paper and pencil. Students get immediate feedback on their answers and help when they need it. In addition to better learning results, teachers can take advantage of the convenience of having homework automatically graded and recorded. Students can also benefit from Web-based homework because they may take their homework more seriously when they know it will be graded. With the ASSISTment system, teachers can also pinpoint exactly where students are having difficulties and get reports on which skills to address in class for individual students or the class as a whole (Feng, Heffernan & Koedinger, 2006), thus allowing teachers to address shortcomings. Content is relatively easy to develop in the ASSISTment system and can be created in a fraction of the time needed to develop content in other intelligent tutoring systems (Razzaq et al., 2008).
I’ m thinking ? <ul><li>I am thinking that we have to do what works and though I am very hesitant with the idea of teaching using only technology instruction studies are showing that they are effective and that is the main goal that a teacher should have. </li></ul>
Studies that only compare virtual learning with traditional instruction, though, like those that compare charter schools with traditional public schools, mask many of the most interesting questions about virtual education. To be useful, research needs to be specific as to "what works for whom, what implementation practices matter, and why," says Marianne Bakia, senior education researcher at SRI International and one of the authors of the Department of Education study.
Research is moving right along . <ul><li>Virtual education has the potential to operate in a more nimble and responsive market than charter schools. Without the large up-front costs associated with brick-and-mortar schools and the long lag time for determining school success, the virtual education market may not need as many limits on new entrants. But for the market to yield innovation and high performance, providers need to be rewarded for successful student outcomes, not just enrollments, and an independent agency, whether it's a charter-like authorizer the school district, or the state, needs to be responsible for quickly shutting down low performers. Education Next, Spring 2011 </li></ul>
The proof is in the pudding…. <ul><li>Now the issue remains will we be able to get others (those skeptics) who don’t care about studies who have been in the world of education and don’t know much about technology to jump on the band wagon. We all must get on the same page if we are going to get anyway and the real issue is are we denying the students every possible way of learning depending what “their” needs and also keep in mind that everything is not going to work for every child but really adopt the concept of leaving no child left behind by giving them options . </li></ul>
It begins now!!! <ul><li>We have to think outside the box and order to achieve the goal we set out as educators and that is to educate. We can not have the mentality of “can’t fix what isn’t broken”, it may not be completely demolished but it is on its last legs and we have to be proactive and not reactive if we are serious about what we do. That beginning is starting now with using technology as a tool to enhance capabilities of students to reach their goals. We can not expect for the students to excel when we don’t do the same thing as teachers with equipping with what will help them be successful in the future. It clearly starts now with you and with me. </li></ul>
Sources: <ul><li>Rhea, D. (2011). Virtual physical education in the k-12 setting. JOPERD--The Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, 82.1, 5. </li></ul><ul><li>Dillon, Erin, and Bill Tucker. "Lessons for online learning: charter schools' successes and mistakes have a lot to teach virtual educators." Education Next 11.2 (2011): 50+. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 24 June 2011 </li></ul><ul><li>Mendicino, Michael, Leena Razzaq, and Neil T. Heffernan. "A comparison of traditional homework to computer-supported homework. " Journal of Research on Technology in Education. 41.3 (Spring 2009): 331(29). Academic OneFile. Gale. UNIV LIBRARY AT IUPUI. 24 June 2011 </li></ul>