Distance learning does not replace the existing classroom; rather it has proven to be an effective and useful tool in expanding the elementary school curriculum. Distance learning is defined as the “education for students working at home, with little or no face-to-face with teachers and with material provided remotely, for example through email, television, or correspondence” (Encarta World English Dictionary, 2001). The concept of distance learning has been around for centuries, evolving from primarily correspondence courses, to the Internet and two-way audio and video connection that are used now to establish a connection between the teacher and the students. (Poole, 2000). Distance learning has been used to augment the curriculum for elementary schools, rather than replace the personalized classroom that is vital to student development. It is designed to expand and fill in the gaps of the traditional course offerings, while meeting the widely diverse needs of each individual student. Distance learning has been designed to enhance student education, while still keeping learning firmly centered within the school. (Ravaglia & Sommer, 2000). There have been many arguments, both for and against distance learning; all have been well supported. However, there is extensive support for the benefits of distance learning, and how it has expanded and enriched the elementary school curriculum.
There have been many critics that strongly advocate against the use of distance learning in elementary schools. Many believe that this new teaching method may replace the existing classroom all together, and won’t give students the adequate face-to-face con...
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Poole, D.M. (2000). Student’s participation in a discussion-oriented online course: A case study. Journal of Research on Computing in Education, 33, (2), 162-177.
Ravaglia, R. & Sommer R. (2000). Expanding the curriculum with distance learning. Principal, 79, (3), 10-13.
Scheps, S.G. (1999). Homeschoolers in the library. School Library Journal, 45, (2), 39-40.
Truell, A.D. (2001). Student’s attitudes towards and evaluation of internet-assisted instruction. Delta Pi Epsilon Journal, 43, (1), 40-49.
Expanding the Curriculum with Distance Learning. (2001). Retrieved November 13, 2001, from http://iiswinprd03.petersons.com/distancelearning/default.asp
TEAMS Distance Learning. (2001). Retrieved November 5, 2001, from teams.lacoe.edu.
Distance Education. (2000). In Encarta World English Dictionary (Vol. 14, pp. 309). Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.
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