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Online Learning Shows Promise In Education Reform

Online education, or distance learning, is an effective means of public education reform, according to an article in the eSchool News.  In their words:

“The growing popularity and success of online learning is an important but ‘largely unnoticed’ trend that reform-minded educators and policy makers could use to much greater advantage as they seek to improve public education in general, says a new report from Education Sector, a nonprofit think tank in Washington, D.C.

Titled ‘Laboratories of Reform: Virtual High Schools and Innovation in Public Education,’ the report urges reformers to recognize that long-sought improvements in teaching and learning already are being applied successfully in online education.

‘Virtual schooling is driving the same sorts of transforming changes in public education as Apple’s iTunes has been producing in the way people collect and listen to music,’ the report asserts. ‘While the importance of effective teaching and learning has not changed, the internet has enabled educators to significantly alter the experience of schooling.’

For example, the report says, virtual schools are ‘personalizing student learning and extending it beyond the traditional school day,’ as well as creating ‘new models for the practice of teaching—with opportunities to easily observe, evaluate, and assist instructors. And they are pioneering performance-based education funding models’.” Read full text.

I believe that as children in K-12 utilize the previously unsung benefits of ‘virtual schooling’, they will become the next generation of online college students. When these students graduate from high school, no one should be surprised if they opt for the flexibility of an online bachelor’s degree instead the traditional university experience.

After all, they will have grown up with computers, the Internet, iPods, cell phones, WiFi and PDA’s. MySpace and FaceBook, along with other Educational Tools sites, prepare them for the message boards and video-conferencing that are common in online education. The natural next step will be to earn a college degree via the technology that is like a second skin to these home-grown techies.

At least, that is what I think.

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Posted by vida

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