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The Rise Of Online High Schools

High school goes digital. Never mind pep rallies and locker rooms. We’ll look at the rise of online high school.

There are a growing number of online high schools, which are raising question from education experts. (AP)

There are a growing number of online high schools, which are raising question from education experts. (AP)

We all know what school means. Especially high school. Classrooms. Study halls. Pep rallies. Locker rooms. For most, that’s still the formula.

But a rising wave of American students – and not just high school but the full K-12 – is turning away from that. Is getting its education online.

Some are just supplementing with online courses as hard-pressed schools cut Latin and Chinese and AP classes. Others are going whole-hog to the Internet. The full load, from home, with lectures and readings and homework and tests, all online. Is this the future?

This hour, On Point: when school goes online.

-Tom Ashbrook


Bill Tucker, managing director at the Education Sector.

Clifford Nass, professor at Stanford University.

Jeffrey Scarborough, Headmaster at Stanford Online High School.

From Tom’s Reading List

The New York Times “Several other universities — though none with the pedigree of Stanford — already operate online high schools, a development that has raised some questions about expertise and motives.”

San Francisco Chronicle
“Online high schools aren’t new but until now haven’t targeted gifted students who often progress rapidly through advanced material. A gifted student might finish a math course in four months that an average student would need a year to complete.”

Education Week “Those students are often underserved in regular public schools, which may not have the time or money to provide courses that challenge them or allow them to pursue particular academic interests, says Patricia Wallace, the senior director of information technology for the Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth, which runs an online prep school called CTYOnline for pre-K-12 students.”

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  • Yar

    We need gifted kids in public schools.  We also need to challenge every student. We have re-segregated many public schools, not by race, but by class.  I am all for online classes, but I am against abandoning public education.  If the brightest and the richest kids go to private, religious, home, or online schools then public schools return to the days before Brown Vs. Board of Education.  As a society we won’t sufficiently fund an education system that only teaches ‘other people’s kids’.  That is why “separate but equal” isn’t, and never can be.  Charter schools, vouchers, or tuition credits for k-12 education hurts public education.  
    Working with gifted students is part of the reward for a career as a teacher. These students are often the leaders of the student body, they excel in the band, they bring diversity to the education experience for all students.  Take the online class but stay in public school.   There is much more to education than book learning, and to get the most out of our educational experience we should learn together.  

    I am also for 2 years of public service after high school, I will save that is for another day.

    • Tina

      Yar!  Once again:  THANK YOU for your clarity and comprehensive understanding of yet another important topic!

    • Terry Tree Tree

      My earlier reply to you evidently got dropped!  VERY Good Synopsis!!  Thank you!!

    • William

      Is the purpose of school to enforce diversity or get a good education?

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Diversity IS part of a good education!  Although China developed gunpowder, they found out how far behind the rest of the world they were, when Dewey’s fleet sailed in under steam, in iron ships!
            You can learn FAR more from the other gender(s), the other races, and creeds, about the truth, than you can from a closed-circuit group!

        • William

          As a parent I would stay away from a school system that is more concerned about diversity than stressing becoming a well educated American.
          This “on line” education is a good addition for parents to provide extra credit classes or additional help for students. I don’t think it would replace the traditional school system.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      ANYTHING can be used for Good or Evil, as far as I can tell!  So far, no one has proven me wrong! 
          On-line and traditional school each has advantages and dis-advantages.  The Austrailian Outback, and Alaska both had radio-based schooling fifty years ago, or so.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    Video Kindergarden, Video Elementary, On-line High School, On-line college, Texting, eMail, Tele-commuting to work, Teaching social skills with a robot!  Your children will NEVER have to interact with a live human being face to face!  Progress?  ANY major outage, maybe a minor one, and the suicide rate QUADRUPLES!  Because they HAVE to use skills they never developed!
         Perhaps they get so over-joyed, when they finally meet a human, they give everything they have to that person, out of gratitude?            
        Please consider ALL the ramifications of the options you choose for your children!

  • AC

    it’s only a matter of time, brick and mortar schools are in serious need of improvement and no one wants to pay (insert short-sighted ‘taxes’ commentary)……
    save materials, less traffic, less fuel consumption, students learn at their own pace…
    less jobs – 1 teacher for how many kids? more sedentary obesity issues?….

  • Anonymous

    I hope this is the way to go in the future.  For most courses, you don’t need to be physically in class for, except for certain science subjects where laboratory work is needed. The rest of the courses you can do at home.  Heck, often times, the instructor teaches straight out of the book, so often times you don’t need them either.

    You’ll definitely miss out on the socialization of high school, but for most kids that means missing out on getting picked on various trivial things.  Elders may think that’s an essential part of growing up, but personally, it did me no good.


      Is it possible that you are unable to see the benefits you gained from your trevails?

      • Anonymous

        You got to be careful of the unintended lessons from the ‘social’ environment that people laud.  What are they?  How to put up with a bully, how to keep doing something you don’t want to do for the next 4 years of your life, how to be conventional and not take risks for fear of rejection, how elevate the printed word/texts/authority as The Absolute.

        And all of these *and more* have very real and frequently occurring correlates in the adult world.  Respectively: putting up with a crappy boss or a crappy congress; living a dissatisfied life; living with regret; you’re either with us or with the terrorist mentality; believing that financial magicians can fix financial problems.

        • Gerald Fnord

          Once cyber-bullying was invented, there was no need to maintain physical high-schools.

          I am exaggerating for effect, but (given how well I learned, and what an hard time I got for it) there really were times when bullying seemed to be the entire point of having high (and middle) school.

          This is a stupider restatement of what I believe you’re saying:  high school is bad precisely because it is more a teaching mechanism for putting up with a needlessly (and counterproductively) cruel world, including the transmission and enforcement of arbitrary social norms that wouldn’t survive if left to fend for themselves on the basis of how happy they helped people be.

          • Gerald Fnord

            “…more a…” should have concluded with:

            “…than a way of helping people learn, learn how to observe and learn, and think creatively and analytically*…quite probably because we really don’t _want_ our employees, parishioners, and citizens to do any of those things.”

            *Much less how not to go flying off the handle and ending your post too quickly.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Guys, bullies are a fact of life!  Cyber, or any other way!  If you let them, they will bully you out of life.  News reports of suicides caused by cyber-bullies crop ever so often, and are probably GROSSLY under-reported.
                If you ‘protect’ your children, or yourself from life, what is your life?

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Ways to deal with bullies.  Ways to get ahead of the bullies.  The willful ignorance of most bullies.  The bullies that will come to you for a job, when you use your education and abilities to be successful!!    Your own resilience and resourcefulness. 
              SO many things you can learn, that you cannnot learn on-line, really!


    Just what we all need, less human contact and less moving about.  I’m sure alot of ideologically driven people would like to keep their children captive so that they don’t have to worry about exposure to ideas they don’t agree with.  I am also concerned about families without the resources to supplement staring at the computer screen the with some real world education and stimulation.

    What is the value of gathering together for education and activity?  Is it worth paying for?

  • Jasoturner

    There is no way that an on line educational system can match a bricks and mortar system.  Kids lack the self discipline to focus for the six or seven hours a day that are required to learn subjects with any depth.  Sure, kids goof off in school too, but not nearly so much.  Hell, even in college studying engineering, the interaction with professors and other students was essential to master some of the more difficult material.  I cannot imagine I would have earned a “legit” M.S. degree through an on-line program.

    That said, if on-line learning offers more people a chance to get schooling at an affordable price, or to study subjects not available locally, that’s a lot better than nothing.  But this does not strike me as a major breakthrough in how people learn.

  • dmf

    industry blogger University Diaries reports on “Kaplan for Your Kid”:
    From Idaho to Indiana to Florida,
    recently passed laws will radically reshape the face of education in
    America, shifting the responsibility of teaching generations of
    Americans to online education businesses, many of which have poor or
    nonexistent track records. The rush to privatize education will also
    turn tens of thousands of students into guinea pigs in a national
    experiment in virtual learning — a relatively new idea that allows
    for-profit companies to administer public schools completely online,
    with no brick-and-mortar classrooms or traditional teachers.
    … “Why are our legislators rushing to jump off the cliff of cyber
    charter schools when the best available evidence produced by independent
    analysts show that such schools will be unsuccessful?” asked Ed Fuller,
    an education researcher at Pennsylvania State University, on his blog.


    • Terry Tree Tree

      WHY, Indeed!

  • Adks12020

    Online high school is a terrible idea.  It’s not a matter of whether the childred can comeplete the work or even excel at it and finish sooner.  It’s a matter of socialization.  School is where childred learn to interact with one another and with authority figures.  They learn how to resolve problems that they can’t avoid by staying in their rooms at home.  It is a difficult but important part of childhood development and taking it away is just not smart.

    Online school really only makes sense for adults that cannot afford to stop working while going to school.  Adults have already been through the guantlet of middle and high school and are simply trying to imrpove their careers, not develop socially.

    • Tina

      I went Community College some years after getting my Masters in order to switch to a new field.  There were many adults in my courses who were a decade or two beyond the normal college age. What I observed each semester was this:  adults developing intellectually AND socially thru academic engagement!  That is to say, so many of the students at first did NOT want to be there; all they wanted was “the job” after graduating; they hoped to find the right memorization techniques to “score an A”; and thru the first few weeks of each semester, no matter what the course material,  there were several individuals who did NOT “play well with others” because they just wanted to memorize and score without any real understanding of the material, or even any interest in the material, and they would get annoyed with any of us who suggested that maybe the memorization technique was leading us astray from real understanding of the material.  Consistently, by the middle of November, not only were these students finally engaged intellectually, but they were engaging with the rest of us without the sarcastic, dismissive tone that had characterized their earlier social interaction styles.  I also watched, delighted, as several of the recalcitrant students became leaders in our study groups, as these individuals figured out that learning collaboratively and cooperatively helped us all and led to greater understanding of the material (which, by then, they’d realized was NOT a stumbling block on their way to a job).  I loved watching this happen and benefitted tremendously myself from the intellectually engaging study groups!  

      • Anonymous

        OK your point is adults are doing well in a Community College setting. What does this have to do with high school age kids sitting at home, possibly without supervision, doing online learning?

        Adolescents are not adults and the way they learn is not the same as people in their 30′s, 40′s and 50′s.

  • Anonymous

    This is a bad idea, period. I see no reason to use technology in the classroom but turning our public schools into for profit online education mills is nothing short of criminal. 


      Speaking of criminal…  Look at how well the profit motive has worked in the field of incarceration!  Maybe those same companies could start schools!

      • TFRX

        How do we know that CCA isn’t getting into the charter school business calling?

      • Terry Tree Tree

        That corrupt system turns out Sterling Citizens, with all that money and time, don’t they?  Or just mostly hardened criminals?

  • Pingback: University Diaries » The scourge of the online high school…

  • Anonymous

    I hated high school.  I would much rather have learned on my own.  It would be good training for life as I spend eight hours a day in a cube sitting at a computer now. 


      Your post is so sad and true that I may need to have a drink this morning.

  • Brett

    Why educate children at all? Our neo-con friends seems to think education prevents people from being entrepreneurial job creators anyway. The school of hard knocks is good enough, and perhaps more valuable than education. Back in my day, children worked twelve-hour days, seven days a week, and businesses prospered! 


      Duh!  I didn’t have to go to college to know that, Brett! (but I did anyway! :))

    • Anonymous

      That’s one of Newt Gingrich’ platforms. Get rid of those pesky child labor laws. 

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Newt wants more cheap child-labor, to pay for all his ex-wives’ alimony?  Such Christian Values!!!

    • TFRX

      I’m puzzled: Are you channelling Dana Carvey’s “Grumpy Old Man”, or Monty Python’s “Four Yorkshiremen”?

      • Brett

        It’s more of a pastiche, really, parodying the modern neo-con’s view of education, but thanks for the recognition of the reactionary elements to that kind of mindset! 

    • Sam Walworth

      Looks like Chinese and Indians have copied our mantra in that too. Look at an average Indian or Chinese kid, they are already working in those factories and soon those countries will be ahead of us..

      We must repeal our child labor laws, immediately..

      Newt Gingrich 2012!!

  • http://www.goVHS.org Debbie Kenny

    Full time online schools may be an answer for a small group of students who cannot attend or succeed in a brick and mortar school for a variety of reasons. 

    For everyone else, we need to pay a lot more attention to the ability to blend face-to-face learning with online learning. 

    Well-designed online courses provide opportunities for students in brick and mortar schools to interact with teachers and peers from different places and cultures, delve more deeply into interesting subjects, and gain access to advanced and elective courses that many schools cannot or do not offer due to limited resources.

    Nonprofit programs such as our program at the Virtual High School Global Consortium (http://www.govhs.org) allow schools to gain all the benefits of high quality online learning for kids, while continuing to support students locally in their familiar school environment. 

    Yet, successful programs like this get little attention from many schools or the media.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    To tell you frankly You Don’t Learn Anything On Line Schooling!!!

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      A person is better off teaching himself math,science or computer programming.

  • AC

    i don’t think it’s that bad of an idea. there are perks.
    and hasn’t anyone else been to an online meeting or training session? it’s pretty much the same as being there between the visuals and voice, plus you can side chat with others at the session…
    the only time it stinks is if your network crashes, but you can still pull up the session in its entirety.
    And I think between extracurricular activities, kids will still socialize – plus we’re just talking high school right? younger would require supervision and not all families can afford to have a working member stay home…

    • Anonymous

      I disagree. I don’t see any perks and the kids need to get out of the house. It would also mean that one of the parents would have to be home all the time. I fail to see any perks in that.

      • AC

        i think there are hidden environmental perks – less traffic, fuel consumption and less use of resources/materials to build/maintain school buildings. The big perk is you can learn at your own pace – there were subjects i would have love to move faster, but then there were others I wished would go slower..
        I agree about the parent, but not so much for this age group being discussed. When I was in high school, I was expected to take care of 2 younger siblings alone daily, around my clubs/activities, friends and school work….

        • Anonymous

          That’s you, and not some other child. What is funny is how people are calling schools daycare. Technology is a tool not a means to an end. Solving problems and learning to work as a team is also essential to a well rounded education. How are kids going to do music and art? Oh wait, this is not important anymore.

          • AC

            not at all!! sound engineering is extremely important,i think an average muscian strives to learn whatever necessary to best make and capture/record his sound. the same for digital media; i’ve been to some fantastic exhibits and i can’t wait to see future artists do with these new methods and materials…..

          • AC

            in the end, it still about being motivated by what you love, but learning does not have to remain 2D…

  • Tina

    When I was a junior in art school, a powerful young woman in my class demanded that we be able to work off campus in our own private studios.  I did not like the idea at all, as I loved learning from watching others work and understood more from those observations than I did from the language used during crits.  Nevertheless, she was powerful, and I did not have an outside studio, so I was one of only about three to five students who stayed in the school studios.  About four years later, after I’d graduated, the department decided to change policy:  students HAD to use the school studios.  The learning went thru the roof!  Each student learned more successfully how to do their own personal work, so that being together did not even result in all the work looking the same, but being together did seem to help students understand their own personal ways of working and themes.  I have spent decades talking about this difference because I really wish I had been able to learn with and thru others, by osmosis, and thru physical contact with the learning process itself!!! 

  • Sam Walworth

    Yes a brilliant idea indeed..

    Soon we will have medical schools / colleges churning out physicians, surgeons and nurses who graduate from Online Medical and Nursing Colleges/Schools!!!!

    We will be able generate more profit for these schools because they will be more “efficient” in churning out more professionals at record price levels and huge in numbers!!!

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    1.  One of the major purposes of getting students together is to teach social skills.

    2.  Schools can’t go on-line.  There is no such thing as an on-line school.  What are the institutions that claim to be such?  Frauds.

  • AC

    i’m not convinced this is a bad idea. i really don’t think the ‘social’ aspect will be lost – there are too many interests and too much to do beyond your basic ’3 Rs” that will still bring groups together….

  • Terry Tree Tree

    How many of these children will have greatly-reduced vision, due to lack of vision exercise?  
         Obesity is another potential hazzard of sitting at home in front of a screen!

    • AC

      i’ve worried about that, but who would sit at home so much? that would be a problem with the parent, or the person has anxieties or something about leaving the home. i don’t know, i would go crazy stuck in the house so much so i had gymanstics/cheerleading/photography/debate/violin & choir group…and some of those were not at school….

      • Brett

        What are “gymanstics”? …Sorry, couldn’t resist…

        • AC


        • Terry Tree Tree

          She IS married.  Evidently happily.  Partly due to ‘gymnastics’?

  • jen

    I have a 7th grade son in a public MA high school taking a high school math course (number theory) on line at the suggestion and expense of our district. He is one of 4 kids in this program. (the kids meet 2x week with a district teacher to review traditional content).

    - it is actually destigmatizing– he doesnt stand out with his grade class each day.
    - autonomy– self directed and independent process
    - real grades– in an era where there are many assignments that get sympathy grades I think this kid loves the concrete response to his work.
    - Fit– it seems like there was good thought into the right level of work instead of making a kid fit in a grade level course that would not be the right level.

    This works well within our community and with this particular kid. THe district did a really thorough assessment of skills and also social considerations before moving forward on this path.

  • Anonymous

    These could be a godsend to home schoolers. Or those in failing districts.

    The biggest plus is being able to go at your own speed. Too many kids fail because they don’t get enough time to learn the lesson, or being bored to death waiting for everyone else to get it.

    That said online schools can have all the failings of brick and mortar schools. And kids in troubled or dysfunctional homes aren’t able to escape to school as many do now.

    • AC

      that is an interesting variable i did not consider…..hmmm. trying to think of how kids could still ‘reach’ out if they need too….

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Flat-Earthers, and other cults, can teach their children, with NO exposure to the provable truth.  Lazy children can have others, including their parents do their school-work, without the ‘teacher’ seeing.  FAR greater chance for un-educated ‘Graduates’.

      • Anonymous

        The easiest way to not learn anything is to sit in a classroom. No one is going to “force” you to do anything after about 6th grade.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          The best teachers stimulate an interest in learning!  They INSPIRE, and transmit their own interests and enthusiasm to the students.  Those others should voluntatily go do something else.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Parents have a HUGE  responsibility for these characteristics!

      • rng

        I think you’d be surprised at how unlike your stereotype the students and families at the Stanford Online High School are.  The kids raise the bar for each other in their discussions, and at the same time, since they are called on, and appear on camera to the teacher, there is no possibility for the parent to answer for them. I would say that if parents are involved at all, it is in the same way that an involved parent would be at any brick and mortar school; discussing the issues they are learning about, and giving them input on the quality of their work.  My 3 students have never sought out our help other than occasionally asking for a second set of eyes to look over the 1st draft of an essay. These students are typically self-motivated, and if they do struggle in this area, typically tend to step it up when they see the passion of their classmates.
        My kids are now 23 (masters degree), 21 (Johns Hopkins & in the process of applying to med school), and 18 (Dartmouth College). They all are thriving and had no difficulty transitioning to college.

  • Anonymous

    I think Online Schools are a GREAT idea if utilized the right way.

    Every high school needs to teach English, History, Math, Science but…  There are a lot of specialty classes that need to be taught to specific students that it is almost impossible for a school to be able to fund at every high school.  It is difficult (if not impossible) for school systems to create specialty high schools and transport students across the state to go to that school.

    Online schools do not (and should not) replace physical schools but they have the ability to do something that is MANDITORY at a time when college educations are getting more and more and more expensive and are questionably valuable in the work place… Online school gives high schools the opportunity to TRULY prepare students for the work place before they graduate.

    Not to mention it gets rid of redundancy.  The online schools can be run by the STATE rather than the municipality or county which gets rid of redundancy which God knows most states (especially Massachusetts) could afford to do.

  • Dh001g

    I want to know how it works for students with learning disabilities. I would think individual pacing and a multi sensory approach would make it a good alternative.

  • Anonymous

    Some caveats – are these kids going to be home alone all day?

    If parents are not educated or don’t value education, or home is a mess, home is not the right place to learn.

    Why assume all online is not at school? How about making online available at schools?

    • Anonymous

      Two things…

      1.  Kids have been home schooled in bad situations for a long time so that is not new or unique to online schools.  Just cause people claim to be religious doesn’t mean they don’t beat their kids and it’s much easier to hide bruises and broken bones when the kids are not at school at all.

      2.  There is no reason why there can’t be computer labs at schools for online courses.  I would think that would be necessary in a Mixed teaching environment. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    University of Phoenix On Line school is the only Legitimate internet school that can teach.

    If you want to buy your Diploma there is a Ad on tv that sings

    Get Connected Educational Connection -http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7a0wat0C2dM

  • Abennett12

    My grandson (being raised by my wife and me) has been student at PA Cyber Charter School, a part of the public education system of PA. It is free to students, tuition being paid through the school tax system. He started in grade 8 having started down hill when he moved up from neighborhood elementary school to consolidated middle school.

    It works beautifully for Cody!

    Cyber charter schools are the solution to alternatives to traditional public schools, where vouchers have failed.


  • guest

    Are there any longitudinal studies tracking home schooled children now into their late 20s+?

  • Glenn Koenig

    Academics shmacademics!  What about people who prefer to learn *while* doing rather than learning theory for years before doing something real? We have reached the limit of young people sitting in front of a screen, now replacing the classroom seat in front of a whiteboard (which replaced the blackboard), all based on the obsolete theory that the teacher has the information and the students are ‘empty vessels’ waiting to be filled with it.  Baloney!
    Asking children to sit down and ‘learn’ is foolishness.  Check out the Artisan’s Asylum, for example.  OK, online lectures are a great resource for when you need something like that, but the real reason the educational system is bankrupt is that it is grossly wasting the energy inherent in our children.  That natural enthusiasm to learn on their own terms and teach each other is wasted when we tell them to sit down, shut up, and pay attention.  They know better what’s worth learning than we do because they will live in a world well beyond our lifetimes as adults.
    Until we trust our children to lead the way in their own education, and support them in that, we are just participating in a colossal waste of time.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Rather interesting view!  In part, I agree, but NOT fully.

  • Joan Thormann

    I am a professor at Lesley University and have been teaching teachers online for the last 16
    years.  I have just completed writing a
    book titled “The Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Designing and Teaching Online
    Courses” which will be available this spring from Teachers College Press at
    Columbia University.


    training and well designed courses are key to student success.  I have found that if a course is designed with
    attention to the student as a person/individual the interaction can be deeper
    than in face-to-face classes.  I usually
    get to know every student in my online courses while in face-to-face there are
    often students who do not speak.  

    This is
    just one aspect of the learning paradigm there are many other facets that
    create a positive learning experience for students.

    Joan Thormann, Ph.D.

  • Jonathan

    I have 2 daughters that just started Florida virtual school this year. What a difference we have experienced in just a few months. Both of our daughters where in advanced classes in there regular schools. They would go to school for six hours a day and come home with 4-5 hours of homework every night. It was ridiculous. Now they do all there school work during the day, are learning more and not distracted by the bad behavior of some of the students that is in every school. Our daughters are socially well adjusted, do volunteer work, and now have time to pursue their interest and passions. My wife is their educational supervisor and is able to view all their work. Regular schools have become daycare centers and provide very little educational guidance.

  • Ellie

    There seems to be a misunderstanding re: home schooling.  It is not always done for religious reasons.  There are home schooling networks where students get together with other students for many reasons.  It is not an isolating experience.  My three grandchildren are home schooled and do computer work alone.  They also meet with other children for Spanish lessons.  The girls take dance and theatre.  All three have been involved in community sports.  It is excellent for growth in independent work.

    • Yar

      Yes, and how do you feel about raising taxes to better fund our public education system?

    • Anonymous

      When my daughter homeschooled, she had a group of homeschoolers she hanged out with, took English classes from an English teacher homeschooler, did dance and other activities, started  Harvard Extension classes (at least back in the 90′s she could attend those at 50% tuition) for credit at 15. She got so much more out of it than her sister who insisted she attend regular high school.

      School is such an artificial social environment, it’s a bit of a shock for many of them entering the real world.

  • Adks12020

    One of the callers just claimed that his daughter went to school online in high school and has a 4.15 GPA in college….am I missing something or has the GPA scale changed since I graduated in 2004? I thought 4.0 (aka – and “A”) was as high as you could get in college.  Was he just exagerrating to to emphaisize his point or something?

    • Anonymous

      Maybe he was home-schooled and lacks math skills.

      • AC

        i run 2 engineering competitions for middle and high schoolers – the past few years there is always at least 1 home-schooled kid winner and in general, they do better –
        the only thing I don’t like that we haven’t found a way to fix is that these kids will use (ok, I just suspect – some of their creations are THAT much better) the competition as part of their curriculum, other kids are doing it after class hours as part of their science or math clubs…

    • Jonathan

      I believe extra cresit can be added to your GPB

      • Jonathan

        sorry. extra credit

        • Anonymous

          Anyone who already has a 4.0 and does extra credit is to be despised. 

          • Adks12020

            my guess is that it was on a 4.5 scale (which is a little odd in my opinion) meaning she had about a B+…whoopdeedoo

    • AC

      it goes up to 4.5 in some colleges

      • Adks12020

        huh…learn something new every day…thanks.

    • Lorraine R

      It can go higher if someone is taking advanced courses, because they are ‘weighted’ differently.  My oldest two girls had greater than 4.0 averages in HS as they took AP classes during that time and got As in those classes.  Same applies in college.

      • Adks12020

        it doesn’t work that way in all colleges but thanks for the input…as for being “weighted” differently that is just ridiculous.  If a student is smart they should take harder classes so they are challenged just as students that have difficulty in school are challenged by regular courses.  I took “Gifted” and AP classes all through school and they weren’t “weighted” any differently that any of the other courses.  They just encouraged those that could handle the rigor to take advantage of them.

        • Lorraine R

          Of course, I should have mentioned that I can only speak from my personal experience.  I do agree that students should be encouraged to take classes that are appropriate for them academically. 

  • Anonymous

    Online schools work well for parents that care about their kids which is not only the top 10% of kids.

  • Adks12020

    As others have mentioned….what if both parents work? Are these high school kids supposed to be home alone all day and not get into trouble?  My experience as a teenager suggests that is not a great idea for a great many kids.

    • Karen

      No one is suggesting this is right for all children.  But, it is right for some.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    As long a student is willing to learn on line that student has a potential in getting a diploma.

  • AC

    frankly, i’m getting jealous this wasn’t around 10 yrs ago……
    i’m just glad there are some free open courseware classes online for adults. i’m trying to learn chinese…..i like that i can always just go to my computer to learn something new….

  • Jonathan

    Yes Virtual K-12 schooling is the future. The current schooling system is broken. Today schools are nothing but daycare cemters.

    • Jonathan

      sorry. centers

  • Charles A. Bowsher

    Thirty-five minutes in and still no mention of The Kahn Academy?  Tom, your research is slipping.

    The Kahn Academy http://www.khanacademy.org/ has over 2,700 videos on-line on a variety of subjects.  The insutruction is high quality.  A California School District is now assigning Kahn Academy videos as homework. The beauty of the Kahn Academy is they feature on-line testing after the video and the results of that are downloaded to the teachers computer each morning so he/she has the results of the students test. They then know who is up to speed and who needs more help. In class he/she assigns homework problems to be completed in class. Using the test metrics the teacher can assign the advanced students to help those with trouble, while he/she concentrates on the ones who need one on one instruction or help from the teacher.  I believe the vast majority of teachers are awesome, but not so many of them are great lecturers.  Using the Kahn videos the teacher has a better chance of assuring the best educational oppurtunity for all.

    • Anonymous
    • Brett

      That’s an interesting idea and creative use of the medium, as it were! Thanks for the link; I’ll have to check it out.

    • AC

      he did a whole show on Khan Academy – I love Khan Academy!!!!

  • Richard Hendrick

    Of course the best education takes into account different learning styles and kids – anyone – should be allowed and encouraged to take charge of their own learning.  But this whole discussion seems to assume that the only goal of education is to instill a set of facts in the student’s head.  What about socialization?  Learning to work with others?  Appreciating that fellow students are sources of education and insights as well?  Of course it is true that most traditional schools pay scant attention to these goals, but that doesn’t mean we should give up on them.  Taking a child out of the classroom is depriving other students of his or her unique take on every subject and every situation.

    Maybe if schools were not based on competition and we could get rid of the essentially anti-educational grading system, kids would not find the school experience to be so daunting and would regard on-line learning as a lonely and less rich alternative.

    • twenty-niner

      Maybe if schools were not based on competition and we could get rid of the essentially anti-educational grading system

      You’re not going to make a very good tiger mom.

      The problem with everyone gets a trophy and regression to the mean is that we are not just in competition with ourselves. Like it or not, we have to compete globally. In Asia, an already competitive school system is becoming increasingly so as more students vie for placement in the top universities. Our students, one day, will have to go head to head with their students, and unless we raise the bar significantly, they will be doomed.

    • peprallyforeducation

      The type of socialization taught in public schools today is dysfunctional.  Bully or be bullied, be popular or be a loser.  There is no cultivation of individuality.  Teachers either turn a blind eye or, in worst cases, take part.  Public schools do not teach how to work with others.  They teach how to work with those similar to yourself and ignore or belittle those different than you.

      Maybe if schools did not have this underlying dysfunctional social atmosphere, children would retain what they were taught and take an interest in learning.   

      • twenty-niner

        Learning how navigate bullies, cliques, suck ups, burn outs, nerds, jocks, dead heads, gang bangers, band campers, dysfunctional systems, and sundry authority figures are all pretty good life lessons.

  • Lorraine R

    I am Thrilled to be learning about these online opportunities!  My husband and I have been talking about pulling our children out of the public school system here in Franklin, Virginia, where the state DOE rates the school system 118/118.  While I was a stay at home mom,  I homeschooled our oldest two during their middle school years and they were both so advanced compared to the public school children that they both skipped a grade in high school (we moved to Franklin during that time).  Now I work, but I have definately noticed problems with what my youngest children are learning academically and socially -particularly since the local area is having trouble with gangs and drugs.  There are other sources of mentoring for children, family relatives, the YMCA, the Boys and Girls club, church youth groups, etc.  I personally believe that the one on one education that I can provide at home with all the available resources: purchased texts, online resources, field trips, and the YMCA can be far superior for learning compared to the 1 to 25 ratio that the school system provides. 

  • Anonymous

    Here’s an idea – how about online education at a very early age? Like at an age which requires parents to get involved?

    Parents who involved with their kids would likely welcome the opportunity and the feedback they would receive from such resources. Other homes can be flagged as those where students are not going to be in a positive learning environment if they are at home.

    I know it’s invasive – but a big part of the education problem is the “right and freedom” out there to be bad parents.

  • Yar

    Your Stanford EPGY guest just gave a nice description of market value.  Our price is high because of the market.  It has nothing to do with the cost to provide the service.   If they are selective in who is allowed in the program then they will have excellent results.  Instead of measuring the quality of instruction the results measure the quality of the filters on who in allowed to participate.  I can have great results if I can pass you the leftovers.  This is how public education is undermined.

  • Sabine Globig

    I’ve taught on-line classes for my community college, and have struggled to get students to interact with me and each other, to no avail. I have definitely NOT found that on-line education fosters a community of learning, or any type of community, I’m sorry to say. And I’ve taught students in the classroom who came in with on-line coursework, and they’ve been singularly unprepared – they frankly admitted that they hadn’t learned what they needed to succeed in subsequent classes. Most have told me they would never take another on-line class.

    • Onlineclasses

      I’ve taken many on-line college classes.  I am not a social person and I do think that it is silly to be required to “type at least two sentences on this discussion”.  I do believe students should communicate to their teachers.  However, in my experience with on-line classes, I have struggled (elective classes) on typing those two sentences on the subjects I have chosen that did not interest me (I had minimal choices ‘on-line’ classes).  Those classes that did interest me, I could write paragraph after paragraph.  It depends on the students interest in the class AND of course the teacher (I’ve had disorganized – all over the place – teachers).

  • Crazymonkey12367


    • Lolabritney

      Maybe, but crazy?…never

    • Emma Drewry

      Online schools are not anti-social. It’s just a different type of interaction. I spend a lot of time communicating in and out of class with my classmates online, via Skype and Facebook.

  • http://twitter.com/skipow Gregg Rosann

    Full disclosure here – I will offer a plug to our blog at
    the bottom of this post. If that’s bothersome you’ll want to move on – I completely understand.

    This is a great topic and great effort to help people to
    understand the pros and cons for online learning. The key in my opinion is that online learning needs to be used to solve specific problems – as Pam from Florida Virtual correctly pointed out, it’s not an “either/or” decision.

    If implemented properly it helps to solve specific problems
    for some kids that cannot be solved in a traditional brick and mortar setting.

    Take a few examples – the teen mom, the kid who is bullied
    in school, the one who stays at home to take care of a family member, the one who works two jobs to support their families. These children make a conscious decision to NOT attend school – life circumstances and take a higher priority in their lives, and rightfully so. They may be perfectly capable of doing well
    in school, IF they could be there. But they cannot – can online learning help them?

    It can, and it does, but only – and this is critical – if it
    is supported by local advocacy and support which helps these kids with the social complexities present in their lives.

    This is a glimpse of what I do with online learning – my company
    uses it to solve a specific problem which is not easy to address in a
    traditional education setting. It doesn’t work for everyone, but it’s one more tool in the tool belt for our school district partners. We are not a charter – we don’t compete with public schools. We help them by giving them one more option to reach these kids, and when combined with the proper accountability and support, online learning indeed works.

    Join the dialog – we welcome your input!    http://www.NoDropouts.org

  • http://www.nodropouts.com/ Jeff Beck

    Making online courses available to K-12 student can be a
    boon for a variety of students. I work for a company that leverages online
    learning to help students that have dropped out of high school. We have found
    that the flexibility an online environment provides is ideal for students who
    lives are so complex, a traditional brick-and-mortar experience did not work
    for them. However, as many commenters have pointed out, just plopping a student
    into an online course by themselves is a recipe for failure for all but the
    most self-motivated students. In our program, we couple that flexibility with
    real teachers, coaches and mentors – people who can meet with the students
    online and face-to-face – to give each student as much chance for success as
    possible. Of course, we acknowledge online learning in general, and our
    solution specifically, is not a silver bullet. We just like to think of it as
    one more tool a district can employ in their work to solve the dropout crisis
    we are all facing.

  • TheNewWayOfLearning

    Did you know that a lot of businesses now have on-line applications ONLY.  In my part time job, in an 8 hour work day, I spend about 7.5 hours on the computer.  When we started teaching kids from home (way back when, before schools), then got them in to learning in a class room setting, there is no reason why they can not learn from a computer setting, is there?  Technology is changing all the time, in most jobs, you need a computer to do your work.  Everything including our medical records are computerized.  Its a computer world out there.  I do agree that students should be monitored by parents/or teachers to make sure they are indeed understanding everything.  For those of you who are worried about social activity, shouldn’t that be (outside the classroom) on field trips or after school activities????

  • Pingback: Quick Hits (11.29.11)

  • http://www.goVHS.org Debbie Kenny

    I agree with many of the points made during the show, especially the emphasis on the need to look at the quality of individual programs and supplement face-to-face learning with online learning based on the needs of each student.

    Two points that were not discussed:

    1.) teachers need extensive new training in online teaching best practices in order to run a successful online course and engage students in meaningful online discussions and interactions 

    2.) well-designed online courses that are built around co-synchronous group interactions and discussions can help students develop the critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, and communication skills they need to be successful in the 21st century.  This is more difficult to do in courses that allow individual students to start anytime and work at their own pace.

    These are important considerations to consider when evaluating different online programs.

  • Karen

     I’ve been involved with online learning for the last decade.  My children have been educated through online education for the last six years.  One of my children took some math classes through the EPGY program at Stanford.  Jeffrey Scarborough’s comparison of EPGY to other online programs was completely inaccurate.  He claimed that EPGY had superior educational models, interactive teachers and a robust interactivity between students.  That was absolutely not the case in the Number Theory or Multivariable Calculus class.  Response time from the teacher sometimes was measured in days, not hours.  There were no other students with which to discuss material.  And, the presentation was “read the text; answer these questions.”  There was no use of the plethora of instruction methods available.  There was no lecture; no question and answer sessions, no study halls, no tutoring.  My daughter was often left on her own to try to decipher the material.  Emails often went unanswered.

    Contrast this with a typical class in a virtual school.  On a typical day, my students receive an email from each of their teachers to delineate what needs to be accomplished.  Asynchoronous lectures are scheduled – which can either be watched as a recording or attended in person.  Study hall sessions are offered in which the student gets one on one tutoring with the instructor.  Lessons are a blend of textbooks, online instruction, virtual interactions and graphics, and computerized simulations.  Discussion groups are held between students incorporating both discussions of the learning topic and questions to enhance understanding and application of the materials.  Response time for questions on coursework is never longer than 24 hours, and generally the instructor phones my student with a response within 30 minutes.

    My students meet with teachers via Skype for face-to-face time.  They meet in virtual classrooms for lectures.  They interact with classmates in discussion groups, IM, email and in person.  They get together and go bowling or meet for field trips to the museums, or performing arts center. The absurdity of people claiming that students online do not get social interaction is a prejudicial stereotype that is not an accurate reflection of reality.

    • http://epgy.stanford.edu/ohs Raymond Ravaglia

      I would like to make an official remark on Karen’s point here.  While we have had several thousand students successfully complete the Multivariable Calculus and Number Theory courses to which Karen refers since they were first offered in the late 1990s, and while a variant of these courses remains in use with Stanford Undergraduates during the Summer Session, the fact that the approach embodied in these courses lacked the synchronous video-based seminars that define instruction within the Online High School, has led us to develop newer versions within the OHS.  The older courses still play an important research role, but should not be taken as emblematic of the direction Stanford University is going with online instruction. 

      –Raymond Ravaglia
      Executive Director and Co-Founder EPGY
      Associate Dean and Director, Stanford Pre-Collegiate Studies

    • Nikhil Desai

      A good online education is definitely hard to come by as it involves not only great teachers capable of passionately teaching the subject that they really care about, but at the other end of the spectrum students that are self motivated, good learners, want to learn beyond the exam, and are able to work independently at a pace that works best for them. 

      I do feel that the curriculum and faculty provided at EPGY OHS definitely fit these criteria and go beyond what is expected. As a student who attends this school I have really enjoyed the experience of the discussion based courses that EPGY OHS has to offer. For those who are unfamiliar with the format, most of these courses have 3 distinct components: 
      a) pre taped lectures or readings (that one can complete at a time that works for them), 
      b) 3+ hrs of discussion based periods per week where I have the pleasure of attending a live audio video interactive discussion with my peers and my teachers in an online room with a whiteboard and text chat. I really look forward to these as each student gets the opportunity to discuss and rebut each others points of view of the subjects being discussed – sometimes the discussions can get really involved as many of us are really passionate about driving our point across, 
      c) assignments and proctored exams that are thought provoking and test our ability to reason out what we have understood in the subject being studied.

      I truly enjoy the learning experience at OHS! The rigor of work: may it be a mathematical proof, a difficult concept in physics, a computer science project, a philosophical discussion or a biological research paper – the learning is unparalleled as it enables students that enjoy college level courses to take them in a high school environment before they attend a college/university. In my traditional school the amount of time dedicated to group discussion can be limited and all of us have to be mindful of that. At our OHS, class sizes rarely go beyond 12 giving each one of us a larger chunk of the discussion time and as our teachers say less place for us to hide. In addition the global aspect of the online high school brings in a key ingredient – the ability to interact and discuss with students of differing cultures across the world and yes even the USA. 
      The overall experience at OHS has been positive for me. I love to learn and OHS has has provided me with an environment of learning where I do not just accept what is printed in textbooks, but find the evidence or the derivation to back it up, argue the facts often by turning them around or by thinking about them from a different angle or perspective, and most importantly by interacting with teachers who really enjoy teaching, discussing and answering the questions that we may have.

      It is often said that it is the teachers that make the school. I have to say that for OHS that is definitely the case!! 

    • Kkoljian

      My daughter is a student at EPGY OHS and receives everything highlighted by Dr. Scarborough–her teachers are responsive, even proactive, and she is receiving a highly individualized and rigorous program.  Classes occur in ‘real time’ with face-to-face contact among students and their teachers.

  • Noslo

    School is not only about learning english, history, math, science etc it is also about the social experience and learning how to work well with others. I’ve taken a few credits online in college and that worked well but I think it should be limited to college. High school and before is a critical time where you need to learn how to deal with people and form relationships. If you’re having problems in the social aspect of school than I don’t believe the best solution involves leaving all interaction behind and putting a child in a solitary learning environment. There are some things a computer just can’t teach you.

    • NewExperienceNS

      I disagree.  School is about learning.  You can very well learn how to get along with others in music class, soccer, baseball, other after school activities.  What exactly do you mean by “learn how to deal with people”?  

      • Mahima

        I’m glad somebody thinks like that. :) I completely agree.

  • Emily Jennings

    As a high school student with both disabilities and full schedule of extra-curriculars, being able to take required classes online offered the flexibility that I needed. However, the inexpensive classes that I took were not at all as vigorous as ones that I would have had to take in person at my public school.

    Also, I’m hearing languages such as Chinese and Russian being mentioned as examples of classes that might be taken online because of lack of in-person classes. I feel that it would be very difficult, and not at all cost effective, to provide quality instruction in an online setting for these classes.

  • Mahima

    I have been in a private online school (icademy at K12) for more than 3 years now. I enjoy it very much because I do not have to deal with bullies or other politics. I focus on my education. I can go on my own pace (faster in some subjects and slower in pace in others). I disagree with the speaker, I don’t have any socialization issues. Online education has increased my self confidence and self esteem.

  • Christina

    We use online learning for our children. The quality of education is superb compared to what they would receive in a traditional public school. Their time is more focused on their education and they are not interrupted with the negative social aspects. They are learning to get an education, not just cramming to pass a test. Our online instructors are amazing. It’s not that traditional public school teachers are not, but they have a lot more to worry about with discipline problems.

    Concerning the discussion about what online learners are missing socially, I would say nothing. Nothing that’s positive anyway. Not all teachers or classrooms are like Dead Poet’s Society. In high school I had AP teachers that would sit in there office most of the semester only popping into the classroom for a few moments a week. In order to pass the AP tests, I had to study on my own. Even though I was a straight A student I almost dropped out of school. I was frustrated, felt that my time was being wasted and wondered if my desire to learn could be better satisfied out of school.

    We make a conscience effort to make sure our kids have positive social experiences. They have all been on Destination Imagination teams where they have learned how to work on a team, practiced creative thinking, and been able to interact with wonderful adults who have served as their team managers. All of my kids have placed at the DI regionals and two have been to state competition and placed there. They had more time to be successful at this because their school day wasn’t wasted by moving from class to class, announcements, pep assemblies, etc.  

    They also have more time to develop to their talents and interests.

    Really, the worry that kids will not have a social life shouldn’t be an issue. Kids want to have friends and will make sure they get a social life. Not all of us want the kind of social life that is prevalent at high school. 

    I am so glad my kids get to participate in online schools. I am envious of their education!

  • Greta

    I am a parent of two children who are both studying in a private online school. Our daughter was in a private school where she was being bullied. We decided to try an online school and it is working very well for us. Our kids are learning to be independent which is preparing them for college and the real world. My husband and I are both biochemists and teach them along with the online teachers.
    As for the socializing aspect, our kids have extra curricular activities, where they participate in recitals and other shows. They are friendly and make friends easily.
    Additionally, we feel that institutional schools now lack discipline which has a negative effect on a child in many ways.
    We have only had positive experience with online schooling.

    • Tami

      Hi Greta,  I would like to use online school next year for my children.  Which one are you using?

  • Proving a Point that is True

    I am in an Online school in High School (grades K-12) and I think it’s wonderful! Lots of people are talking/asking about “socialization.”

    In my online school and many other Online schools, we have classes just like in Institutional schools. The only difference is… it’s like a web-ex. You have a whiteboard for the teacher, a chat box, video (if you want to show yourself), a microphone –etc. etc. (While in classes or “chat classes” which are optional, you can add friends and communicate with them, via Skype, via Facebook or via email or of course ‘Extra-Curricular ACTIVITIES! :D ).
    We also get field trips “virtually” or we go with our parents, and that at anytime! We can also create our own schedule around the extra curricular or other “during-the-day-activities”. We go at our own pace at our own time (during the day or at night–whatever is comfortable).

    Also, one more thing to include… many Great People in the world were homeschooled–like Albert Einstein (scientist), Abraham Lincoln (the 16th president of USA) and many more presidents!! And that was when they didn’t have much technology or via Internet. ;) Now it is much better…

    Therefore, I believe and it is a fact that “socialization” is involved in an Online school, just in a different “view”. Plus, schools are for “learning” NOT just “socialization”! 

       ~Mahima ;)

  • Brennan511

    They want/req $14,000. a year?! {young Tom would have got NOTHING??w.t.h?}
     How do you know someone  [in China I'm SURE] is… recording and on a sepaRate cam & unconnected comp, mass producing [tv? dvd chap-tiers]coppies and into the mail box they go -better than buying “a bag” [this message will self-destruct, but your mission is CLEAR], only an “idiot” wouldn’t choose it; now, stux?$net?]
    That’s the way East Asia WILL SURPASS our greedy chaps.
    If IQ [and specific age] isn’t the main issue, then I’m sure terrorism will be. Remember the “Uni-Bomber” and Stanford University? how much did that cost? inc wastEd TV time.
    And without [GEOGRAPHIC] campassion, IQ’s are splitting atoms culturally.

  • http://twitter.com/garymdietz Gary Dietz

    Online learning methodologies always seem to be bundled together as one “thing.”  In reality, different technologies and methodologies enable different goals.  I think this was a great program.  However, I only heard a guest pound home the interactivity with the instructor in real time – Tom didn’t really run with this important point.  Online learning needn’t be cold and distant.  It can be as warm and interactive as a brick and mortar classroom when done well.

    A few weeks ago I produced a short 3m 45s video that talks about six facets of online learning through six simple questions.  I hope that when people talk about online learning, they can widen their lense and not just think about it as “slides on a web page” or “threaded discussion groups.”

    You can see the video I produced here:  http://youtu.be/PHysJ-WaJY4

  • Burdenla

    A colleague and I began a blended learning project with his middle school choir.  The project has opened up many unexpected opportunities for his students that otherwise would not have been realized.  These include individualized assessment through videos submitted by students singing to a virtual conductor track at home, virtual clinicians skyped in to his classroom from across the country, classroom to classroom virtual sessions allowing student collaboration across the state, the opportunity to join a “virtual choir” specifically for secondary school age singers that could include students from across the globe, the posting of lessons on youtube and itunes podcasts.  More info about the project can be found at: http://www.tcaps.net/pangea

    It’s completely changed my colleagues views on global connectivity and the possibilities of technology in his classroom and it’s use in a fine arts setting.  

  • Angela

    This discussion highlighted what I see as the main issue faced by virtual learning and that is that the traditional public schools see them as a threat. They don’t like losing money when kids leave their schools. And I really take offense to the idea that I should allow my child to fail in the public school because taking him out takes money aways from the larger student body.

    My son has been doing virtual school for four years because he was falling behind. He was given extra resources in traditional school but it finally got to the point where it wasn’t practical to except him to catch-up in a traditional classroom. We found virtual school and it has been great. He was able to get back to grade level because I quit my job and worked with him one on one. Now, I would like for him to do something of a mixed enrollment so he could do some classes online and some in the classroom but the local school district will not allow him to because they won’t get enough money if he is only enrolled part-time.  The virtual school has no problem with mixed enrollment and once he’s a Junior he can take classes at the college. In virtual school teachers are very responsive to the child and parents. In traditional school the teachers act like they know what’s best and the parent needs to just get out of the way.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1442572510 Aya Juilliard Kawawa-Beaudan

    I find this discussion absolutely fascinating, as I am in fact a student at Stanford’s Online High School. While I completely understand how some people might assume that students aren’t getting what many would call the full high school experience as online students, I must say that I find that not at all the case at OHS. Every single student there is incredibly talented, and part of that talent comes from being more than just a kid on a computer all day. These are students who are highly active in other areas of their lives: students who meet people through music or sport or any other social forum available. As a student there, I can confidently say that we also are very much able to form friendships with other online students as well as the people we see when we’re outside of class. rather than taking away from my ability to interact with others and develop social skills, I think that being at OHS has helped me by providing me with insights from people all across the US and the world.
    In terms of academic environment, I think I speak for all OHS students when I say that the courses are rigorous, demanding, and 100% worth it. The teachers I’ve had are incredibly intelligent and also gifted teachers: they have true passion for their subject and for their students. 

  • Trivedijay1990

    Well, I think online schooling concept is a fascinating one! The student gets to decide the subject that he wants to study at any point of time. Also, he is opened up to a variety of group of people and can exchange ideas in the e-class. The doubts are just a click away as students can use the ‘google’ power as and when required. As they get accustomed to search the things on web, they will themselves gain enthusiasm and go into details of the things that they are searching for and hence improve their basics and fundamental knowledge.

  • Slipstream

    As someone who works in education, has taught classes, taken online classes, and taken lots of real-life classes, I would like to say that I agree wholeheartedly with Prof. Nass’s views on the subject of online learning. 

    Online courses can be good for some students in some settings, but they do not provide as complete and as rich an educational experience as a real, live class with students and a teacher or teachers.  They can be good for a student who is already very knowledgable in a certain area, and is looking to add to that knowledge.  They can be good for some of the kids we heard about on this show – very bright and motivated kids with actively involved parents, who make sure the student is getting a range of experiences in addition to sitting in front of a computer.   And they of course can provide educational administrators with a way to save some money.   But for the most part online classes are inferior to those offered in traditional educational environments.   That is what I think, anyway.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=718863669 Johanna Bowen

    As a librarian I believe that most so-called AP classes are emphatically not AP courses.  High schools without creditable libraries claim their students are doing college level work when the students could not possibly be doing college level research. AP light, allowing Google to replace peer reviewed respected resources, is the order of the day.  I think it is deplorable.
    Johanna Bowen

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On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: September 12, 2014
Friday, Sep 12, 2014

In which you had varied reactions to the prospect of a robotic spouse.

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Beverly Gooden on #WhyIStayed
Friday, Sep 12, 2014

Beverly Gooden — who originated the #WhyIStayed hashtag that has taken off across Twitter — joined us today for our discussion on domestic violence.

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Tierney Sutton Plays LIVE For On Point
Friday, Sep 5, 2014

We break out Tierney Sutton’s three beautiful live tracks from our broadcast today for your listening pleasure.

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