When the Online School for Girls flickers to life this fall on computer screens across the country, students will take part in an unusual experiment that joins two trends, reports the Washington Post: girls-only schooling and online teaching. A consortium that includes the 108-year-old Holton-Arms School in Bethesda, Md., is driving the project, in the belief that girls can benefit from an internet curriculum tailored just to them. For now, the online collaboration will allow the four participating schools–Holton-Arms, Harpeth Hall in Nashville, Westover School in Middlebury, Conn., and Laurel School in Shaker Heights, Ohio–to offer classes that would not have generated enough student interest or teacher support in any one school. When the classes open to the public a year later, the educators hope that students around the world will be able to take part in a version of the girls’ school experience. Backers of girls’ schools say there are benefits to having no boys in the classroom: Girls prosper when teaching methods are designed just for them, they can pursue interests free from gender stereotyping, and their hands shoot up more often when boys aren’t around. But that’s when girls are in the same classroom. Whether these benefits will translate to the solitary act of sitting at a computer remains to be seen…

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