Both Abeka Books and Bob Jones University two major publishers of Christian Homeschool and private school materials has introduced children into learning through viewing previously recorded classroom sessions. While having a teacher you can’t communicate with presents a problem if you do not understand the materials being covered both publishers have gone to great lengths to overcome the problem successfully. The solutions have included providing manuals containing detailed instructions. There is also additional help available from staff that is on standby to take calls and resolve issues. The results have made it possible for parents with no teaching experience to provide their children with a quality education. Parents have the title of onsite teacher and their most important role is to ensure student involvement in the class. Other requirements from the onsite teacher are minimal and usually only involve checking papers with use of an answer guide and other record keeping type work. These publishers have made it possible to teach subjects that were previously avoided by home schooling parents such as advanced math classes and advanced science classes.
The private school system has been force to find ways to stay above water in tuff economical times and these DVD or in some case steaming videos have made it possible for some schools to stay open where they would have otherwise been forced to close. In a private school the previously recorded classroom is viewed by a class room of students being monitored by a class room proctor. This works out to the schools advantage economically but helps in other ways as well. Many smaller private schools are unaccredited, meaning their diplomas are not recognized by the state board of education. This is also the case in homeschool diplomas. When using an accredited program through one of these publishers a child will upon completion of the senior high school year earn an accredited High School Diploma.
With talks of school budget cuts and teacher layoffs in the public school system the possibility seems likely that public schools could follow a similar path. As teachers in public school systems are ask to teach larger and larger classrooms the solution may lay in a similar setup. For example one teacher could teach ever third grade child in a given school system by using a satellite feed similar to Skype. Individual classrooms could be monitored by the less expensive class room proctors. While some parents may balk at their child’s teacher being taken out of the class room it is worth considering the payoffs to the student it this scenario. Given that class room proctors would be considerable cheaper the school system could afford to have small class sizes, meaning a child would receive more one on one time when needed. Given the fact that only one teacher is required to teach a grade level or subject in higher classes a school system could afford to have a highly qualified teacher for each grade level or subject. The teaching profession would become highly competitive and only the very best of the best teachers would be picked to teach the children. Teachers would face a much higher accountability with the head administrators having so many fewer teachers to monitor and being able to do so at the click of a button. This would also give schools the option of isolating problem students without removing them from learning simply by placing them in isolation with a monitor.
Today’s children are very well adapted to relating to others through technology and would probably be more comfortable with this transition than their parents. Teachers unions will most likely put up a strong fight to oppose classrooms moving in this direction because it will mean less teaching jobs in the future. However it is unlikely that any group will stop this type of class room from becoming a reality. The benefits are too hefty both economically and educationally to be ignored.