Virtual classrooms growing up fast

Report highlights opportunities and needs for policy direction as virtual classroom movement expands.
Written by ZDNET Editors, Contributor

A new report states that there is a surge in enrollment in virtual classrooms this past year, indicating that new policies and opportunities need to be implemented to prepare for the future, reports eSchool News.

At the annual Virtual School Symposium in Plano, Texas, attendees discussed the new report from the North American Council for Online Learning (NACOL).

"Keeping Pace With K-12 Online Learning: A Review of State-Level Policy and Practice," is a 131-page document which states, among other things, that 38 states now feature either state-led online learning programs and many have had a 50% increase in enrollment this past year. The report also looks at state-led online learning programs, considers the policies, funding models, training programs, and other factors necessary to establish effective online learning environments.

"Online learning is opening access and opportunity for all students by providing high-quality courses and highly qualified teachers over the Internet--regardless of their neighborhood or geography," said NACOL President Susan Patrick.

The report also published the results of an international survey, examining how other countries are using the Internet to boost student achievement. The survey sought to improve the quality of online instruction internationally and included information from 30 different countries on topics ranging from funding, student population, content development, quality control, professional development, and current trends and obstacles.

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