The International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) released the new study Online and Blended Learning: A Survey of Policy and Practice of K-12 Schools Around the World today at the Virtual School Symposium in Indianapolis.
The study reports significant growth for online and blended learning models in K-12 education in the U.S. and world. The authors found that nearly 60 percent of the more than 60 countries included in the study reported government funding for blended learning or fully online programs at primary and secondary levels.
“Primary and secondary school students today are using the Internet for research, accessing greater resources and original sources, collaborating with students, teachers and experts and creating their own content. More than half of high school students are creators of content. Online learning is emerging as a powerful force for tapping this phenomenon to transform the way our students learn for the 21st century, via highly personalized instruction and performance-based models of assessment,” said Susan Patrick, President and CEO of iNACOL.
The report uncovers global trends gearing toward blended models or online learning mixed with face-to-face time. The report included the following interesting facts:
- Twenty-five percent of countries surveyed require teacher training for online learning.
- 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.
- Seventy-two percent of the surveyed countries reported that their online and blended classroom teachers participated in professional development for online teaching.
- Universities and colleges were reported as the primary source of training for educators, followed by regional centers and local schools.
- In British Columbia, online schools provide complete programs or individual courses to 71,000 students, which is about 12 percent of the student population.
- 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.
Online and Blended Learning: A Survey of Policy and Practice of K-12 Schools Around the World is available online at the iNACOL Online Bookstore: http://www.inacol.org/research/bookstore/index.php or at the iNACOL Annual Conference, the Virtual School Symposium, November 9-11, 2011 at the JW Marriott Indianapolis. Follow the buzz around the event on Twitter with @Getting_Smart and the hashtag #VSS11.