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Virtual Learning vs. Traditional December 27, 2011

Posted by jlhawkinson in Technology and Business.
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I found an article today as I was sifting through e-mails.  Virtual Schools Booming as States Mull Warnings discusses how more and more students are switching to virtual learning as opposed to the traditional brick and mortar classroom for a variety of reasons, such as to avoid long commutes to school, add courses they wouldn’t otherwise be able to take, and save their school districts money. 

As I read this I see a lot of the reasons I hear my own students’ families say they switched to online learning.  Then I also began to wonder why are the teachers switching from the traditional classroom to the online classroom and I started making a list of my own reasons.

I switched to online teaching in January 2010.  When considering that avenue it was because of a few reasons, but my two main reasons were the commute as I was driving over 70 miles one way each day to teach and my own safety.  After having a student threaten me in my own classroom, I no longer felt comfortable or safe in that school and I didn’t want to be there.  That’s not fair to me, the district, and especially not the student.

Now almost two years later, I am still teaching online and I love it.  My reasons for doing it haven’t changed, but I have added to them.  I like the comfort of being at home and available to my family when they need me.  I am available to students outside the normal 8 am – 3 pm school day through e-mail, Skype, text messaging, phone, and other communication outlets.  I can grade more easily and readily because it is right in front of me.  If I am sick, I can still teach!  I don’t need a substitute teacher.  And the best and most important for me now, is that I can still do my work as I travel. 

I still want to share the article even though I focused on the teacher instead of the student and their quality/quantity of learning because I felt that it held valuable information for anyone who was considering or questioning that alternative.

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