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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Online Learning

If you have spent any amount of time around me you know that I am a great supporter of online learning! I received my M.S. in Science Education K-8 from Walden University and my E.d.S. Educational Leadership from Liberty University. Both of these degrees were online. I remember when Chris and I first started discussing this option he thought of it almost as a joke. Then when he saw me working feverishly on assignments and I would tell him little bits about it he knew it was serious and we were getting our money's worth!

Because of my love for online learning I was excited to check out this online learning website for students and do a review. Distance learning is becoming more and more popular. I recently wrote an article regarding teaching "screenagers!" I was able to check out the website for KC Distance Learning at www.onlineschoolsolutions.com

Today's students are know as the "iGeneration" and are used to having things "on demand" and crave the ability to at least have the option to choose where, when and how they want to learn.

To put it in context, the "iGeneration" has never know life without the Internet, being mobile, using avatars, IMing or choosing and watching content whether they are at home, in the car, at a football game of shopping at the mall. (Seriously-my 15 month old know how to turn the tv on and off and work my blackberry to call her Daddy) To reach them in their high-tech, high-touch world, many parents and educators are looking at how to require schools to match how the iGeneration learns. (On this note, our middle school just became a Google school! So fun!)

Taking classes online is one way to give middle and high school students (and their school districts) new options to learn using preferred tools in a familiar environment, and even experience enhanced, one-on-one relationships with educators. Whether they're in need of more assistance, looking for wider range of classes or simply prefer to learn in a medium that they have grown up with, online learning can be a great way to fit your child's needs.

Students are increasingly able to take online classes in partnerships with their local school districts. Schools facing budget cuts and reduction in teachers are turning to online classes to supplement their curriculum, from offering classes for which they have no teachers, AP classes for students who excel, and credit recovery options for students who struggle. In fact, today there re 1 million children learning online, either part time, full time or between school terms. Additionally, more that 20 percent of schools and educational institutions around the country offer online classes today, and that number should grow by another 30 percent withing a couple of years, according to industry research. (Simba information).

Do you want to see a demonstration? This video clip will help you see the tools and technologies online students use to engage with their teachers and classmates. Click on the following link to experience how students engage online, in a recorded session where students from around the country come together outside of class to discuss the results of the "iGeneration" survey with their teacher and hear their insights. http://smub.it/jlj.iglive

Also, to experience the robust curriculum offered by online learning, click on the following link-
http://aventalearning.com/aventa-capabilities-demo Once there, select the green button that says "view multi-media demon." When the demo loads, select media-rich curriculum to experience how online learning is effectively teaching today's iGeneration.

Success Stories:
More that 1,000 Chicago Public School (CPS) students who were at risk of not graduating from high school have received their diplomas this month with the rest of the CPS Class of 2010 after earning the credits needed to graduate through and innovative learning program at 75 schools across CPS.

Karl, a child of a military family, moved numerous times throughout his high school years, but wanted a consistent education experience. With online learning, Karl had the chance to excel at his studies and even graduated early with a 4.0 grade average. Karl embraced the independence and self-mastery that online learning fostered.

Isadora, a star tennis player, was struggling with the best way to juggle her demanding tournament schedule with a good education. Her parents enrolled her in online learning as a supplement to her local high school, so she was able to get her two to three hours a day tennis training and stay ahead academically.

If you want to check out KC Distance Learning at www.onlineschoolsolutions.com click on your state to find the KCDL online school serving your area. I focused on the middle school area since this is the level I am most familiar with. The option for total enrollment as well as partial enrollment is available.

As a huge supporter of online learning I loved this site and the options it offers parents and students. Is online learning for everyone? No. Everyone learns differently. I would not rule out this option though as it is becoming more and more commonplace as technology becomes more prevalent in our lives.

Disclosure: I received compensation for this post but the opinions are my own. I received the opportunity to do this review from MomSelect.

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