Word from the Weldies on the ground in virtual schooling
February 1st, 2008

“Online Schooling Grows, Setting Off a Debate” is the headline of a story in the New York Times today. It reports the that half a million American children are taking online courses and features the Weldie family of Wisconsin as an example. Arguments against this kind of schooling from teachers unions are described and defenses from virtual curricula companies given.

In the article, the strongest support for virtual schooling  as a way to learn the 3R’s emerges from the Web 2.0 principles of networking and individual patterning:

The school has consistently met federal testing requirements, and many parents, including Mrs. Weldie, expressed satisfaction with the K12 curriculum, which allows her children to move through lessons at their own pace, unlike traditional schools, where teachers often pause to take account of slower students. Isabel Weldie, 5, is in kindergarten, “But in math I’m in first grade,” she said during a break in her school day recently.

“That’s what I love most about this curriculum,” Mrs. Weldie said. “There’s no reason for Isabel to practice counting if she can already add.”

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