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Horizon Issues

8. Virtual Classrooms, Online Learning, Virtual Schools and Virtual Diplomas



















The marketplace will fill with replacement learning opportunities that allow students to move forward and certify competence through performance assessment rather than seat time.

Job security will go to teachers who can tutor and guide students through this kind of learning. A premium will be placed on "strategic intervention" rather than a "carpet bombing" approach to learning.

Many of these programs will be cheap imitations of real learning . . . diploma mills that will win poor reputations. Some will deliver learning opportunities with rigor and value. Certifiable competencies will accompany diplomas.

Marketing hype will make wise choices difficult. States will experiment with market driven learning in ways that will cause major disruptions in the enrollments of schools.

Some options will make sweeping promises about the benefits of technologically rich classrooms. Others will focus on home schooling delivery systems. Others will offer to customize learning to match personal styles and preferences. "Have it your way!"

Highly skilled teachers will have some real mobility - much like free agents in the sports world. Adaptability will win a premium.

Learning More

Do a search at Electric Library and read at least 2 articles that cast light on this trend or issue.

Possible search questions:

  • virtual high school
  • online learning
  • Western Governors University

Visit and read through several of the following:

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the issues pages are those of the author, Jamie McKenzie. They are meant to stimulate thought and inquiry about issues and trends, but they do contain some speculation and projection about the future. The author cannot be held responsible if some predictions and trends do not materialize or continue, especially if readers attempt to reverse some of the more disturbing trends. Listing of articles to read should not be interpreted as endorsement of the contents, products or ideas by the author.

Credits: The photographs were shot by Jamie McKenzie.
Copyright Policy: Materials published in From Now On may be duplicated in hard copy format for educational, nonprofit school district and university use only and may also be sent from person to person by e-mail. All other uses, transmissions and duplications are prohibited unless permission is granted expressly.