Cyber Student Socialization?

24 09 2009

Online High Schools Test Students’ Social Skills
The Wall Street Journal
SEPTEMBER 24, 2009

. . .Most online high schools are relatively young, and there has been little research on cyber students’ academic performance or social adaptation. But education experts say that studies looking at home-schooling suggest that students educated in nontraditional environments perform as well academically as their peers at conventional schools.

“When you look at home-school students compared to public or private school students, we have some reliable evidence to show that students are doing about the same but not better [in home school],” said Luis Huerta, a professor of public policy and education at Teachers College at Columbia University.

Researchers affiliated with home-schooling cite their own studies showing that home schoolers outperform their conventionally educated counterparts on standardized tests.

Some online schools let students tackle the curriculum on their own schedule; others create a virtual classroom of students and teachers using video feeds, online chat and PowerPoint presentations. Online schools appeal to gifted students who want to work at their own pace, students who dropped out of traditional high schools or who are taught at home by their families, students who travel with globe-trotting parents and teens with competitive outside pursuits like ballet, tennis or gymnastics. . .



4 responses

24 09 2009
Crimson Wife

We’re seriously considering the Stanford Online High School for our oldest once she is able to do 7th grade work. That would be a compromise between the traditional prep school education my DH wants for her and continuing with the homeschooling that I would prefer. The main drawback IMHO is the pricey tuition (though it’s less than half of what top prep schools charge).

Socialization I think would be less of a concern for an always-homeschooled child like her than for a student switching from a traditional bricks & mortar school. Also, presumably there will be a larger cohort of adolescent home & virtual schoolers 5 years down the road then there is today.

25 09 2009
Crimson Wife

One of the moms in my local HS support group is friends with the mom of the student quoted in the WSJ. According to my friend, the girl is disappointed that the article failed to mention all the stuff she *DID* like about the OHS such as the academic challenge of the courses. My friend also says the girl is super-extroverted, much more so than the typical kid. So my friend is not surprised that the girl wanted more in person social interaction.

25 09 2009

I think Nance and Lynn are experiencing some of that desire, with their previously unschooled daughters too?

25 09 2009

OTOH I am thinking about my quirky son who hasn’t yet cared about that at all. How superior the system that accommodates the individual differences!

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