Annual report focuses on nationwide digital learning trends, opportunities
Student choice at the state level, student choice at the course level, and the existence and strength of charter school laws are three predictors of how strong a state’s digital learning opportunities are likely to be, according to a new report released on Nov. 3.
Overall, more students than ever before have access to digital learning opportunities, including online and blended learning, but state policies and other factors often limit digital learning’s availability.
The 2014 edition of Keeping Pace with K-12 Digital Learning, researched and written by the Evergreen Education Group, examines the state of digital learning today and highlights the need for high-quality, actionable data on the digital learning tools and methods students use.
“Digital learning is not really new anymore, [although] it continues to be innovative in all sorts of ways,” said John Watson, founder of the Evergreen Education Group and the report’s main author.
Eleven years ago, most digital learning activity happened at the state level–for instance, through state online learning schools, he said.
“Those types of programs and schools continue to be critical,” Watson said. “But we’re also seeing an increasing amount of activity happening at the local level, with digital learning being used by school districts in traditional physical schools at the local level. Much of that activity is blending online and onsite components–that’s the overall trend we’re seeing.”
(Next page: Policies that indicate the strength of digital learning)