Michigan Governor Tests Cyber School Technology as Expansion Looms

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Gov. Rick Snyder got some hands-on experience Tuesday with the type of cyber charter school program that will be expanding next fall under a new Michigan law.

The self-described nerd’s tech skills came in handy as he read a book to a class of children who watched and listened online through the Michigan Virtual Charter Academy. Snyder read “Memoirs of a Goldfish” to roughly 90 children in grades K-3 – then reflected on the growing use of technology in Michigan’s education system.

“It’s a great opportunity to actually interact with the kids and to see that you can have real interaction going back and forth leveraging technology,” Snyder said after wrapping up his online session. “Our goal is student growth, and we want to create whatever venue works best for them. … If you think about it longer-term, technology is just going to become more important. Kids today take to technology a lot better than we took to it.”

March is National Reading Awareness Month.

Snyder read to the children via an Internet hookup in his Lansing office. The students in his audience were at their homes. They wished each other and the governor a “good morning” before he started, and gave him a “thank you” at the end of his story. They even asked Snyder a question or two about the role of a governor.

The children could see Snyder, but he couldn’t see them.

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