Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Online Schools

Should You Consider A Degree From A Non Profit Online School?
Non-Profit Choices Grow
While online education was once almost totally dominated by for-profit schools, a whole range of state university systems and private schools have gone into online teaching, some with very large, varied degree offerings. It's perhaps a bit surprising that many of the largest players in online education today are religion based schools. A look at the non-profit schools offering online degrees shows an interesting mix. Liberty University, an evangelical school founded by Rev. Jerry Falwell in 1971, has become a massive online teaching juggernaut, with over 50,000 students around the world taking its distance learning programs each year. At the other end of the religious school spectrum is the poetically named Our Lady of the Lake University, a 2,600 private Roman Catholic school in San Antonio, that offers just one online learning program, a master's degree in informational systems and security.

State Universities Move In Gradually
State universities have had a bumpy ride into the online learning world. The failure of a large, highly-touted online degree program at the University of Illinois just last year was a disaster that scared may other public schools away. It highlighted a problem of poor commitment by professors to online teaching that has come up at many schools. Public schools that have made a deep commitment in this regard now include the University of Massachusetts, whose "UMass Online" program now offers 75 online degree programs, Charter Oak State College, a tiny Connecticut school that gives online degrees in five major categories at super-low tuition rates and Oregon State University, which has created a national footprint with 16 online degree programs.
Elite Schools Online
Among true private colleges, those more expensive schools that have traditionally served elite students, there were few online degree offerings until very recently. Famous high-end schools like Boston University and the Rochester Institute of Technology are now offering more and more online degrees. At the same time, some very small private schools with names you've never heard of like Baker College and Bellevue University have taken the step of not only starting online degree programs, but going head to head with the for-profit schools when it comes to online marketing designed to attract students from across the country.
Thinking of entering online schooling can arouse discomfort for some. If you are one of those students who are considering this relatively new form of learning, here are the things you should know- the pros and cons of online schooling:
Online schooling eliminates the time you have to prepare to dress up for school. With online schooling, your home and your classroom are the same.

For people who need to attend important things around the home, online schooling works best. When you get online schooling, the classroom is all yours. ·  Online school competence
There are many online schools to choose from. There are some students who are better studying alone. If you think you are capable of learning without the need of the actual classroom discussion, then you can consider online schooling.

Is your home fit for studying? Many homes are not fit to become a school. Do more research and consideration before entering home schooling program.
Traditionally thought of as a venue for undergraduate and graduate students to pursue a degree-or for established professionals to enrich their careers-online schools are touted for their convenience, accessibility and cost-savings for busy adults. But online school programs for kids are also quickly becoming a staple in K-12 education.
As part of its action plan for the class of 2020, the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) identifies the crucial role that online schools play for children in grades K-12.
In its study, "Learning Virtually: Expanding Opportunities," SETDA reports that as of November 2008, 44 states had online learning programs. And a 2004-2005 survey found that 37 percent of school districts provided access to online education, with public high schools showing the highest levels of online school enrollment.
Along with online schools that originate within states, online education providers, such as K12, Connections Academy and Canada's first e-school, Linkonlearning, create curriculum for primary and secondary school children and teens. Online school programs like these typically provide a number of services:
How Online Schools Work for Kids
Online schools for grades K-12 can incorporate a mixture of online and traditional classroom learning or involve a purely online approach, as the following examples, taken from the SETDA study, show.
o Full-time online public school-The Arizona Connections Academy (ACA), which accepts students from anywhere in the state, offers a free public school curriculum and provides textbooks, curriculum materials, online resources, a computer and an Internet service subsidy to students. o Public school with a blended online learning approach-At the Chicago Virtual Charter School, students attend class one day per week at a minimum, but rely on online learning to complete the majority of their curriculum. o Public provider of supplemental online education-The Idaho state legislature created the Idaho Digital Learning Academy (IDLA) to increase course accessibility to students across the state. o Private provider of supplemental online education-Similar to the IDLA, the Michigan Virtual School delivers online education to students who might not otherwise have access to particular courses. The state funds this non-profit, private corporation, but the school itself does not directly grant credits or diplomas.
Pros and Cons of Online Schools for K-12 Students
States and online education providers typically offer online schools at no cost to K-12 students. And, as mentioned above, online education dramatically expands access to courses and curriculum for students. Online learning for K-12 students also provides these advantages:

o flexible, self-paced learning 
o the chance for young students to advance technology skills 
o individualized lessons that match a student's unique learning style 
o resources for parents to use to become more engaged in their child's education

Additionally, online K-12 education offers an option to school districts dealing with budget cuts, and it can be a viable solution for children who need alternative education options:

o home-schooled children 
o gifted or advanced learners 
o military family students 
o students who are involved in the arts or sports and are unable to attend traditional schools 
o children who reside in rural or remote areas 
o students who need supplemental education assistance 
o students who don't thrive in traditional schools for a variety of reasons

A May 2009 U.S. Department of Education (DOE) review of research studies on online learning effectiveness, entitled "Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning," found only a very limited number (five) of rigorous studies on the efficacy of online learning for K-12 students as compared to face-to-face instruction. Online Learning for Kids in Practice
Kids enrolled in online elementary school will become more familiar with current technologies because they have to use a computer and work with software programs.


Post a Comment