Online classes are not all that unfamiliar to students at major universities; however, until recently they were almost unheard of in the K-12 levels of education according to a Yahoo NEWS article "Virtual Schooling Growing at K-12 level":
Online learning is used as an alternative for summer school and for students who
need remedial help, are disabled, being home schooled or suspended for
behavioral problems. It also can help avoid overcrowding in traditional
classrooms and provide courses that local schools, often rural or inner-city, do
A new form of education, Virtual schooling, is steadily growing in popularity, particularly in Florida where Florida Virtual has become “one of the nation’s largest schools”. For students who like to work at their own pace this is the place to be; here students interact with teachers online using e-mail and other online media.
Interacting online is seen as a positive social experience for individuals who believe that children should be “socialized in the world they live in”. Opposition to the idea of online education believes that face-to-face social interaction is essential to the full development of a child.
It would be ignorant to completely ignore the fact that this world continues to increase reliance on the Internet. It would also be equally ignorant to phase out face-to-face interaction. I believe a balance needs to be found for both situations. In this age a child should not graduate high school without having been exposed to computers and the Internet; however, relying only on the Internet strips children of beneficial experiences one can only find inside the non-virtual classroom.