I have been vaguely familiar with on-line colleges - the most successful of which, the University of Phoenix, has seen explosive growth and controversy. But a small but growing number of on-line education systems are arising for younger children.
Half a million American children take classes online, with a significant group, like the Weldies, getting all their schooling from virtual public schools. The rapid growth of these schools has provoked debates in courtrooms and legislatures over money, as the schools compete with local districts for millions in public dollars, and over issues like whether online learning is appropriate for young children. [More]
Let's ponder what this could mean. On the plus side:
- It would appear to mesh with the home-schooling trend. Maybe the two forces could meet halfway.
- Rural areas would benefit wider curriculum choices.
- Could be much cheaper
- Schools could be becoming one of the more dangerous places children can be, despite vigorous efforts by educators. (I can't find any comparative risk stats right now)
- Very bad news for the teaching profession
- I can't picture it in poorer homes or families who depend on school as day-care.
- Might leave schools as the last choice or last resort skewing the school population to disadvantaged children
- Loss of social learning and adaptation
Whaddaya think, folks? What points am I missing?