Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Michigan Status Report on Online Education

Link to December 28 Grand Rapids Press article, "Virtual classrooms: Online education is changing school hours, buildings, interactions".

Excerpt: Andrew Topper worked 12 years as a software engineer, and one day his daughter’s second-grade teacher asked for help in her computer lab.

"I watched as the teacher spent so much time on the phone with the technical support people while 25 7-year-olds waited,” he said. “I thought, there must be a better way to integrate technology in the classroom.

"Then I thought, I could either criticize it, or I could change it.”

Topper went back to school and earned his doctorate. Today, he is a Grand Valley State University professor teaching online classes — and showing education majors how they can lead virtual classrooms of their own.

Online education gathered steam in the past decade. But in the next 10 years, experts predict, it will have a profound influence on every aspect of education.

The size and shape of buildings. The hours they operate. The types of interaction students have with teachers and classmates — whether across the room or across the state

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