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PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2009 2:54 pm 
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Location: Southern California
Keep your kids safer through the swineflu / H1N1 pandemic. ENROLL them in a FREE online PUBLIC charter school.

http://www.k-12.com Kindergarten through 12th grade. You get a free desktop computer, printer, all materials free. If you qualify for low income, they will even give you an internet stipend.

http://insightschools.net/ 9-12th grade only and mainly on the west coast, you get a free laptop and printer, 24/7 tutoring, an IMentor, program that pre-evaluates reports so you can correct errors, assignments graded by the computer immediately, all study materials, online clubs moderated by teachers, frequent field trips, multiple languages offered (german, latin, french, spanish), even a yearbook and prom (provided everyone is not on quarantine by that time). This is the program I have my son in because I like the social support offered by the school along with the extensive academic support system.

The above programs are WASC accredited. I believe on the east coast, the school should be NAAS accredited.

The following is a site with links to many other online schools grouped by state :-)
http://distancelearn.about.com/od/onlin ... linePS.htm

In the UK, try here:
http://www.virtualschools.net/

If you have any other schools that you know of that are free, especially in other countries, please post them below.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2009 11:53 am 
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Is Online Education More Effective Than Traditional Learning?

One of the fastest growing uses of technology is for online education. Student enrollment in online university degree programs has increased in recent years, but more interesting is the increase in kindergarten to grade 12 (K-12) students who are foregoing recess and pep rallies to study in virtual classrooms.

K12 is the largest provider of accredited online learning for grades K-12. It offers tuition-free and private supplemental learning, blended online/offline programs, and full-time online programs in the United States and internationally. K12 allows students to learn at their own level and has a strong social community with regularly sponsored events.

Great as all this sounds, the trend towards online learning raises the question of just how effective online education is compared to traditional education. According to a recent study conducted by SRI international for the US Department of Education, online learners perform slightly better than students in traditional face-to-face classrooms. The study analyzed research that compared online and conventional learning at institutions of higher education and in K-12 settings between 1996 and 2008.

A key finding of the report is that students doing partial or all course work online rank, on average, in the 59th percentile, meaning better than 59% of all those who were scored; whereas students in traditional classrooms ranked in the 50th percentile. Though this significant difference doesn't quite mean the end of institutional schools, it will help put an end to the myth that online learning is inferior to traditional learning. It will also help foster greater interest in developing technology geared specifically to education. No doubt, we will see online schools for K-12 pop up everywhere.

Already a giant in online university degrees, Kaplan has begun offering programs for students in grades 6 to 12, tailored to each learner. The company also runs the Kaplan Academy, a tuition-free online public high school available in six states. Kaplan has over 70 years of experience in distance learning and will likely see its numbers soar as more students (supported by their parents) opt for non-traditional schooling, in the hope of improving their chances of being admitted to their college of choice.

With social networks, slidesharing, IM, video and more at their disposal, students are finding it easier to get homework help, attend seminars, and even learn new languages. And educators can connect at a global level to discuss lesson plans and offer seminars.

Although Twitter may not penetrate the classroom just yet, social media help students maintain an active social life beyond the classroom. One of the biggest myths about online education is that students will become socially inept. Instead, learning online allows students to study at their own pace, usually opening up hours for sports, hobbies, volunteer work, and time with friends. Most programs also allow students to study what interests them. Not that learning online is easier. In fact, quite the opposite: students require tremendous discipline and excellent time management skills, two qualities that Insight Schools uses to promote its program. Insight Schools operates a network of tuition-free, accredited, online public high schools. Students receive their own laptop, as well as personalized education tailored to their lifestyle.

One would imagine that high school and college students are more likely to take advantage of online programs, but homeschooling has existed as long as education has, so it's a viable option for those in younger grades as well. Some children have special needs and talents, others have disabilities or simply struggle in the class. Parents looking for an alternative to traditional schooling for their child now have options other than special classes, tutoring and expensive private schools. Online education offers students more one-on-one time with their instructors. And, as a bonus, most K-12 online programs are inexpensive or even tuition-free.

Guest author: Jodi Church, better known as tinythoughts, is a writer and social media enthusiast who has worked as an online communications manager for both Mister Wong and Lifestream.fm.

Original Article: http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/on ... arning.php


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 1:56 am 
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Angel_B.

I want to give support to this post because the experience I had with "cyber school" was excellant.

Last year my husband's 16 year old niece came to live with us for a little while. We knew it would not be for the entire school year and so we enrolled her in a K-12 charter cyber school so that she could move back home and stay in the same system.

It was fantastic. These people have a great curriculum and the most awesome support team. Our neice wanted a $100 texas instrument calculator for calculus in the worst way but couldn't part with her money to buy one. When her supplies arrived, she was not nearly as excited about her new laptop as she was when she found that they sent her the exact calculator she wanted to buy. This was not an easy course of study. She literally was in school all day, the same as if she was physically in a school. The required work was first class all the way for a college bound high school student. They even bring local kids together to have traditional graduation services. Parents have to be involved and they have to sign off on their child's work daily. Parents are emailed and telephoned often about their child's status and current grades (weekly basis). These kid's get a lot more attention than they get in traditional schools, from guidance counslers, homeroom teachers and individual teachers. We had more fun with it than our niece did some days, with helping her with science labs and other activities.

My experience was great and although my daughter will only be two on Sunday, we are seriously considering this same form of education for her.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 4:05 am 
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My son just started the High School Program through Insight. I Do want to be involved, and I have access to all the time charts, emails, everything. I have every assignment, test, etc right in front of . The computer system grades most of his work immediately and I can see exactly how he is doing in every class at the end of the day. If he wanted, he could go ahead and complete the entire year at his own pace which is fabulous. All the assignments are color coded whether they are completed, pending, or currently due, so I can see at a glance how he is doing. The school is very good about calling, and is not afraid to spend an hour or more on the phone just making sure your questions are answered. Also, the principal actually answers her own phone. This school also has an actual graduation, prom, and online clubs for the kids that are overseen by a faculty member. So far so good and I am thrilled with the professionalism and set up. I definitely recommend the program to anyone looking at it as another option for their children.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 12:22 pm 
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Angel, Thanks so much for starting this thread.

My youngest is of Kindergarten Age, and because of a combination of a bad school system, his "Wild Nature", the Pandemic, and some other things, we're keeping him home and doing some "Pre-Homeschooling" this year.

K12.com is something my wife and I have been seriously looking at for next year. I like the fact that it follows Public School Curriculum (therebye keeping him current with other schoolers in the event we put him back in public school at some point). But it also allows us to develop more "Advanced & Interesting" learning experiences!

I think another benefit is the structured nature. My wife has questioned whether she want to "Become a full time Teacher". She worries about handling it. The structured courses do make it a bit simpler, but really allow more flexibility.

Of course socialization becomes a huge issue, but we've begun networking and have found that almost everywhere there are people doing similar things, or even the hardcore homeschooling, and they are all thinking like us, and Play Groups and Day Trip Learning Experiences becoming much more popular.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 3:23 pm 
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Mtn....thanks for bringing this thread back to life. Even though my little one is only 2, I have already decided to do the same, unless something even better comes along before she is school age. One thing I wanted to tell you is that they enroll fast, so if you are thinking seriously about this you should keep up with the earliest enrollment dates.

Please tell your wife that the teachers, advisors, etc. of the k-12 programs are so supportive. Your wife will be surprised how much assistance she will receive and the difference between the time she will spend compared to traditional home schooling. I cannot say enough about the support.

Good luck with this.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 9:53 pm 
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WOW ! Angel...what an amazingly informative post. In the midst of many of us debating the nuts and bolts of health and the flu itself (myself included), you have stepped out of the box somewhat here and given us a real world solution to a real world problem. Most of the advice preparing for the pandemic has centered around food, supplies etc....but this one speaks to trying to adopt a "business as usual" approach which will be immensely important aswell as educational should we all have succumb to either self or imposed quarantine for a period of time. As a teacher myself and as a parent of a three year old currently thinking about where to send him to mould that sponge, your post is timely, pro-active, and spot-on IMO.

Gets my vote for post of the day, if not week :clapping:

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 10:06 pm 
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We're in our twelfth year of homeschooling our three children, no regrets whatsoever.

Cyberschooling is also a valid option that more parents should seriously consider. We know several families that transitioned from homeschooling to cyberschooling for the high school years. There are very good cyberschool curricula available, and options are continuously expanding.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 5:44 pm 
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~ There are no safe schools during a Pandemic. Schools will Fuel a pandemic. I've already made up my mind that There's no information that any kid is going to miss that's worth risking their lives for. As soon as my inner voice hollers at me, My kids are home. BTW My inner voice is chattering away at me right now. Either way, if this present situation blows up, it won't be a choice. Schools will close... and when they reopen (and they will) the kids will have missed very little, and probably gained a ton of usable knowledge in the process. Schools are WAY over-rated. Don't sweat the little things. Believe it or not.... children can learn a lot outside of those brick walls.

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"Old Mother Goose, when she wanted to wander, would ride through the air on a very fine gander."
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"Mother Goose had a house,
'Twas built in a wood,
Where an owl at the door
For sentinel stood."


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