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The Virtual SchoolHouse

Gene I. Maeroff, director of the Hechinger Institute on Education and Media, published an editorial in EdWeek on the growth of cyber learning in high school and elementary school students.

Gene I. Maeroff, director of the Hechinger Institute on Education and Media, published an editorial in EdWeek on the growth of cyber learning in high school and elementary school students. During the 1990s the U.S. Department of Education funded the Virtual Schoolhouse, which allowed high school students to take courses online that their own schools did not offer. More and more, however, cyber learning is pulling children completely out of the classroom and redefining home schooling. Proponents of home schooling are using charter school regulations to launch cyber schools where even elementary students may take all their classes online.

Maeroff points out that though there are benefits to cyber learning, students miss out on the socialization that is such an important part of school. "Character takes shape within the crucible of personal interaction. Youngsters learn sharing, honesty, and reliability, for example, in situations in which they witness the behavior of others and grow accustomed to conducting themselves in accord with certain mores and expectations" he said.

The article, entitled "The Virtual Schoolhouse " appeared in the February 26h edition of EdWeek.

Published Thursday, Mar. 6, 2003

The Virtual SchoolHouse

Gene I. Maeroff, director of the Hechinger Institute on Education and Media, published an editorial in EdWeek on the growth of cyber learning in high school and elementary school students. During the 1990s the U.S. Department of Education funded the Virtual Schoolhouse, which allowed high school students to take courses online that their own schools did not offer. More and more, however, cyber learning is pulling children completely out of the classroom and redefining home schooling. Proponents of home schooling are using charter school regulations to launch cyber schools where even elementary students may take all their classes online.

Maeroff points out that though there are benefits to cyber learning, students miss out on the socialization that is such an important part of school. "Character takes shape within the crucible of personal interaction. Youngsters learn sharing, honesty, and reliability, for example, in situations in which they witness the behavior of others and grow accustomed to conducting themselves in accord with certain mores and expectations" he said.

The article, entitled "The Virtual Schoolhouse " appeared in the February 26h edition of EdWeek.

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