Thursday, June 2, 2011

Practical and Financial Concerns For Online Courses

What about practical and financial concerns?
By Kay Johnson, Linda Broatch, M.A

It doesn't matter how good an online school is if it's not compatible with your family's schedule, technical capabilities, and budget. Look for maximum flexibility and choices in any program you're considering for your child.

* Does the school operate year-round?
* Can students begin courses at any time of the year?
* How long does a student have to complete a course?
* What if my child gets sick or we go on vacation?

* How much does each course cost?
* Does that figure include everything my child will need to complete the course?
* What kind of computer and other equipment will we need? * Can you tell me if and how your program will work with my child's assistive technology tools?
* What computer skills are required of my child?
* What computer skills are required of parents?
* Do you provide technical support?
* What is the response time for technical questions?

Since most online schools are for-profit enterprises, and since their regulation varies from state to state, parents should view the decision to secure online academic courses for their child from both an educational and a consumer perspective. Taking time to ask key questions can result in an educational experience that benefits your child and your family


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