In the spring, Project Tomorrow, a national education non-profit that supports the use of innovative technology in classrooms, will release its 2014 Speak Up survey outlining trends in online learning. While we’ve previously written about the 2012 survey and what it revealed about how American classrooms are incorporating online and blended learning programs, we thought it would be handy to recap the 2013 survey before the new report is released.
What is immediately obvious is that there has been a rapid adoption of technology into the classroom in order to support blended and online learning programs and that these programs are successful in motivating students to engage and learn. School administrators have increased their adoption of online and blended learning programs and see these types of learning environments as being vital to the global competitiveness of the United States.
The report indicates that district administrators are now offering a variety of online courses to meet diverse student needs. But what may be most important is the change in high school students’ perceptions of the benefits of online classes. As shown in Chart 2 below, between 2009 and 2012 the students increasingly believed that online classes would help them be in control of their learning, make it easier to succeed, be more motivated to learn, and to work at their own pace.
While administrators, and subsequently teachers, have increased their adoption of digital environments, the parents and students surveyed for this report are even more demanding, wanting more options, more curriculum choices, and more opportunities to participate in blended learning environments and personalized learning platforms. Eighty-nine percent of parents want their child in a class where mobile devices are used. Further, parents see multiple benefits of offering more online courses at their child’s school: 81 percent believe they provide students the ability to work at their own pace; 78 percent say online courses give students the ability to review materials as many as times as needed anywhere; 76 believe they provide the ability to take a class not offered at school; and 72 percent believe online courses provide the ability to earn college credit.
From the results, it is also evident that the transition to the Common Core Standards by most states has helped spur the digital conversion of America’s classrooms. Based on the report findings, online learning not only enables the delivery of content, but facilitates the real-world scenarios that are an integral part of the new curriculum, and facilitates collaboration between all key stakeholders in a student’s education.
To download a copy of the 2013 report, click here and stay tuned for our coverage of the 2014 report coming in February.