Saturday, February 12, 2011

Homepage High: Computer No Substitute for Teacher at Tech High

Part 3 of a three-part series on joining the digital learning revolution in America.

NEW YORK -- The High School of Telecommunication Arts & Technology is something of a misnomer, Principal Phil Weinberg explains. The Brooklyn school's curriculum doesn't focus on telecommunications or technology any more than the next school does.

"We're a high school, like every high school in the city should be," Weinberg said.

But a new program implemented this year adds a little authenticity to the word "technology" in the verbose name. As part of New York's iLearnNYC program, the school is piloting online credit-recovery courses for some of its 1,300 students.

A burgeoning movement toward digital learning is changing the face of education in schools nationwide. A 2009 study by the Sloan Consortium estimated that more than a million K-12 students were enrolled in at least one online course during the 2007-2008 school year. In secondary schools, the most popular type of digital course is credit recovery, according to a 2010 report by the Babson Survey Research Group. And in November, the federal Department of Education released its National Ed-Tech Plan, calling for "revolutionary transformation rather than evolutionary tinkering" in American schools.

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