Online High Schools?

I’ve said recently (though not here) that within five years we’ll see the first major, commercially successful, online high school. Here are a few things that are taking steps toward that:

http://www.engadget.com/2012/01/17/nyc-opening-its-first-pubic-high-school-dedicated-to-software-en/

http://www.sde.idaho.gov/site/studentscomefirst/

And here are some who’d like to be that school:

http://www.excelhighschool.com/

http://www.alliedhighschool.com/

http://www.foresttrailacademy.com/

http://epgy.stanford.edu/ohs/

A search for “online high school” will yield many more. I was pretty surprised at how many there are; it goes on for pages and pages, and many of them look legit. I need to go through and see how many are accredited. I’m hoping to do a more detailed post on this later on.

Naturally, one of the big issues with an online high school is the “where will my kids be” question. Some parents don’t trust their kids at home while they’re off at work; clearly, online high school is not for them. I think most 14-year-olds can actually figure out how to make themselves a sandwich for lunch and dial 9-1-1 for emergencies. Others worry about the social aspect, which I personally think is overrated and can be found elsewhere (especially if communities actually want to make it happen), but I can at least understand the concern.

The Idaho site is both interesting and a little confusing; it was a little tough to figure out exactly what they’re doing, but the information is there. Some of it I think is great (dual enrollment, raising teacher pay), some parts I’m interested to see how they go (the potential for online courses, the computer program), and other parts I just think are awful (paying teachers for student performance). My alma mater had a laptop program; it wasn’t terrible but it really just went nowhere after freshman year. None of the upper-level courses actually took advantage of the computers. I could do a whole post about that; perhaps I should as it’s sort of tangential here.

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About Colin Fredericks

By day I help to create online courses at HarvardX. By night I write roleplaying games.

Posted on January 27, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I’d like to see your post about the laptop program at our alma mater!

  1. Pingback: The Laptop Program « Don't Stop Learning

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