Guest post by Julie Evans, CEO, Project Tomorrow
- Did you know that 30% of high school students now say that they have had some kind of online learning experience in school, be it either in a virtual class, a blended class or a self-directed online class?
- Did you know that over 1/3 of teachers would like their districts to provide more online professional development courses?
- Did you know that almost twice as many administrators in 2010 are providing blended learning opportunities for students as in 2009?
- The Speak Up national findings have documented for several years the increased demand that students have for online learning. Students say that the real value of online courses is increased productivity as well as the opportunity to personalize the learning process. 45 percent of middle school students say that a major benefit of online learning is that it puts them in control of their own learning – and for today’s “Free Agent Learners” that is a new essential component of 21st century education.
- Teachers are buying into online courses for professional development with the same strong value proposition as students – increased productivity as well as enhanced personalization. In fact, 26% of teachers now tell us through the Speak Up surveys that online courses are their preferred method for professional development. And 40% say that they wish that their districts would provide online courses as part of a professional learning community.
- And while for most districts, the primary audience for online classes is teachers, administrators are increasingly tapping into online learning to address a wider range of needs within their district. Specific to students, the Speak Up data points to five key administrative priorities for online learning today: student engagement, increased graduation rates, academic remediation, course expansion and credit recovery.