Now that I am working with a cyber charter school – 9th through 12th grades – I am learning more and more about the controversy there seems to be about the advantages or disadvantages of this style of teaching and learning. On one hand, there are those who feel that online education of any kind takes away from developing students’ interpersonal skills to the detriment of their social development. On the other hand are those who feel that this style of teaching and learning helps to mitigate some of the deleterious effects of bullying, peer pressure, stereotyping, etc.
Being the mother of an MG son, who is now finally back in college finishing his chemical engineering degree, I know the struggle my son had trying to fit into the “molds” that are created in brick and mortar schools among students, and even in the mindsets of teachers. I feel that customizing education to the different learning styles of students is more critical than ever in order the maximize the potential within all of our students. Being a student in good standing in a cyber school requires discipline, dedication and a sense of independence that needs to be mastered, regardless of a student’s individual learning style, or whether they are online or in a physical classroom.
Being an educator for more than 30 years, and having seen all types of students with many different talents and challenges, I truly believe that there is room in the educational arena for all types of teaching and learning models. Cyber education was started by home-schoolers, who felt the need to give their children a more hands-on, specialized educational experience. I believe that this concept, if kept in focus, will take cyber education out of the realm of controversy and into the mainstream of acceptance.
What do you think?