Tuesday, March 29, 2011

First Graders Go to School Online

When you think of online learning, thoughts of high school kids, like those who shared 10 Reasons Students Say They Prefer Learning Online, probably come to mind. Did you know that there are also elementary students who learn online too?  Yep.  The profile of such families might be that they live in a remote area where there just aren't a lot of kids at a certain age, or perhaps the child is being home educated and the parents want the extra help to which they're entitled, or perhaps, the parents prefer home education, but don't have careers or life circumstances that allow for this to be a reality, so they supplement their child's learning with learning online.  This allows for a consistent learning leader whether it's the mother home with the child, the father, a grandparent, family member, or nanny.

Even as an innovative educator, I was surprised to learn that online learning was occurring in elementary school.  It seemed to me, at least in part, an answer to those who were considering home education for their children, but wanted support in getting started.

I had the good fortune to hear from Christina M. Narayan from Branson School Online, a first grade teacher who was doing this work along with her principal Leanna Walker-Christians
at a the Virtual School Symposium.  The session was called, "CONNECTING...not just to the internet...but to your STUDENTS!

Here is what they addressed:

How do you "reach out and touch someone" when there's a computer in the way and your students and staff live miles apart? Branson School Online staff will share the C3 Model for engaging and motivating online students. Creativity, Community and Communication are essential for connecting to our learners. The 09 CO Elem Online Teacher of the Year and BSO Principal will give concrete strategies for easy application. You can still have bulletin boards, Buddy programs and even a class pet at your virtual school.

You can listen to the session here.
CONNECTING not just to the internet.mp3

You can view their presentation here.


  1. In my point of view students prefer online education because its very low cost anyone can easily afford it.

  2. It is often easier to facilitate on-line learning in elementary schools as the kids have 1 primary teacher for the entire day. From a training/retention point of view this has obvious implications. One of the simplest ways to use an on-line platform in an elementary schools is to use portaportal. The following is an example of an elementary teacher using portaportal;
    As you can see all the on-line content is under one page. It could not be any simpler.