F2F - Blended - On-line K-12 Education
I wasn't sure where to start while making this comparison so I started in the middle which gave me some things to think about. I'm beginning to think more and more that Blended Learning in one form or another is going to become huge in the not too distant future. F2F schools are increasingly using technology as well as content and activities available on the Internet from either dedicated vendors or self-made curriculum. I just have a feeling about this.
Another thing I was thinking about was social interactions and more specifically, bullying. I searched for anything I could find about bullying happening or beginning in a K-12 virtual environment but I couldn't find anything yet. I know cyber-bullying is rampant in unmoderated social venues and between people who know each other in the physical world. I just wonder about the kinds of cliques that are formed in virtual K-12 schools where the physical relationship aspect is non-existent (until/unless programs and activities are formed for students). Are there nerd, jock, Barbie, doper, "most likely to go to Ivy League" and freak groups in virtual schools as well? I don't know. I suspect it is much harder because students have limited contact only with students in their classes. They don't know about or interact with the "rest of the school" so they don't get a chance to either cling to or be repulsed by other students, forming opinions and participating in group behavior as happens in, on and around brick and mortar.
Blended models don't provide my perceived "bully free" sanctuary because there is physical contact. In order to be a bully, you need to exert threats of some kind of physical nature. In an on-line only school, distance as well as privacy severely limit physical threat. In addition, student interaction may be easier to monitor, being able to flag and deal with potential incidents.
My comparison was created using Conceptboard, a nice collaborative space. Teachers need an account but students can join in as guests, no account needed.
Open this in a new window. Log in as a guest (or your real name). Add to it if you want (I can't lock it unless I have a paid account). If you add to it, use the comment tool with an arrow pointing to a specific area.