Array ( )

The popularity of online public schools is increasing nationwide. Full-time online public education is now available to students in grades K-12 in about 30 states. Currently, over 250,000 students are enrolled in public online charter schools.

Some “cyber-schools” are enormous. For example, the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School, opened in 2000, serves over 11,000 students. Are cyber-schools really a better way to approach public education?

In live online classes, kids do problems on a shared, virtual blackboard. Webcams allow for real-time instruction, with 1-on-1 interactions via chat and messaging. When teachers write or put content on their screens, the students all see it.

To raise their hands, kids click a button. If learners “don’t get” what the teacher is presenting, they can send anonymous notes – which cyber teachers say is a big improvement over a traditional classroom, where children are often reluctant to admit they’re confused.

Accredited online public school classes allow kids to take interesting courses they wouldn’t find at their local school. In this context, cyber classes improve education beyond what’s economically possible in a traditional public school setting.

The other side of the coin is self-paced, independent study type courses, which many kids find boring and isolating, some to the point of dropping out. A high percentage of online public school courses are presented in this format – it’s much cheaper for the school.

Turnover rates for cyber-schools often exceed 50%, with 25% considered good for the industry. When kids return to public schools, they need to be remediated to ensure they can work at grade level.

In many states, cyber-schools are paid by the student, and bill school districts for the money. They charge differing amounts based on what the districts themselves spend per student. This drains bricks-and-mortar schools of funds, while some cyber-schools are reaping millions in profits.

Meanwhile, public schools are increasingly running their own online education programs in an effort to keep students who might otherwise choose online or bricks-and-mortar charter schools. in Pittsburgh has recently begun doing this, having lost about 60 students to charter schools.

How might the increase in online public school attendance affect tutors, especially in communities where these schools are popular? I’m speculating that these are some of the potential impacts:

  • Tutors might find it harder to get word-of-mouth referrals for new clients outside the bricks-and-mortar social setting.
  • Kids attending online schools might benefit even more from face-to-face, 1-on-1 tutoring.
  • Is online instruction really as good as classroom instruction? If not, more children might need tutoring to prepare them for college and/or for the SAT or ACT.
  • Some tutors with the right teaching credentials might find a cyber classroom more to their liking than a traditional classroom, and could get a good job that wouldn’t otherwise be available.

How do you feel about all-online charter schools? Are they a better way to educate children than traditional classrooms? Please comment and join the discussion on this controversial topic.

SAT vs ACT: Choosing the Right Test [NEW EBOOK]

Download this free 20-Page Ebook for Tutors Now!

Our free 20-page ebook is a step-by-step guide on how to select the right test for your student. Learn everything you need to know about using the PLAN and PSAT to improve student scores, how to leverage learning analytics to select one test over the other, and other tips on how to take the guesswork out of selecting the ACT vs the SAT.

  • Accredited Online Schools

    know families in Florida using the virtual on-line school and they are very
    happy. One of the families hails from Boston, but relocated to FL due to a job transfer.
    Dad is an MD. Mom is a PhD. In Boston they sent their children to pricey prep schools,
    now in FL they use the virtual school and swear by it. Thinking back to my
    years in high school (a private prep school), I would have welcomed a break
    from the cliques and politics to focus on my studies.

  • online chats

    Today where computer and internet has touched most of the corners of the
    world one must avail everything he/she could from this best creative
    technology and resource. Online communication is also a part of it.

  • essay service

    I do agree on it. Many people prefer to be in online education because there are many things that they can get and they can also understand the topic easily. It would be better if you can hire something that is really good.

  • Melissa King

    Online degree programs is awesome specially for people like me who has a job. This is more convenient for me and the best thing about this is I get to pick up my own schedule, my own pace, etc. This is the future of learning and we should all feel for this innovation. 

  • Kurt Jonson

    if you are looking for tutorial jobs online then you can contact with us as we will help you as much as possible.thanks for sharing the post here.