I would like to respond to the article Online Learning For Young Kids Not Well Received (The Daily News, March 8).
Is online learning a good fit for all elementary students? No. Is face to face, elementary education a good fit for all elementary students? No. So what do we do with kids that need options? We provide them with choice.
Our district offers a variety of programs/schools to students. We have a science school, an arts school and an IB school. We also have distance eucation school. Wow! I think it is great that we are involved in a district that provides choice for students and families looking for a variety of opportunities and learning environments.
I teach an amazing group of students ranging from Kindergarten to Grade 7.
I use both a distance education model and a blending learning model to ensure that my students have the best education I can provide.
I have students that have been enrolled for varying reasons, many of which stem from issues of bullying, anxiety and behaviour.
I also have many students who enrol because they want to. Families want flexibility and this program offers them that. Currently, I have two students travelling around the world for a year.
They are working online, learning about the world, and taking lessons from me through live video. I have many families who have been with this school for many years.
These families have chosen this school for varying reasons and find that they have successful, socially capable kids who are receiving a great public education from home.
I know many might picture online education students to be students sitting in front of computers working their way through ‘canned” courses without peer interaction or the supervision or guidance of a teacher.
This is simply untrue. Students are placed on individualized programs that suit their needs and interests while still meeting the learning outcomes prescribed by the Ministry.
Students work through a variety of hands-on learning projects that are both inquiry and problem based. I meet with my students on a regular basis and we work together both in a one-to-one setting and group activities.
Students meet weekly to take part in PE, science and art. We attend science fairs, WE Day, Young Authors and Young Artists.
I also have a group of students attending a blended learning centre at Sun Peaks who, for the last three years have enjoyed attending school from a top a ski hill. This would have been impossible without distance education to support them.
I hope this letter serves to provide information about distance education in the elementary setting. This form of education is simply a choice and for some it is the appropriate choice. Is online education for everyone?
No, but then again, is there any program that is one size fits all?