The guest column by Erik Rockwell (“Alternate route to school goals,” Jan. 17) was full of generalities and had little in the way of specific examples of how the virtual environment addresses the concerns of parents.
First, he never mentions how many students are in his “class.” He then claims that the technology he employs makes him a better teacher. He references his ability to give a “motivating” earful to a student that was lacking in applied effort. How he knew it was motivating and what did technology have to inspire the motivation?
However, the most serious issues regarding a virtual environment is the lack of social intercourse and daily personal interchange with fellow students as well as how does the virtual environment deal with hands-on skills, such as arts and crafts and team relationships for sports or music.
I am sure Rockwell is a dedicated teacher, but he needs to get a “motivating earful” on how to promote his virtual academy.
I think technology can go a long way toward enhancing our education system. An example would be to engage various experts to publish brief topics on the web for use within schools. Think about a political science class that could access a brief summary on a particular critical issue (out of the many) by President Obama and a Republican counterpoint, say by John Boehner. This could revolutionize the public awareness process and would probably carry over to parents as well. The utility of this technology is endless.