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Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT)

This is Part IV in a series dedicated to National Charter Schools Week

“Taking my daughter to ‪@ECOTSchool . This school is the best ‪#homeschool. Cool how we met some awesome people there.”

“The ‪#ecot ‪#masqueradeball ‪#prom is underway! @ Hilton Columbus Polaris”

“Check out the new ‪#ECOTtv promo for the upcoming 2014 ‪#scienceexpo here: ‪ . We can’t wait to see all your experiments!”

The above three tweets were taken from the Twitter account of the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT), a fully online charter school in Ohio where students virtually access their education as opposed to reporting to a physical location.

At first glance, messages about meeting new people, a senior prom, and an upcoming science expo are not often associated with a virtual school. But ECOT, along with online schools like it, shatter misconceptions that online students have limited social interactions, among other myths about the virtual charter experience.

Since opening in 2000, ECOT has had over 10,000 students graduate, increasing enrollment with each passing year. Students take online courses based on their own schedule, and take the same state standardized tests as their traditional school peers.

Because of its fully online format, while at the same time being supplemented with teachers and counselors, ECOT fulfills an important niche for students who do better online for a number of reasons.

These reasons can range from students who process information better through online content, those who have unique circumstances and schedules, or sometimes those who may have been subjected to bullying in a traditional school, but now thrive virtually.

In recent years, it’s become apparent that online and blended education is here to stay, with an estimated four million plus students nationwide taking part in some sort of online-based learning method.

ECOT is just one of many online learning charters taking education into the 21st century.


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