What comes to mind when someone says the word “school?”
In today’s world filled with technology and interconnected everything, there is a new way to learn — one that is not tied to brick-and-mortar schools or one-size-fits all education philosophies.
Virtual education offers families the chance to get their education from the comfort of their home or even through their phone anywhere in the world.
MOCAP provides students access to single virtual courses or full-time virtual programs through their home school district or charter school at no cost to the family.
As MOCAP works to implement the new law, courses are currently only available on the high school level, but the state is working to expand to full K-12 offerings in 2019.
The Missouri Online Summer Institute is completely free, but only available during the summer and only if students are not taking other summer courses in their home district.
Virtual education will not work for every student because it requires a certain degree of dedication and self-discipline, but for those students who do find learning virtually to be a good fit for their learning styles, the new concept of a virtual school offers a wide variety of benefits:
Virtual education provides schools an a la carte collection of sought-after courses at a much lower cost than hiring qualified teachers to teach those courses in each district. And even if a student chooses to take a full-time virtual program, because the law caps tuition at the state adequacy target then district schools will never lose money to students taking virtual programs.
Districts can create their own virtual courses (either by themselves or in conjunction with a company like K12) and offer them to the entire state through the MoCAP system and generate additional revenue for their district.
A virtual classroom environment means that instructors have real-time access to student assessments and can monitor everything from the amount of time student is logged in to a course to which questions they are missing on a test as they take it. This immediate data gives instructors the power to personalize learning for greater success.
Because students can take virtual courses at their own pace, many are able to graduate early or choose to take additional AP or college level courses to improve their chances at scholarships and reduce tuition at college. Students also get valuable experience taking online courses which are a growing part of college success.