Saturday, November 27, 2010

Influence of online learning . . .

I took a couple days off from electronic media so I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

In this post I want to share with you an area I believe will have a growing influence on public education - online and blended learning.

What will learning be like in the future? One of the trends that we are beginning to see is the need for options and flexibility. This is evidenced by the chart from stephen’s web showing the growth of online learning. Though the chart is for students taking college classes, the increase of about 20% from 2002 to 2009 is large and will not be confined to college classes in the future. The Sloan Consortium Study behind this data can be found here.

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Why are we seeing this type of growth? In edreformer we find ten reasons why students may prefer to participate in online learning.

1. I can sleep in
2. I can pursue my own passions
3. I can focus on my work without distractions from my classmates
4. I can move at my own pace
5. I don’t have to compete to share my thoughts and ideas
6. I can take more interesting classes
7. I can learn with a schedule that meets my needs
8. I can learn despite health issues that might get in the way of a traditional class setting
9. I can easily communicate with my teacher when I need to
10. I can easily communicate with my classmates when I want to

Though I don’t see all of these as compelling reasons for change, there are many that have and will continue to be reasons why more and more students will pursue this option.

Looking to the future, our school system is beginning to work on creating this flexibility for our students. The chart below from the Sloan study identifies various delivery models.

In a future post I will share what we are doing to increase flexibility and options for our students and families.

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