National School Choice Week (Jan. 27 - Feb. 2) and Digital Learning Day (Feb. 6) have both gained momentum the last few years to shine a spotlight on the need for effective education options for all children. As the names imply, School Choice Week celebrates school options and Digital Learning Day recognizes how technology is transforming education. As the executive director of South Carolina Connections Academy, a full-time virtual public charter school, I celebrate both proudly as I see, first hand, the benefits of choice and technology everyday.
I see it in the way our students, for whom the traditional classroom may not have been the best fit, are flourishing in their online learning environment. I see kids learning, with the help of technology, at a pace that meets their individual needs; connecting with teachers one-on-one. I hear from parents who tell me that their child “loves school!”
But just as the traditional classroom is not the best fit for every child, our online school is not the best fit for every child either. This is about what works for the individual student and offering choices to best meet his or her needs.
As our school gears up for enrollment for the 2013-14 school year, I want to thank all of the parents, students, educators, advocates, and policymakers for making their voices heard and making our school, and all of the other school choices, possible. Our students deserve a future filled with new and innovative learning tools and options.
The writer lives in Columbia.