Friday, November 18, 2011

International Growth in K-12 Online Learning


The International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) has released a new study reporting significant growth for online and blended-learning models of K-12 education, not only in the United States but around the world.

The study, Online and Blended Learning: A Survey of Policy and Practice of K-12 Schools Around the World, found that almost 60 percent of the more than 60 countries included in the study reported government funding for blended-learning or full-time online programs at the primary and secondary levels.

The report uncovers several trends. Among them, it finds that adoption is mostly
via online and blended-learning programs, or programs that combine online learning with
face-to-face student-teacher interactions. Teacher training for online learning is currently required in
25 percent of the countries surveyed.

Among a number of other findings, iNACOL reports:

o Almost 60 percent of the surveyed countries reported government funding for
blended or online programs at the primary and secondary levels.

o China’s first online school was created in 1996; today it has expanded to more
than 200 online schools with enrollments exceeding 600,000 students.

o Seventy-two percent of the surveyed countries reported that their online and
blended classroom teachers participated in professional development for online

o Universities and colleges were reported as the primary source of training for
educators, followed by regional centers and local schools.

o In British Columbia, online schools provide complete programs or individual
courses to 71,000 students, which is about 12% of the student population.

o In 2010, Hong Kong enacted a policy recommendation for digital learning that
debundled‖ textbooks and teaching materials to make them more affordable and
accessible to schools, and accelerated the development of an online depository of
curriculum-based learning and teaching resources. A pilot scheme later resulted
in a program made available to all 410,000 primary and secondary students in
300,000 low-income families—especially the 8 percent without Internet access at
home—to gain access to the Internet for the purpose of learning.


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