Online Schooling: The Educational Wave of the 21st Century

What an exciting time to be a Christian school administrator! This fall, Renton Christian has launched a new online high school. The effort to bring this to fruition was difficult and took a couple of years, but we are now operational. The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction in Washington initially denied us permission to start our online campus, despite the fact that public school districts around the state had online students. Through the efforts of state representative Mark Hargrove and the Freedom Foundation, we were able to pass into law the ability for private schools in our state to offer online courses for students who choose this path for their education. Renton Christian is basically the pilot program as this new era of private schooling has begun in the state of Washington.  The narrative of our legislative efforts is well-told in this video.

tablet-surfaceThe face of education in America is changing quickly, primarily due to technological advancements, and quickly improving online curriculum and vehicles for delivering it. Tablets are replacing textbooks.  Technology is not an obstacle for today’s students, called “digital natives,” as it might be for their parents or grandparents, but an often-used tool with which they are quite comfortable.  I strongly believe that teachers and administrators who insist on doing school the same way it’s been done for the past several decades, may well become as irrelevant in the 21st century as the one-room school house became in the 20th century.

There are numerous benefits to online thCALF4RNDschooling, but a few include: it’s more cost-effective for a budget than to manage than a brick-and-mortar school, the rigorous academic programs are more accessible to a wide range of socio-economic levels, the format offers a more intense level of scrutiny over each student, the program offers a freedom and flexibility to study at the times and pace of a student’s choosing, and it prepares students for the type of learning they will be pressed into at college and for professional development in the 21st century work force.

I am thrilled to be part of this new wave of education and I look forward to seeing what the future holds for those courageous enough to ride it.

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