Gradebook

Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Changing education one computer at a time

10

November

A4s_virtual040708_17833c Hate to admit this, but some of us can still remember when getting a computer in our classrooms was a really big deal. Today, so many kids expect computers in their bedrooms.

At least their parents are having them put the technology to some good use.

The expansion of online classes -- and families' growing ability to access it -- has become a blessing for homeschoolers who, in the words of the Naples Daily News, "don't like to be pushed around."

In fact, the Daily News reports, more parents are actually using their public school system without stepping into the school buildings.

"Students are using it for a variety of reasons, so it's there as another vehicle to help them successfully complete high school," Marsha VanHook, assistant principal for curriculum at Estero High School, told the paper. "It just provides a lot of flexibility for kids.

As that trend toward online education extends into elementary and middle school next year, Florida could have even more kids taking classes in their bedrooms and home offices, the Orlando Sentinel reports. The state will pay for the education, but it won't necessarily have to pay for bricks and mortar to put them in a chair, or for buses to get them there.

The question remains exactly how many parents will have the time to essentially become homeschoolers, especially for the youngest kids, who can't exactly stay at home alone. Stay tuned.

(Above, Kayla Hernandez, 17, studies chemistry in her Tampa kitchen through Florida Virtual School earlier this year. Kathleen Flynn, Times photo)

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[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:03am]

    

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