NY Board of Regents Promotes Digital Learning
The NY Board of Regents has announced a sweeping state policy that will promote online instruction for high schoolers.
The Board has eased the rules on "seat-time" requirements, indicating how long a student must physically spend in a classroom to earn course credit. The regulations also lessen requirements for face-to-face interactions between students and teachers.
The new rules, lobbied by the City Department of Education officials, will enable educators to conduct more online or "blended" courses for students located across several schools. If a student desires to take a course in a subject that is not offered in his or her school due to a shortage of teachers, that student can virtually attend the course.
Teachers will now have the ability to educate a class of students who are physically present, as well as a group of students who will be signing in digitally from various locations.
These developments will certainly increase the number of students who can receive instruction, but it will also decrease individual attention and social interaction. A more isolated educational process may not be productive for all teens.
Such virtual learning experiences will prove to be valuable only if students can be effectively held responsible for their work and education, even when not present in a classroom.