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Friday, November 23, 2007

Reports reveal online learning's successes, needs by Laura Devaney

Online learning continues to grow at a rapid pace, with 30 states—six more than last year—now offering state-led programs or initiatives, according to the latest report from the North American Council for Online Learning (NACOL).
Keeping Pace with K-12 Online Learning is the fourth in an annual series of reports assessing the virtual-schooling landscape...
NACOL also issued two separate issue briefs that highlight the need to ensure equal access to online courses and high-quality professional development for online educators. (See below).

Keeping Pace with K-12 Online Learning: A Review of State-level Policy and Practice
By John Watson, (November 2007)

Online learning at the k-12 level has grown so much in recent years that the main issue in most states is no longer whether or not online learning is occurring, but rather how it is being implemented.
As of September 2007, 42 states have significant supplemental online learning programs (in which students enrolled in physical schools take one or two courses online), or significant full-time programs (in which students take most or all of their courses online), or both. Only eight states do not have either of these options, and several of these states have begun planning for online learning development.
In addition to the spread of online learning programs to most states across the country, the majority of existing online programs show considerable growth in the number of students they are serving.