FCPS May Offer Virtual High School

School Board will consider the proposal on Monday.

Students may get a chance to attend all of their lessons on the Internet as part of a proposed virtual education program.

The program would create a virtual public high school, according to The Washington Post, allowing students to take all of their classes from their home computer.

If FCPS likes the idea, the program could be available to all county students as early as September -- a timeline Superintendent Jack Dale told the Post was very optimistic.  It's not clear how many students would enroll full time in the program, how many teachers would be needed or how much the program would cost.

School board members will hear a presentation on the program Monday.

It would  be the first virtual education program offered to high school students in Northern Virginia, the Post said, but it's not a new idea to this area.

Virginia Virtual Academy, open to any Virginia child in kindergarten through eight grade, is the state's first full time virtual school, run by the Herndon firm K12 Inc. Its student body is nearly 500 students, the Post reports. 

George Mason University's Center for Neuroscience bought its own island on Second Life to give students a chance to experiment and learn in a virtual world.

Second Life is a virtual world with its own money system, rules and customs. Users can sell goods or services, build a home, socialize with other players, craft new identities, and, true to its name, live a second existence solely through the rich online environment.

GMU's economics department has a course dedicated to teaching the economics of the metaverse. These classes are conducted almost entirely in Second Life, with students creating and using their own avatars to interact with their teachers, peers and the rest of the Second Life online community

To read more about FCPS' virtual learning proposal, click here.


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