Friday, December 10, 2010

Distance Learning Works

Distance learning has caught fire. No longer limited to the university level, 44 states now offer significant K-12 online learning opportunities—either supplemental, full-time, or both. States recognize the importance of having an online learning option to address the public’s demand for school choice/reform, 21st century workforce preparation, and practical solutions for school closings caused by weather or illness (e.g., swine flu).
Estimates indicate that enrollment in K-12 online courses is growing by as much as 30% a year. According to the 2009 report by the U.S. Department of Education—Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning—over a million K-12 public school students enrolled in a technology-based distance education course in the 2007-08 school year. While the majority of research has been done with older online learners, the report’s analysis of 51 studies shows that students who took all or part of a class online performed better, on average, than those taking the same course through traditional face-to-face instruction.
Technological advances have fueled the explosive growth of K-12 online learning over the last decade, but there are other reasons for the growing popularity. Online classes meet diverse needs in ways that cannot always be addressed in brick-and-mortar classrooms. Populations most served by K-12 online courses are students who:
  • cannot access traditional classrooms due to physical or cognitive disabilities.
  • want access to courses, resources, and instructors that are unavailable where they live (e.g., rural or underserved regions).
  • require flexibility to study at their own pace. Scheduling flexibility appeals especially to high school students who have jobs and family obligations.
  • are homeschooled. The availability of online courses and K-12 virtual schools gives homeschooled children greater educational opportunities.

Writing Resources for Parents, Students and Teachers

Below you will find links to resource articles about writing in general or Time4Writing classes offered online.

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