« Moving On-Line 5

Moving On-Line #5

Observations and Questions #5

Traits for Success - Building a Community

One might think that a column about on-line education would begin an analysis of successful on-line schools with comments about curriculum. But fundamentally, schools are not about curriculum - we have to look beyond just curriculum.

A successful on-line school will address the fundamental issues of schooling itself, and an online school will do that with a clear attention to schooling fundamentals.

Schools are about social interaction. They are created by society to benefit society.

A successful on-line school will directly address the issues related to community and community development. More than anything else, an on-line school is a community school, and more dependent on community interaction than even a regular in-person traditional school.

A successful on-line school will create multiple and varied opportunities for digital interaction between its teachers, students, and parents. The use of digital forums for various groups, and the creation of opportunities for communication between groups, should be a foundational principal of the successful on-line school.

A successful on-line school will consider and implement multiple opportunities for interaction between classes and within classes. After all, a traditional school is really about interaction - and it happens on multiple levels -between students, between students and teachers, between teachers, between teacher and parents, and also between parents and students. The on-line school will find ways to create interaction - all in the interests of creating community.

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