Do you think eLearning will be effective for K-12?
Rice (2006) provides a comprehensive examination of the literature surrounding eLearning in the K-12 setting. He found that there are five types of K-12 online programs. They are listed below with a brief description.
· Statewide supplemental programs - students are enrolled in either a physical school or cyber school in the state and are taking an individual course online.
· District-level supplemental programs - students take courses online that are operated by individual districts that are not state agencies.
· Single-district cyber schools – students take courses online that are operated by individual districts that are not state agencies.
· Multi-district cyber schools – students take courses online that are operated by individual districts that are not state agencies that allow students from other districts to attend as well.
· Cyber charters – students take courses online that are operated by individual districts that allow students from across the state to attend as well.
Currently there is no research that has found that one type of K-12 online program is better than the others. Each have their benefits, however the curriculum tends to be similar.
Blomeyer (2002) states that in order for eLearning to be effective in the K-12 setting there needs to be moderators that actively keep track of students learning and activities in the eLearning environment.
So is this practical? Would there still be a need for teachers, aka “moderators”? Is eLearning in the K-12 setting going to save money or just put the same amount of money to different use? There are so many issues to consider and the research is still limited. Before I allow my children to take all of their K-12 courses online I need to see the research and evidence that shows it works and even after that I may still be skeptical.
Blomeyer, R. (2002) Online learning for K-12 students: What do we know now? Naperville, IL: North Central Regional Educational Laboratory. Retrieved April 23, 2012 from http://blomeyerandclemente.com/Documents/NCREL%20E-Learning%20Synthesis%20(rev.).pdf
Rice, K. (2006). A Comprehensive Look at Distance Education in K-12 Context. Journal of Research on Technology in Education. 38(4), 425-448.