Along with Digital Learning Now! (DLN) and iNACOL, today we released the eighth white paper in the DLN Smart Series — “Online Learning: Myths, Reality and Promise.” In the paper the co-authors addresses misconceptions about what online learning means for students, teachers, and the education system as a whole.
As a preview to the paper we also released the “How to Start an Online Learning Program” infographic last week.
“Online learning has the potential to empower teachers with new tools to engage students,” said Tom Vander Ark, CEO of Getting Smart. “Time saved from thoughtful implementation of technology can be reinvested in working with students, growing professionally, collaborating with peers and developing new strengths.”
On Friday we’ll follow up the paper release with an iNACOL webinar, Implementing Online Learning, at 11amPT/2pmET. The webinar will feature the co-authors of the paper from iNACOL, DLN and Getting Smart.
The press release is copied below. Download the full paper and learn more at digitallearningnow.com/dln-smart-series.
Digital Learning Now! Releases Report on Online Learning Myths & Realities
The eighth paper in the DLN Smart Series dispels the myths and misconceptions of online learning
Seattle, Wash., July 11, 2013 – Digital Learning Now! (DLN), a national campaign under the Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd), today released the eighth white paper in the DLN Smart Series — “Online Learning: Myths, Reality & Promise.” The paper addresses misconceptions about what online learning means for students, teachers, and the education system as a whole. Topics covered include the range of students served by online learning, the role of teachers and technology, online learning trends, and recommendations for advancing online learning.
“From its advent, online learning has grown because of its potential to increase student access to innovative teachers personalizing learning and individualizing instruction, without the restrictive barriers of place and time,” said Susan Patrick, President and CEO of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL). “Confronting the myths that persist around what online learning is – and isn’t – is key. This paper aims to shed light on the truth versus perception, explores pros and cons, and shifts the focus to the ways educational innovators are delivering on the promise of providing high-quality online learning opportunities that can level the playing field for students around the world, enabling individualized instruction that, until now, has not been possible at scale.”
“Myths, Reality & Promise” brings together top thinkers on the future of education from Digital Learning Now!, Getting Smart, and the iNACOL to challenge current myths surrounding online learning. Leaving these myths unchallenged prohibits student access to a growing field of quality online opportunities.
Tom Vander Ark, CEO of Getting Smart, added, “Trends like bottom-up adoption, district implementation, course choice policies, blended learning, competency-based learning, and college-credit opportunities reveal the potential of online learning to empower teachers with new tools to engage students.”
The paper also acknowledges the role of state policy in the shift to online learning. “DLN’s 2012 Digital Learning Report Card reveals significant activity in legislation that supports high-quality access to online learning, ” said John Bailey, executive director of DLN. “More than 700 bills involving digital learning were considered last year, with more than 150 signed into law.”
In addition to the paper, the participating organizations also released an infographic called “How to Start an Online Learning Program” and will host an iNACOL webinar on Friday, July 12th at 2pm EST/ 11am PST. A second, forthcoming infographic called, “Busting Myths of Online Learning” will cover additional topics from the paper.
“The students and teachers we profiled in the paper reveal we are just beginning to see the potential of online learning to dramatically improve opportunities for teachers and students,” added Carri Schneider, director of policy and research for Getting Smart.
Download the full paper and learn more at digitallearningnow.com/dln-smart-series. Join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtags #SmartSeries, #OnlineLearning, #DigLn, and #GettingSmart. DLN is also active on Facebook at facebook.com/DigitalLearningNow and Twitter at @DigLearningNow.
ABOUT DIGITAL LEARNING NOW!
Digital Learning Now! is a national campaign under the Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd), with the goal of advancing state policies that will create a high-quality digital learning environment to better equip all students with the knowledge and skills to succeed in this 21st-century economy. The policy framework stems from the belief that access to high-quality, customized learning experiences should be available to all students, unbounded by geography or artificial policy constraints.
ABOUT GETTING SMART
Getting Smart® is an advocacy firm passionate about innovations in learning. We help education organizations construct cohesive and forward-thinking strategies for branding, awareness, advancement and communication, and public and media relations. We are advocates for better K-12 education as well as early, post-secondary and informal learning opportunities for all students. We attempt to accelerate and improve the shift to digital learning. On GettingSmart.com we cover important events, trends, products, books, and reports.
Disclosures: Digital Learning Now! is a Getting Smart Advocacy partner. Tom is a director at iNACOL.