Practical Theory - The Origin
The Scholars in CyberEnglish
ToDaY's MeNu - Ted

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

CyberSchool Update

CyberSchool is doing just what it is supposed to do. The room is filled with new scholars. We get new scholars every week, sometimes a new scholar each day of the week. Just last week eight new scholars walked into CyberSchool. Then there are scholars who need partial credits to graduate in January. All of these scholars are working in different disciplines. When anyone walks in, s/he always comments on the tone of the room and the scholarly activity. The scholars are in control of their own learning while I merely observe, intervene, and encourage.

For those who need math we have five CD's that take them through a comprehensive set of readings and exercises in Algebra I & II, Geometry, Trig, and Calculus. I also have webquests that ask them to research the History of Algebra and Geometry as well as webquests guiding them through useful applications of math in everyday life.

For Spanish we use Rosetta Stone and some webquests designed to have them research Spanish speaking countries and to plan trips to Spanish speaking countries.

In the histories I have many webquests that provide specific projects about specific time periods in history. For those who have to take the regents, I have them use past exams and then use the Internet to research each question so that they get them all correct.

In science I have a great alternative energy project as well as specific projects for the different sciences.

In English they do CyberEnglish.

I have webquests for art, music, and health as well.

The room is a beehive of activity. I'm conferencing with all of them. The key is that we are using the Internet for individualized instruction. CyberSchool is serving many functions: slowly transitioning the new students into school before they join their regular classes at the cycle break, providing curriculum for those who need partial credits to graduate, and to provide individualized instruction when necessary. It is a great release for the scholars and the school. It prevents drop outs, it encourages scholars to return to school, and it assists in keeping students on target to graduate. It caters a bit to the scholar, but then this is the scholar who needs some catering to and has slipped through the cracks in other schools, but not this one. CyberSchool is the beginning of reentering school or the last stop before graduating. CyberSchool is our safety net, it is an academic safety net that provides positive successful experiences. Behind all of this activity, chatter, clicking of keys are the melodies of the classics like Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, and American jazz. The music sets a tone, provides the cadence, and raises the level of scholarship a level. One student who came in for his period commented on how peaceful it was in here.

Scholars are constantly coming in to ask about CyberSchool. They need to speak with their advisers and determine if they need partial credits so they can graduate sooner than later. In some cases scholars have left us and then have returned. CyberSchool is used to acclimate them to the school and a place for them to show that they are ready to return. It is almost like sending an athlete to the minors before they return to the majors.

CyberSchool has its ups and downs in attendance. At the beginning of the cycle, the room almost empty, except for those collecting partial credits. As the cycle moves towards the end the room slowly fills up with the new scholars waiting till the new cycle begins. We have three cycles each of the two semesters. I must say it is gratifying seeing those new scholars alter on in their classes as they come to the computer lab with their new classes. In is a real thrill seeing those beaming faces of the CyberSchool scholars on graduation day.

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