Tidbits, Resources, and Discussion for ELI Faculty

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Virtual High Schools

Laura Shulman pointed me to a recent Washington Post article on e-teachers (which is kind of an icky term, I think) in local high schools and their experiences teaching online. It was on page A1 of Friday's edition, if you still have the paper, or if you have a (free) washingtonpost.com login, you can read it online at:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/24/AR2008072404015.html

Do you identify with their experiences? How would teaching high school online be different from teaching college online? I can think of ways it would be much harder, but also ways it would be much easier (for example, students NEED to graduate high school, so I don't think you'd have the non-starter and serious procrastination problems that can consume so much of our time and energies--although part of the article seems to suggest that at least some of that problem remains).

And can I just note one part: "In Fairfax, where online teachers earn $9,000 a course"--wow! (Of course, the course is likely a nine-month course, not four-month like our courses, but boy are they still beating us there...) Later in the piece, it reports on a Prince William teacher who receives $300 per student. That said, other colleges where faculty can get online teaching gigs pay similarly to what NOVA pays (although the proprietary schools, of course, pay a bit more). It is intriguing to see such a K-12 vs. higher ed disparity. I wonder what the pay looks like for online high school teaching in regions not as wealthy as ours.

1 comment:

Tom Nixon said...

The difference is interesting. And, to be sure, the real growth seems to be happening at the high school level. I run a site for online high schools and there isn't a week that goes by that I don't find a new school. The growth is rather amazing, but that was bound to happen when the Apollo Group (owners of University of Phoenix) and Kaplan got involved.

Tom Nixon
Best Online High Schools