Sure, education happens in the classroom, but increasingly, K–12 education is turning to online and virtual education settings. The confluence of tighter budgets and improved delivery is just one of several reasons this is happening. In this issue of Internet@Schools, we’re examining virtual learning environments as offered and serviced by ed tech companies and educational institutions.
One of our features—an interview with Julie Young, president and CEO of Florida Virtual School—examines the state of the art of virtual schooling and discusses its rationale. By any measure, FLVS has been a success and a role model for K–12 nationwide, even globally: “It offers courses not just to Florida students but also to students in 49 states and 46 countries with 110-plus courses—including core subjects, world languages, electives, honors, and 15 advanced placement courses by way of more than 1,400 staff members who reside throughout Florida and beyond.” What about the human factor in a virtual education environment? Learn how Young and FLVS strive to further human interaction and relationships in the school’s approach, and much more, in Interview With Julie Young: Staying Human in a Virtual School State (page 12).
The other feature rounds up and describes a range of companies and their offerings that are in the online teaching and learning space. Tools for Learning reporter Victor Rivero sets the scene by noting the striking growth the field is experiencing, then lists names, products, services, and organizations that can help your school or district move forward, virtually and literally. See What’s New in Online Teaching and Learning? Solution Providers Improving Student Achievement (page 8).
This issue, we also say goodbye to Johanna Riddle, our Tech Effect columnist for more than 2 years. Through her column, Johanna has been highlighting the successful efforts of a range of educators at implementing and infusing technology into the fabric of their students’ learning, in wonderfully creative and effective ways. Even before starting the column, Johanna wrote several features for us. We’ll miss her. Don’t miss her final Tech Effect column, Where Are They Now? Looking Back Before Moving On (page 16).
David Hoffman , editor