Online Learning Benefits Everyone
Tom Vander Ark wrote an article for Huffington Post right before the new year about digital learning and the benefits it can offer low income students. In it, he discusses 10 benefits, but I am sure that our families can share many more they have experienced personally by choosing online learning for their children's education, extending the benefits way beyond low income communities.
Digital learning will benefit all students -- particularly students from low-income families where education leaders are proactive. In light of the ' OER exacerbates the gap' flap this week, I thought it would be worth expanding on the ways in which EdTech, blended learning, and open education resources (OER) will benefit low-income kids. Following is a list of 10 ways that digital learning will benefit low-income students:
- Good teachers. States that authorize multiple providers and allow part-time enrollment (like Florida, Idaho, and Utah) give every student access to great teachers in every subject. Public Impact is building on the Innosight Institute report, The Rise of Blended Learning, and identifying strategies -- most using technology -- that extend the reach of great teachers. The net benefit is that five years from now more students will benefit from great teachers.
- Good content. During the next five years most states and districts will shift to predominantly digital content -- it will be more to date, more engaging, and provide more expansive learning resources than print. The shift will disproportionately benefit low-income students that have had less access to quality content.
- Diagnostics. Adaptive assessments and improved diagnostics are beginning to pinpoint learning levels and gaps that must be addressed. These tools -- like NWEA MAP, Wireless MClass -- are of particular benefit to students whose learning has not been well supported.
- Special Services. We're beginning to see the deployment of online services for students with language and learning difficulties. Available on demand, they often work better and are less expensive than traditional approaches.
- More options. Personal digital learning is enabling a wide variety of school options -- some that blend online and onsite, and some that are purely virtual. Where states allow it, families have a wider variety of options to meet specific needs.
To read about the 5 other benefits, visit How Digital Learning Will Benefit Low Income Students.
- Getting Smart
- Huffington Post: How Digital Learning Will Benefit Low Income Students
- thinktanK12 blog: Youth Connection Charter School - A high school credit recovery program.