Top 5 Changes in Modern K-12 Education
Education has changed drastically over the past few decades. As technology advances, so do the tools used by teachers. Computers, tablets, and even phones bring new and innovative ways to learn. Along with this comes online education, which leverages new technology to help students learn in new and exciting ways. Games and apps bring learning alive—especially for students who may struggle in a traditional classroom setting.
Below are what we see as the top 5 changes in modern K–12 education.
#1 Technology: At the beginning of the 21st century, only half of all U.S. classrooms had Internet access—that number is now 98 percent. Students no longer depend only on lectures and printed materials. They now have a host of electronic learning tools, from interactive games and activities to apps for mobile devices. This is especially helpful for students who may struggle in a traditional classroom—giving them more options to learn in the way that works best for them.
#2 Teaching to the Individual: Students often learn at various paces in different subjects. In a brick-and-mortar school, teachers have limited ability to meet the varied needs of all students. Online school teachers are able to tailor teaching to the individual. If a student is more advanced in math, she can progress to a course above her grade level. And if she struggles with reading, the teacher can give the individualized attention needed for her to catch up.
#3 Early Childhood Education: Early learning can make a marked difference in a child’s development and future. The HighScope Perry Preschool Study and The Abecedarian Project show that children who were enrolled in a preschool program are more likely to graduate and less likely to repeat grades or require special education. Pre-kindergarten readiness programs such as K12’s embarK12 tap into children’s natural learning abilities and help them gain core knowledge to prepare them for school.
#4 Greater Understanding of Personal Needs: Students who have a learning disability, are bullied at school, have a medical condition, or are advanced learners can experience inhibited learning opportunities in a brick-and-mortar school. In an online school, students who require individualized attention or have special needs due to challenges, such as autism, can often obtain better resources and flexibility. Children who have suffered from bullying or have medical conditions can pursue education in a safe and nurturing environment.
#5 Extending Education to Mobile Families: In the past, families who have members in the military or live overseas have had trouble giving their children a consistent education. Now, online education allows students from these families to attend school anywhere there is an Internet connection. Student athletes and performers, such as American Idol finalist Thia Megia, who travel or require a more flexible schedule can also benefit from the ability to attend school on the road.
Education will continue to evolve over the years as innovative ideas and tools continue to develop—giving students even more choices and options to succeed in school. K12 looks forward to being a part of those future changes and continuing to provide exceptional curriculum through our extensive tuition-free public school options in two-thirds of the United States.
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