At Woodstock we're entering our 3rd year with Virtual High School and generally we have been quite pleased. Although we haven't used VHS strictly as a means of earning a diploma or GED, it has helped several seniors earn a few important credits towards graduation. Mostly, it's been a great way to offer upperclassmen a way to start exploring specific areas of interest as well as give them a taste of what to expect with course management systems like Blackboard when they go off to college.
Participation does require a commitment on the part of the school. In addition to a subscription fee, each participating school offers a teacher into the collaborative in exchange for a certain number of student seats. That contributing teacher also needs to successfully complete a 10-week graduate level course offered by VHS on the ins and outs of developing and managing a course online.
I would have to say that generally it benefits the more independent, self-directed students the most. Students that are less motivated and who struggle with time management and distractions in the face-to-face classroom will most likely need more support and guidance with any sort of online course.
Feel free to call or email off the list if you have any questions.
Woodstock Union High School
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From: School Information Technology Discussion on behalf of Joanne Finnegan
Sent: Thu 7/24/2008 4:51 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Online HS programs to replace HS diploma
I did my Master's thesis about online education for high school students, but that was almost 10 years ago. The only thing that rose to the surface as "good" at the time was the Virtual High School: http://www.govhs.org/
I believe VHS still requires participation from the sending institution - a teacher at the local high school must provide virtual instruction to be able to have kids from that school enroll in courses.
Also, some states had set up their own "virtual high schools" which were basically old correspondence courses turned into digital format - instead of using postal mail, they digitized the work and used e-mail. The degrees were earned through the state education departments rather than the local schools. I think one of the more organized ones, with higher participation rate, was offered through the state of Virginia (maybe West Virginia?).
I'm sure there is more out there now. I'll be interested to see if anyone has any good recommendations and what has developed in the last 10 years.
>>> Patricia Aigner <[log in to unmask]> 07/24/08 12:34 PM >>>
Do you have any suggestions for online programs for a student as an
alternative to a high school diploma? There are many out there.
Patricia W. Aigner
Director of Instructional Technology
Rutland City Public Schools
6 Church Street
Rutland, Vermont 05701
Phone: (802) 773-1900
Fax: (802) 773-1927
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