Online learning is not easy, says Maureen Cottrell, a science teacher at iHigh Virtual Academy, a fully-accredited virtual public high school in San Diego, California. “Many students fully expect it to be easy and then bomb out.”
Cottrell, who’s been teaching for a decade, has spent the last two years at iHigh, the first completely online, diploma-granting school in the San Diego Unified School District.
“Sure, everyone wants to cut costs,” she says. “Virtual learning is seen as a tool for that. But I don’t think any educator just wants to cut costs” at the expense of quality. “One of the things we address from the ground up is keeping rigor in place.” Getting WASC accreditation and recognition from the University of California Doorways system was a rigorous process. “We fought a hard battle. We don’t want to lose that! We want to keep the rigor high.”
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