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Benefits of Online Education

There are many benefits of online education for students of any age. While many may think that the benefits of online education are just for college students, that is no longer with the case with increases in educational technology. Now, students just entering kindergarten to high school students can also take advantage of the benefits of online education. Keep reading to find out more about how to find online education programs that are perfect for you or your child to be able to enroll in the benefits of online education.

Many can get an education online now with various courses that are available via the Internet. Homeschool students especially can take advantage of the benefits of online education with many of their classes. These online educational opportunities can be used as the entire homeschooling curriculum or can be used to supplement courses taught by parents or tutors. To further look into these options, it is important to check out options that are offered by an accredited institution in order to make sure the online school and course list are legitimate. It is important to check with your state department of education to make sure the online courses match whatever state requirements there are in order to receive credit for the course.

When it comes to online education for high school students, there are many benefits of online education. High school students are required to have so many credits in order to graduate. There are times when a student might fail the class the first time, or a required class might be difficult to work with the student’s schedule. This is the perfect opportunity for students to take the class online in order to make up the credit or take the course on their own time so that it works with their class schedules. Students might also want to take an online course that is not offered at their high school like a foreign language or skills course. Getting to take these added courses are just part of the benefits of online education. Through online courses, high school students also have the option to take more advanced preparatory classes or college courses during high school to earn college credit early. Just be sure to check out the credentials of the online school to ensure the courses are legitimate and will qualify for college credits upon transfer to a community college or university.

For online education and college students, most colleges or universities offer a plethora of courses that can be taken at any time by the student. This is great for distance learning when the college student cannot afford to live on campus or to drive to school every day. Many college students also have to work full-time in order to afford their college education. Courses can be difficult to schedule around a work schedule, which is why the benefits of online education greatly extend to college students in this type of a situation. Online education during the summer semester to make up missing credits is also one of the great benefits of online education.

In addition to college students, high school and home school students, those who are wishing to simply learn new information or expand their knowledge base can greatly benefit from an online education. There are many reasons why a person should take advantage of the benefits of online education including:

  • Convenience and flexibility. Students with jobs or families find school difficult because it is hard to work around preexisting schedules. With the benefits of online education, this is no longer an issue.
  • Pacing. Online education allows a student to work more at their own pace compared to that of traditional classes.
  • Lack of commute. This is great for students who don’t live close to a college or university, or for those home-schooled students.
  • More choices. There are more choices when it comes to variety of courses and subjects than traditional schooling.

Overall, there are many benefits of online education that anyone can take advantage of while pursuing their education. It is important to remember to check out each online school to ensure they are legitimate and that the courses offered will count toward the high school curriculum or college credits.

Identifying Gifted Children

Having mulled over some of the issues about standards, we’re now going to look at a group of students that characteristically add spice to the standards discussion: students with special needs, and our survey this month will be on this topic. We’ll start with gifted children.

Over the Fourth of July weekend, the New York Times published a “Room for Debate” topic titled “The Pitfalls in Identifying a Gifted Child.” Participants include university-level education academicians/researchers, a journalist, and a tutoring program founder and CEO. They specific prompt for the comments is the information that New York City school officials are looking for a gifted and talented test that can identify children as young as 3 in an attempt to respond to complaints that minorities are under-represented and parents are “gaming” the system.

• Professor Susan K. Johnsen, Educational Psychology, Baylor University, points out that two types of children should be identified: those who already demonstrate advanced development and those who may—through intervention—become advanced. She acknowledges that gifts may develop and be discernible over time, thus calling into question a one-point testing program for identification. In addition, students are not well-represented across all races, ethnicities, and income levels at the current time.

• Clara Hemphill, senior editor at Center for NYC Affairs at the New School objects to the labeling and segregation of gifted children when their is a good neighborhood school that might serve them well. She points out the being with and understanding the talents of others not (yet) so labeled is an important part of the gifted child’s education. She claims that the fundamentals of kindergarten are pretty similar for all children, regardless of giftedness, and that differentiated instruction is easy to achieve at this level. She adds that testing children prior to kindergarten is “ridiculous.”

• Joseph S. Renzulli, director of the National Research Center of the Gifted and Talented (NRC/GT) at University of Connecticut acknowledges that early childhood testing is unreliable and that parents have “gamed” the system. He suggests the use of a program by Dr. C. June Maker that identifies giftedness by watching children’s responses to specially designed activities that are performed in small groups (rather than individual, paper and pencil tests).

• Tonya R. Moon, associate professor at the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia (also with NRC/GT ties) suggests multiple measures and multiple opportunities for identification. She says that nonverbal tests in particular, on which the most academically-gifted minority children are apt to score poorly, should not be used as a sole measure.

• Bige Doruk, founder and CEO of Bright Kids NYC (a tutoring service), states that no single test can guarantee better identification of gifted students than the Otis-Lennon School Ability Test (OLSAT), which is currently used in NYC. She says that the fact that children identified by this test are thought by their teachers to be properly assigned to gifted programs indicates their reliability. She does not address the possibility that there are other children, who the test fails to identify, who may also belong. She does, however, point out that the younger the age of the child tested, the more influence home factors, such as home environment and parents’ educational attainment come into play, which would tend—she suggests—to skew results away from minorities. She also suggests that the top students from each district—regardless of exact score—should be placed in gifted and talented programs, including students to the point at which the program is full, and that NYC attend to a better calculation of matching supply to demand and transportation to facilitate the practical aspects of these programs.

For background on gifted children, please see our article “The Gifted Student.”

We also recommend you take a look at the comments readers have posted in response to the New York Times article.