May 14,2008 00:00
NEW YORK -- A conservative think tank in California is predicting that U.S. high schools will be delivering half of their courses online by the year 2019.
Authors of a study conducted by the Hoover Institution at Stanford University said they expect online education to surge because it saves money and offers flexibility, The Christian Science Monitor reported Wednesday.
Teachers in traditional schools can't be as flexible as online educators because they spend their time delivering one-size-fits-all lectures, says Michael Horn, co-author of the study.
Horn says teachers will be free to work with students who need extra help if computers take over the job of delivering the lectures.
"It can change our assumption of what teacher-student ratios make sense," he said in the Monitor article.
While the efficiency of online learning accounts for its growing popularity, opponents say there has been little research assessing the quality of programs and not enough official oversight.
"You have to have high standards, tight oversight, scrutiny over what teachers are doing," Luis Huerta of Columbia University's Teachers College, told the Monitor.
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