Watch the video above, it is about virtual schooling in Pennsylvania, which is from the February 23,2012 edition of PBS Newshour. It raises up the question " Is online schooling beneficial for students or just a fad within education?"
I think there is no significant difference between face to face learning or online learning according to many online instructors and online researchers' studies. Learning online in early age will open the doors for preparing students into professionally from at early age. We tend to agree that the development of skills online is very important, and no matter whether we teach face to face classroom or online classroom, we end up in having to do a good portion of online blended or flipped classroom or even integrating technology in the classroom work. It is important to remember that online is a delivery method.
"As online enrollments have rapidly expanded, so too have accompanying concerns. Educators and parents worry about losing the nurturing intimacy of teachers and students who are connected with each other in face-to-face classrooms. Pundits opine that our youth are losing their ability to interact with live humans instead of screens. Journalists report that online schooling providers are raking in tens of millions of dollars while providing substandard, perhaps even fraudulent, educational experiences. Superintendents gripe that other districts’ provision of online courses results in interdistrict ‘theft’ of students and state funding." Scott McLeod, J.D., Ph.D.
According to the video above, the most common problems students face is the technical issues that accompany the use of technology and the engagement part of the lessons. Here we say; that any instructional methods can face challenges, how many times we prepared lessons for face o face class, but something has occurred and we couldn't deliver it. I think the realistic problem that we consider is engagement. Engagement, and motivation are the solution for success of the instructional method. Also, we heard in the video from a teenager complains that online classes are boring, and he prefers playing games all day, this situation applies to thousands of students. Engaging students of this century, needs lots of compromising from us, in addition we need to accept the change of the way we have learned and go with the flow, that means gamification needs to be part of the lessons. Games nowadays a way to socialize; so I believe that modifying the way we deliver the lessons are crucial to suite the needs of our students.
Change Cannot happen rapidly, but at least it is improving. In our HEB district- Texas, if a child needs an additional credits they provide a transportation for this student to seek the higher education in other campuses. They do not have the online courses as part of the public system yet, but they integrate lots of technology throughout electives such as Career and Technical Education, and some other technology classes to ease the use of Microsoft office and other platforms.