TED Conversations

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

Online High Schools

Do you think that students get as much out of online high schools than in the actual classroom?
Is online education a necessary evil of education spending cuts?
Are there certain instances where online schools might be necessary or preferable? Give an example.
Michael in the video has been homeschooled prior to enrolling in online classes, do you think that this is a better way for him to get material than from homeschooling?
His mom also says that he is disciplined and can do it himself. Are all students capable of this?
Does a state have the right to require students to take online classes like the bill in Idaho would have done?
What is your opinion on using online classes for “make-up” classes that students have previously failed? Does it seem like a good way to help students stay on track or an easy out?

0
Share:
progress indicator
  • thumb
    Dec 11 2012: I think that the answer is entirely dependent on the student. Immature students will do better in a group environment dedicated to keeping people immature - as schools do. Mature students who want to take charge of their lives - or prepare to do so - could benefit greatly from independent education.

    I think that on-line learning makes a great deal of sense for me. I am a life-long learner and I have found the Internet and on-line courses indispensable to my learning. Put me in a classroom and I fade out, unable to pay attention or concentrate. (I think this occurs because there is not enough oxygen in the room, because the same thing happens in shopping malls and at 8,000 feet, etc.)

    In a classroom, I can learn rote things. On-line classes allow me to explore the whys behind the whats.
  • Dec 9 2012: I think kids would get a lot more from online education. It is much easier to cheat, heck you can just Google everything during the test. So they will get better scores, grades, and admission to better colleges. No brainer!
  • thumb
    Nov 30 2012: Bill Gates referred to 'Khan Academy' as future of education.
  • thumb
    Nov 29 2012: Both online high schools and in-person classrooms vary in quality. Some have low standards and undemanding curriculum and others the opposite.

    An in-person classroom allows students to work together more fully than online environments do and can typically differentiate instruction better to accomodate the different needs of students.

    Sometimes, though, the budget for a school does not allow the school to offer a course that is readily available online. An example might be AP Physics.

    There are online courses that have stronger content than the equivalent course at most schools, but I don't know whether an education consisting entirely of courses from that online institution would be superior. It depends on the quality of the in-person school a person would otherwise attend.

    In many cases online instruction is vastly superior to what a student can learn just from reading a book or being taught by Mom and Dad. Some students can teach themselves a particular subject much better than others can.

    It is all very situation specific.

    I have a lot of experience with both online and in-person education that forms the basis for my thinking on this.