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Sunday, March 17, 2013

New Bedford students: learning in the virtual world by SARAH GONET

"The virtual world is everywhere. It's changed how we communicate, shop and pay our bills" summarizes SARAH GONET. 
Students take classes at New Bedford High School in the Virtual High School Collaborative room.
All of the classes are taken over the internet.

And last week, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick signed legislation that establishes a framework governing virtual schools — that is, schools where students are not required to be in a physical building, but instead take classes and interact with their teachers online or through other computer-based methods.
But is it a good forum for high school students to access their education? Many believe it is, including some SouthCoast educators and students who have been testing the virtual waters for some time now.
"Let's face it, there are very few students entering college today who will graduate without being required to take part in some sort of online learning experience," said Tiffany Carrazedo, coordinator of New Bedford High School's Virtual High School (VHS) Collaborative program.
The Maynard, Mass.-based VHS Collaborative, a non-profit pioneer of online learning, promotes "co-synchronous e-learning"; it currently offers 190 unique courses to students in its ever growing roster of 679 member schools nationally and internationally.
As for the cost to join the Collaborative, its website says that varies depending on the membership options a school chooses. But the website notes that the cost of an individual enrollment in a VHS course is $450 per semester, while summer school courses are $225 for a 4-week session and $400 for an 8-week session.
Schools can join the Collaborative with memberships from 5 to 100 or more seats per semester and seats bundles purchased through a school membership are at discounted member rates, the site says.
For more information on the VHS Collaborative, visit

About VHS Collaborative

VHS - A pioneer continuing to forge new paths. The VHS Collaborative is a non-profit organization that has literally changed the face of online and blended learning in high schools and middle schools across the country and around the world. Since 1996, we have brought art to the cornfields, math to the deserts, and science to the delta. The education students thought they couldn’t receive, and administrators thought they couldn’t afford, has been delivered via the Web by The VHS Collaborative.

We have not only taught children far and wide, we have taught their teachers, educating them in the many ways to leverage technology in the classroom. We have not replaced traditional classroom teaching; we have supplemented it. We have made high quality education available to all, regardless of location, and within the most stringent budgets.

Our vision is to remain the standard for online learning and to help all schools achieve the highest level of education for their students, preparing them to be productive citizens in a global world.