Educational Technology

October 19, 2011

Getting At-Risk Teens to Graduation: Blended learning offers a second chance

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:30 am

By June Kronholz, Education Next

Online K–12 education made its appearance in the mid-1990s, largely as a resource for bright students who had no access to accelerated classes. It moved next into core high-school courses where districts found themselves with teacher shortages—math, science, foreign languages—and has been growing bumptiously, and in a dozen directions, ever since. The International Association for K–12 Online Learning, which goes by the acronym iNACOL, estimates that 82 percent of school districts now offer at least one online course. Thirty-two states have virtual schools where online offerings range from one class to an entire high-school curriculum, according to an annual report on online learning published by the Evergreen Education Group, a Colorado consultancy. At the Florida Virtual School alone, students collectively took 220,000 classes online in 2009–10 (see “Florida’s Online Option,” features, Summer 2009). Twenty-six states have at least one full-time online school, and perhaps 225,000 youngsters were full-time online students this year, says John Watson, editor of the Evergreen report.

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