With each decade the face of education has changed to reflect the current trends in education. The policy initiatives of each president, governor, community leader and parent have been aimed at transforming children’s learning environments into the ideal situation. While these initiatives may never succeed to meet every child’s needs the combined result of their work has created an environment where education can now be tailored to meet the needs of every child through online schools.
Much like the advent of the search engine and booking our own airline travel, the Internet has introduced the nation to online education. To many, the commercial products available from higher education degree granting giants like the University of Phoenix define online learning. However, to a growing population of Americans, online schools have come to define the middle ground between home schooling and personalized public education.
While charter schools continue to spring up across the country, there are a select few that have been created in the charter school mold simply because the education establishment can not keep pace with today’s innovations. In Ohio for example, the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) was created in 2000 not to revolutionize charter schools, but to bring to Ohio’s children and families leading education content in a format designed to enable every child to succeed. ECOT provides every child with an education option that delivers to each student exactly what they need while providing the comprehensive state standards based education that is the hallmark of successful public and private schools.
Other online schools and content companies such as the Florida Virtual Academy and K12 Education are part of a growing trend that brings together the real-life education community and the technology community. In many instances this partnership is a thorn in the side of traditional education and educators who see only standard classrooms as the answer to the ills of the American k-12 system
Online schools have revolutionized the workplace for skilled teachers and administrators. The result of this union is the ability to create a tailored classroom for gifted, struggling and needs-based students that, until the advent of online learning, were often segregated to specialty teaching groups to meet their potential.
The education landscape has changed and for many brick and mortar school districts this is a hard fact to face. The local school boards and education departments in America have begun to realize that business as usual isn’t he solution to a rapidly advancing world and have begun to embrace the assets of online education.
Unlike the as-we-know-it classroom the online environment can be adjusted to meet the needs of every child and instill the state standards required of students since the advent of the No Child Left Behind Act without stagnating the classroom experience. From thousands of courses to graduation test practice sessions and immediate intervention opportunities, online schools offers to the students and families of 2006 what the computer breakthroughs of the past several decades offered to the business community. Simply put, online schools have the ability to provide every individual with the right information in the right format at the right time for optimal success.
Online schools were once considered the wave of the future. That future is now and the online revolution continues to shape the world of real life education without the boundaries of classroom walls.
***Susan Bond works IQ-ity.com – an online OGT Practice Test used by several high schools and school districts, including an Ohio online school called ECOT.