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A Parent’s Peek at the World of Online Learning

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A Parent’s Peek at the World of Online Learning

By Linda Dobson

Not a day goes by anymore that I don’t run into at least half a dozen Internet articles, announcements, websites and more about online learning. Like everything else on the Internet, some of the information is better than others, but there is no doubt that this is a busy arena, for business people and learners alike.

Peek at the World of Online Learning

Here’s a peek at what’s going on today (and it’s only the middle of the afternoon!) in online learning world.

Online Education May Transform Higher Ed

YoungManAndWomanAtComputer online learning

It's clear. Computers are here to stay.

Well, that’s a pretty bold statement. Yet from what I see, I agree with it.

“In the coming decade, experts say, college students should expect an increased presence of online classes at traditional nonprofit schools. Already, about 30 percent of American college students take at least one course online, says Elaine Allen, statistical director of the Sloan Survey on Online Education, which monitors student involvement in online higher education.

“Though wholly online programs generally target nontraditional students, established institutions that are populated by traditional, high-achieving students are starting to embrace the technology. The University of North Carolina — Chapel Hill and the University of Southern California are among the highly regarded schools that have recently adopted online-centric programs.”

Business Report on k12 Online Learning Giant

“K12 (NYSE: LRN), which develops software for online education, reported a 35 percent jump in revenue during its fiscal 2011 third quarter ended March 31, to $130 million compared with $96.6 million in the fiscal 2010 third quarter.

“Thanks to internal growth, as well as the acquisitions of KC Distance Learning and American Education Corp., total average enrollment of students using K12’s software grew 47 percent to 101 million in the quarter from 68.7 million a year ago.”

Helping Students Find the Higher Education Plan That’s Right for Them

“Eric Clark, founder of Quincy Tutoring, has joined My Colleges and Careers’ network of experts that serve as mentors to help students explore their options, discover a career they love and find the higher education solution that will help them meet their goals.”

Online Learning Grows in Oklahoma

“Welcome to online school in Oklahoma.

“Blink and you might miss White Oak school.  But don’t be fooled. This school is larger than it looks.

“First grade only has six students, 2nd only has four students and the entire physical school only has fifty five students. But the online enrollment is bursting with 881 statewide virtual students–more than most urban high schools.

“‘A school is a business just like any others if you cannot provide what your client wants, they will go somewhere else,’ said David Money, superintendent of White Oak Schools.”

Can Shmoop Help with Online Learning?

Check out what kids can find at their local library in Twinsburg, Ohio.

“Shmoop is a digital curriculum and test prep company that makes fun, rigorous learning and teaching materials. Content is written by master teachers and Ph.D. students from Stanford, Harvard, UC Berkeley, and other top universities. Shmoop Learning Guides, Test Prep, and Teacher’s Editions balance a teen-friendly, approachable style with academically rigorous materials to help students understand how subjects relate to their daily lives.

“Shmoop offers more than 7,000 titles across the Web, iPhone, Android devices, iPad, Kindle, Nook, and Sony Reader. The company, an official honoree in the 2010 and 2009 Webby Awards, was named one of the best educational products by the Association of Educational Publishers, and was named ‘Best of the Internet’ by PC Magazine.”

See also “100+ Mostly Free Awesome Downloads.”

It’s clear. Computers are here to stay. Businesses making money offering educational materials for online learning are here to stay. Online learning is rapidly changing higher education. It makes sense. This is the age of technology.

So why do you think public schools, with the era of ever-increasing budgets ended, are still ignoring the much more cost effective online learning? Why, in the age of technology, are public schools still conducted in the same way they were when set up to serve the needs of the Industrial age? Why, when every school-aged child today is going to perform a significant amount of work by computer when in higher education and the work force, are public schools the last hold-out from technology? (Can you imagine your local grocery store, bank, hardware store or hospital just ignoring existing technology?)

There is something very wrong with this picture.

What if…public schools aren’t necessarily concerned with truly educating our children? What if…the true purpose is more concerned with the unspoken, behavioral lessons that are a direct result of compulsory attendance? What if…no one is really worried about how much schools cost taxpayers? What if…those who profit from the antiquated methods of schooling are more important?

There remain a lot of questions about why public schools remain in the dust with regard to online learning.

 

 

 

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