Want to know something cool?

One point of view, taking note of sundry "cool" things that affect-- or could affect-- the education business.

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Thursday, June 15, 2006

Missouri Close to Statewide Virtual School

The Missouri Legislature approved a bill that will allow a new statewide virtual public school, and sent the bill to Governor Matt Blunt for his sign-off.

According to USA Today, "The 'virtual school' would begin offering courses during the 2007-2008 school year under legislation given final approval by a 136-20 House vote. The Senate passed the bill 31-0 last month, meaning it now goes to Gov. Matt Blunt."

Statewide distance learning programs are gaining popularity, or at least garnering support, as departments of education hither and yon realize that online classes can be, and perhaps should be, "centralized" in that they're offered to students across an entire state. Cool, huh?

What might be cooler is taking the next logical step, which is to troll the brick-and-mortar institutions looking for the best and brightest courses to be offered this way. In other words, don't create new online courses, but find the best traditional courses offered in the state and bring them online. The best current events teacher, the best computer science course ... of course, the catch there is deciding who gets to determine what's best and how "best" is even defined. But still, there are tons of great teachers offering great courses. Adapting those great classes to be webcast would take some tweaking, but that's probably easier and will garner better results than starting from scratch.

Cool, huh?

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