As technology advances continue to evolve, there are amazing new opportunities to teach and to learn in very different ways: Ways that could evolutionize the classroom.
You fail a course you need:
Credit recovery for students is offered online by many different schools and sites. K12 Inc. and National High School are a few examples of businesses offering this service for a fee. NC Virtual Public School offers credit recovery tied to the NC Common Core Standards at no charge to the students. Students get connected to the courses through their school.
You don’t understand what the teacher is teaching:
Help outside of class is important for students of any age who are having difficulty with a subject. Parents and after-school programs aren’t always the answer to this struggle. Students can look for tutorials online. One for middle and high school that has received significant praise is Kahn Academy. At no cost you can watch a YouTube video teaching the subject of your choice anytime. Other sites are listed through YouTube and by searching virtual classrooms.
You can’t afford college, but want a college degree:
As the costs of higher education move beyond the reach of many people, there are options to earn a degree through virtual classrooms. Check out the many offerings simply by searching online courses or YouTube courses. A good place to start is a publication by US News and World Report. This article guides you through what to look for in online courses and schools.
You want to better understand a subject:
For the sake of learning something new there is a treasure trove of material on the internet. YouTube instructional videos, online classes, etc. allow you to work at your own pace to grasp new concepts and even see if it is something you want to pursue further. “Open courseware” programs are available through a number of colleges and universities at no cost. They are not credit-earning courses, but bring knowledge to anyone with access to the internet. Check out
I can imagine a completely new model for public education:
One where students take classes at home online and the classroom becomes the homework check in – students would go to school for extra help with a confusing concept or to practice what they learned in a group setting with an instructor. That way students can learn at their own speed and still have local resources for face time with a teacher to problem-solve.
Teachers would have smaller groups of students to work with and would be able to focus on those needing extra help. They could concentrate on students who need more kinetic, high-touch instruction and allow those who advance well with the visual and auditory high-tech instruction to keep moving at their own pace.
Students unable to attend a school because they have a disability are already acquiring an education online. So are students geographically distant from schools and students who simply learn better on their own. The possibilities are significant!
It’s a very different concept of school and no doubt there are problems with it, but if we don’t have sufficient political support for public education as it exists and if we want to support the education of all our youth, this is worth consideration.
What do you think?