Friday, March 23, 2012

Minooka CCSD 201 Should Consider Incorporating Online Education

As I have written about previously, the internet has the potential to transform the way in which we educate our children. Online education continues to provide better and better educational content at ever decreasing costs. The public schools of many states have embraced online education as a way to provide traditional curricula as well as expanded class offerings in a very cost effective way. There are many ways that this can be done. Imagine, for instance, 7th and 8th grade students being able to take many of their elective classes in an online format. These could be provided in a school computer lab or students could be allowed to complete these classes on their own time. Examinations could be completed in a school computer lab where they would be observed by the computer lab teacher. There are many advantages to embracing online education. For the students, it would provide increased choice in classes as well as flexibility in completing the material. It would also expose them to a method of educational delivery which is becoming more and more prevalent at the university and high school level. For the district, the advantages might include the ability to provide education for more students with the same number of teachers and the same buildings, saving the taxpayers money both in terms of salaries and benefits and investment in new school buildings.

I believe that the district should begin to consider how online education might be implemented to provide the same or increased educational opportunities at lower and lower costs. Whether we in Minooka embrace it or not, I believe that the internet is going to transform education in much the same way it has transformed other areas of our lives. Many other states and school systems have seen the benefits and are implementing these programs.

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