Education websites reviewed here are listed on LearningReviews, a directory of more than 2,900 mostly free K-12 educational websites, rated and reviewed by teachers, parents and students.

12/11/2010

Free Virtual Schools

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Khan Academy Virtual School
Free public virtual K-12 schools are appearing around the U.S., sponsored by individual states, and often used as a homeschooling option.  As with any public school, you usually must be a resident of the state to "attend" a state's virtual schools.

State-sponsored virtual schools offer the standard state curriculum, and they follow a standard time table.  Kids are accountable, tested, and must pass state standard requirements to graduate from one of these schools. See the listing of many of these schools at the end of this article.

For kids and even college students attending brick-and-mortar schools, there's another type of free virtual school - the Khan Academy.  Khan Academy is the brainchild of Salman Khan, who envisions this ongoing project as the first worldwide free virtual school for K-12.  His academy of video learning online caught the eye of Bill Gates, and it is a winner of a Tech Award 2009 Microsoft Education Award.


Khan Academy contains a growing video library of more than 1,700 instructional videos in many subjects, starting with basic arithmetic through calculus, economics, science and a smattering of history.  Their math videos for kids and teens are the most extensive of their offerings.  If you register (for free), you can even begin your own self-paced study curriculum using the videos as a guide to solve exercise problems.

I like Khan Academy because it can be used to fill the knowledge gaps for K-12 students. If a student missed school the day they studied Shifting Quadratic Graphs in Algebra II, the academy's math video lesson can bring her up to speed. Or students can review an educational video when they don't understand a concept presented by the teacher. College students are often in the same boat.  They missed or forgot a concept from high school that they now need to know for a college class.  Khan's videos can help them tremendously too.  




While Khan Academy is useful to millions of students worldwide, millions of families in the U.S. are looking for other options when their local schools don't cut it.  Free public (or even private fee-based) virtual K-12 schools give students another route to their high school diplomas.  Check with your state or local school board if traditional schooling is not meeting your child's needs.  Many offer virtual classes within the school to provide more challenging coursework for advanced or gifted students.  Or families may opt for a complete virtual school curriculum from home.

States and communities are adding to their offerings every years. Below is a partial listing with links to public virtual schools for many states.   The majority of states operate their virtual schools via contracts with the two largest commercial (private) virtual school providers in the country, K12.com and Connections Academy.  If you know of one that isn't listed, add a comment with the address and I'll post it to this list.



For more free math games and homework help go to Online Math Homework Help.
For students who are too old to attend K-12 schools but need a high school diploma,
go to Study for GED Online.

2 comments:

Ashish Kumar said...

Great list!!!

Anonymous said...

Texas connections academy is doing 11 and 12 th grade now. :)