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Natural Awakenings National

21st Century Tutor: Study Foresees Rise in Virtual Schooling

Educators at the Hoover Institute, a conservative think tank at Stanford University, predict that by 2019, half of courses in grades 9 to 12 will be delivered online to homeschools and virtual classrooms. Everything from books and microscopes to radish seeds will arrive via brown trucks. Last year, enrollment in online classes reached the one million mark, 22 times the level of 2000, according to the North American Council for Online Learning.

Online learning is proving more efficient than traditional schooling, enabling teachers to rely on computers for lecturing, so that they can better attend to students’ individual tutoring, mentoring and motivational needs. Most states mandate a minimum quantity of hours of instruction. Quality could be better tracked, proponents admit, perhaps by tracking course materials completed.

At Idaho Virtual Academy, for instance, teachers monitor student progress by tracking their performance on quizzes after new lessons. “It’s not overly absurd for a kid to show up in a bricks-and-mortar school and do practically nothing,” comments Cody Claver, head of the academy. “In our school, it is out of the realm of possibility.”

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

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