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Technology Standard 4 Artifact

Technology Standard 4 Artifact

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Published by Melissa Adams

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Published by: Melissa Adams on Apr 30, 2011
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08/22/2013

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Melissa AdamsTechnology Paper CI 405AWe are slowly approaching a new way of life where computers and technology areovertaking our lives and everything we do. Schools and education are no exception to this idea because there is an increase in online education courses today that has never been seen before.The real question is does this µvirtual schooling¶ make sense in K-12 education? Virtualschooling allows for students to work at their own pace, select the courses they want to participate in, and it creates a new meaning for school. In 2007 the Washington, DC-basedCenter for Education Reform reported that there were already ³173 virtual charter schoolsserving 92,235 students´ (Education Sector). These numbers exemplify the fact that virtualschools are starting to gain popularity and pose as a potential option for students. Although thereare criticisms about the virtual school programs and some reasons not to promote it, virtualeducation proves to be effective for the future of learning.Virtual Schooling is not wanting or trying to take the place of traditional face-to-faceeducation, instead it is fostering a new type of learning. Effective teaching has not changed,however ³«the internet has enabled educators to significantly alter the experience of schooling´(Education Sector). Virtual schooling gives the options of flexibility and variation thattraditional education would never be allowed too. The schedules and learning are gearedtowards the students and how it benefits them most. ³Virtual schools can organize entire coursesaccording to an individual student¶s learning needs´ (Education Sector) and provide them withthe variation they need. Students have always learned at different rates and virtual schoolingallows those students who are slower or faster to go at the pace they are comfortable with. Thisidea keeps students engaged in school and takes the pressure off of them to hurry and keeps them
 
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from getting restless by going too slow. Having virtual class also gives students freedom andallows them to continue learning all through the day. In traditional education classes the learningusually ceases once the students goes home, however ³virtual schools can erase the artificial boundary between academic learning that takes place during the school day and that whichoccurs at home or during after school hours´ (Education Sector). Virtual schools gives studentssomething to continue on while they are at home that is exactly how they were working on it inthe classroom. For example if the students are working on language arts homework and forgethow to do something, they can refer back to the online forum where the ideas the teacher discussed from the days learning are to help them with their work. Having class and homework online or on the computer is great for students because they can spend hours on the computer at atime. This gives them something to do while they are on the computer keeping them away fromsites they should not be on. They will also associate computers and internet with fun and notthink of their homework as boring traditional pen and paper homework.There are different variations to virtual schooling, one of them being µsupplemental¶schooling which ³allows students to take online courses in addition to their regular school-basedcourses´ (Education Sector). This type of program is for students who can and want to takeadvanced placement classes but their schools do not offer them or for students who need to makeup a class they missed or failed. Supplemental schooling is successful because of ³the supportthey give their students´ (Education Sector). Virtual schools are geared specifically to helpingthe students. Whether it is by giving them more class options, more or less time, or simply a better way to learn virtual schools strive to please the students. This is what education issupposed to be about, promoting absolute student success. Another example of virtual school programs is to use blended learning which ³«combines online delivery of educational content
 
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with the best features of classroom interaction and live instruction to personalize learning, allowthoughtful reflection, and differentiate instruction from student to student across a diverse groupof learners´ (NACOL). Blended learning gives students a taste of both worlds. It provides themwith the same face-to-face instruction they need as well as the online adaption that is alsoimportant. Blended learning allows the students to interact on a personal level with students intheir class and with students across the world in their online classes that gives them perspectivesof how different people live. Chicago Virtual Charter School is an example of a school that hasincorporated the blended learning ideal into their curriculum. K12 inc. provides curriculum,technology and school services to insure that the blended learning community works. There arefour major functions of the school and it provides students with social organizations and groupsto participate in. In the school ³students must attend physical classes at the learning center aminimum of one day per week´ and ³the learning center teacher is the same teacher the studentworks with online, providing consistency´ (NACOL). The CVCS is very successful in its program and has a lot of support from the staff and parents alike.There are beliefs and theories however that still argue that virtual schooling is not aseffective as face-to-face education. Many people believe you cannot get the same educationfrom a computer screen as you do from personal interaction. Research was conducted on K-12students in different states and in different grade levels who either had traditional schooling or some form of virtual schooling. The results showed that there was ³«no significant differencein student performance in online courses versus traditional face-to-face learning´ (EducationSector). Although people argue that one is better than the other data shows that the two modelsof education provide the same results. Some states have bought into the idea that virtualschooling is where the education system is headed and have made changes to accommodate that.

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