Advantages & Benefits
There are quite a few benefits to implementing this model. The first of course is that the curriculum has the potential to be more engaging and move at a faster pace. There is only so much a teacher can do to be engaging but there is a lot that can be done online. From videos to interactive activities, the potential of capturing the learner’s attention and keeping it for longer periods is far greater.
Additionally, the structure of a flex school seems to lend itself to engaging the learner on a one on one basis even more so than the traditional classroom. This may be one of its greatest strengths. In a traditional classroom, students are all put together to be taught the same content by one instructor. Unfortunately human nature kicks in and students want to socialize. Since it is all the same content, it can be difficult to know when students have shared answers and not done all the thinking themselves.
However, in a flex classroom, students may be sitting at a computer with headphones on. This one fact alone, makes it less tempting for students to carry on a conversation with their friends. Many of them are used to popping in headphones and zoning out the world. In addition, if the lessons and quizzes are individualized, they (and they alone) are responsible for doing the work and getting the credit. So they must be engaged in order to make it happen. A well written program will not allow them to move on until they have mastered the concept they need to master. So they may be taught it a few different times and different ways until they get it.
Another benefit, as discussed above, is individualized instruction. In a flex environment, students can be placed on a scripted program that correlates with their academic needs and deficiencies. So even though there may be 25 students in a lab, they may all be learning different things at a different pace. It is because of this customization that districts and schools are beginning to gravitate toward it.