Innovative Teaching VS. Traditional Teaching

A new trend in education is catching up to the age of social media and the web. Many school districts across the U.S., and right here in Texoma, are getting rid of the traditional classroom learning and replacing it with online education.

This has parents wondering if online schools are better than traditional schools. Newschannel 6 went to a Texoma school that's made the transition to help parents understand the new age of learning.

It is time to take online education seriously. Christ Academy High School students are no longer using blackboards and text books, but rather they are getting lessons and homework assignments on-line.
Susan Tigert, Christ Academy's Integrated Education Teacher, said, "Christ Academy offers high school students a little bit of both worlds." Tigert added, "Students do all their curriculum online, but also have the option to take structured classes, or students are also able to take classes off campus at Midwestern State or Vernon College."

Christ Academy is the first in Texoma to follow a growing trend. School officials said online schools enhance education by giving students the option of choosing more difficult classes. Teachers are available by phone or email from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week.

This is the second year Christ Academy students are using the online curriculum. Senior Holly Robertson is taking a liking to her new school environment, but does admit the transition wasn't easy.

Holly said, "I think the hardest part was not having a teacher in the classroom to answer my specific questions. I'm a people person and I like to have that interaction with the teacher."

Contrary to what most parents might think, Holly said even though most of her classes are online, with the way Christ Academy specifically designed their virtual academic program, she still feels she's getting the high school experience.

Senior Student Body President Tonie Lankford said, "I think it's kind of a easier because if I come in one morning and want to work on science, I can do science all day long if I wanted to. I don't have someone telling me you can only do Science for 45 minutes."

Tigert said at the beginning of the school year students sit with advisers and choose their own curriculum. Each student sets up their own pace chart deciding when their tests and quizzes will be. Tigert said whether the student chooses an online course or chooses to take a structured class, each student has an adviser weekly checking their progress to make sure they stay ahead.

Just as students find their place in the new wave of education, so are teachers. Tigert said, "Moving into this online program it was a huge change of our mindset. Even for myself this is my 15th year as an educator and it was hard for me." 
Christ Academy school officials said the transition has eliminated a few faculty positions, but teachers are still needed on campus to teach and educate. They do so as guidance counselors, teachers in structured classes, or advisors.

As Chris Academy's 14 seniors get ready to be the first high school graduating class, school officials are hoping that their online high school program will better prepare each student, for a higher education and the workforce.