Thursday, March 15, 2012

Parents & Virtual Schools

So, I'm still on my soap box about virtual schools. With all the debate going around about charter funding and the rest, it won't quite leave my brain. Today's soap box is about parents and technology.

If you're going to send your child to a virtual school, you need to have at least as much knowledge about computers as your child. It works even better if you know MORE. At GCA, they assume that you have at least a base of know-how that includes how to send/receive email and how to use an internet browser. Fortunately, from there K12 helped GCA create a series of videos that parents can watch that will teach them how to use the system itself.

You cannot, though, expect your child to know everything and then to be completely honest with you about what they're doing. As I pointed out before, there are no totally perfect children. If your child can pull something over on you and get away with it, they will. This applies to school, too. You, as the parent, have to be able to log in and check up on your child. Whether that is maintaining communication ONLINE with your teacher or checking that work is actually done ONLINE, doesn't matter. The key is the word ONLINE.

The school may ship the books (and possibly even the computer) to you, but the teachers and technical support are elsewhere. They will provide you with the tools to learn (ie: the videos from K12), but you have to USE the tools to be effective.

In the end, not only do parents have to HELP their child learn, they have to be able to use the same tools their child is using.
Keep that in mind before you enroll your child in an ONLINE charter school.

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