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Virtual Classrooms: The New Face of Education


Each new school year brings new classes and new teachers or so thought Naomi Baptiste according to an article in The New York Times. This North Miami High School senior was a bit surprised to learn that she had been placed in a virtual classroom or e-learning lab. E-learning labs are computerized classroom which provides the student with a computer and facilitator to assist with technological difficulties. According to the article, Naomi is among thousands of high school students who are taking general education courses through virtual classrooms or e-learning labs.

According to the article, Florida passed the “Class Size Reduction Amendment in 2002” which limited the number of students in its classrooms and made e-learning labs a viable option for those students needing to take core courses. Some parents are concerned that they were not informed or given the option to choose traditional classroom instruction versus e-learning labs. Some students in the program explain that e-learning labs are for more “self-motivated students” and may not be a good fit for every student.

Despite these concerns, e-learning labs have worked well at reducing class size and helping students achieve academic success. Some teachers see the e-learning lab as a good tool to integrate traditional classroom instruction with the newest technology called a “blended learning concept” by Michael G. Moore of Pennsylvania State University. Across the nation, many school systems are adopting this new e-learning lab concept so it looks like e-learning labs will become fixtures in the secondary education landscape.

You can read more at The New York Times




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