Is E-Learning up for the Challenge of Meeting Students' Future Educational Needs?
As districts face the issues of addressing budget short falls, meeting student academic performance needs based on NCLB, improving teacher quality, developing infrastructure and leveraging technology investments, it is no wonder that more and more school districts are viewing e-learning as a potential cost effective way to deliver student instruction.
In the past, online courses mostly catered to students that were looking to pursue additional credits, advanced placement courses or classes that were not locally available; however, the focus has changed over time as online education has grown and evolved. Now virtual courses have expanded and are growing in popularity for struggling students as a credit recovery method.
At the same time, school districts and educators who once felt online education was not as effective as traditional teaching are now embracing it as having the potential to meet their budgetary needs and produce acceptable results.
States, such as Maryland and Florida, view their extensive virtual course offerings as being cost-effective ways to get high-quality coursework to more students.
Though online learning may be more cost-effective, is it equal or better? The debate on that question has acquired new urgency, as schools look for ways to keep or expand their course offerings while also controlling or cutting costs during the current recession. In the existing economic environment and with the continued emphasis on academic accountability, is expansion of virtual classrooms the answer?
How will the expansion of E-learning into the K-12 market change the nature of education for our children in the future? Will it be ready?