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  • A New Way Of Educating?

    [caption id="attachment_4674" align="alignleft" width="272" caption="Students And Technology"]iPads[/caption]

    If you think technology is obsolete in society, think again. More and more students are taking classes not in classrooms, but in their homes. STEPHANIE BANCHERO and STEPHANIE SIMON of The Wall Street Journal discuss more in their article My Teacher Is an App:

    It was nearing lunchtime on a recent Thursday, and ninth-grader Noah Schnacky of Windermere, Fla., really did not want to go to algebra. So he didn't.

    Tipping back his chair, he studied a computer screen listing the lessons he was supposed to complete that week for his public high school—a high school conducted entirely online. Noah clicked on his global-studies course. A lengthy article on resource shortages popped up. He gave it a quick scan and clicked ahead to the quiz, flipping between the article and multiple-choice questions until he got restless and wandered into the kitchen for a snack.

    Noah would finish the quiz later, within the three-hour time frame that he sets aside each day for school. He also listened to most of an online lecture given by his English teacher; he could hear but not see her as she explained the concept of a protagonist to 126 ninth graders logged in from across the state. He never got to the algebra.

    His sister Allison, meanwhile, has spent the past two hours working on an essay in the kitchen. She has found a new appreciation of history. At her old school, she says, the teacher stood at the blackboard and droned, and history was "the boringest class ever." Now, thanks to the videos she's been watching on ancient Egypt, she loves it.

    From the outside it looks pretty much like any other high school. Inside? Maybe not. WSJ's Stephanie Simon reports on iPrep Academy, Miami's newest public high school.

    In a radical rethinking of what it means to go to school, states and districts nationwide are launching online public schools that let students from kindergarten to 12th grade take some—or all—of their classes from their bedrooms, living rooms and kitchens. Other states and districts are bringing students into brick-and-mortar schools for instruction that is largely computer-based and self-directed.

    In just the past few months, Virginia has authorized 13 new online schools. Florida began requiring all public-high-school students to take at least one class online, partly to prepare them for college cybercourses. Idaho soon will require two. In Georgia, a new app lets high-school students take full course loads on their iPhones and BlackBerrys. Thirty states now let students take all of their courses online.

    Nationwide, an estimated 250,000 students are enrolled in full-time virtual schools, up 40% in the last three years, according to Evergreen Education Group, a consulting firm that works with online schools. More than two million pupils take at least one class online, according to the International Association for K-12 Online Learning, a trade group.

    Read more at The Wall Street Journal

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