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Interest in online learning continues to grow

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Along with the significant growth in online learning – Education Week reports that the percentage of high school students taking at least one online course in 2009 was nearly double the amount in 2008 – the available amount of information on online learning has also risen.

The recent release of three online learning reports highlights the growing interest and attention being paid to online learning, in Michigan and nationwide.

Michigan Virtual’s A Report to the Legislature, December 2010, was submitted to the Michigan Legislature in compliance with Public Act 110 of 2010, the State School Act, on Dec. 1. This annual report includes specific information regarding the courses and services provided by Michigan Virtual, course registration and completion rates, and the Michigan Schools served with online courses from October 1, 2009 – Sept. 20, 2010.

The Digital Learning Council, headed by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and former West Virginia Gov. Bob Wise, recommended major changes to state education policy. The recommendations are part of the council’s 10 policy suggestions in Digital Learning Now!, a report issued Dec. 1, that calls for states to use digital learning as a catalyst for transformational change in public education.

The council defined the elements and identified the actions that need to be taken by lawmakers and policymakers to foster a high-quality, customized education for all students. This included technology-enhanced learning in traditional schools, online and virtual, and blended learning that combines online and onsite learning. The council’s report identified 10 core elements of high-quality digital learning.

The 20-page report contains more than three dozen specific recommendations for lawmakers and policy leaders, such as abolishing seat-time requirements, administering state assessments digitally and replacing textbooks with digital content.

The Keeping Pace with K-12 Online Learning (published by the Evergreen Education Group of Evergreen, Colorado), provides a national “snapshot” of the state of online learning as of fall 2010 using original data. This report presents program profiles from a cross-section of program types, including state-led and district-led, supplemental and full-time, charter schools, and both synchronous and asynchronous programs.

The report also provides state profiles of K-12 online learning, and identifies key issues and trends in online learning, building on the data gathered through the development of the program and state profiles.

About Michigan Virtual

Michigan Virtual is a private, nonprofit Michigan corporation established by the State of Michigan in 1998 to serve as a champion for online learning. It is the parent organization of the Michigan Virtual for Students and Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute.

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About Michigan Virtual

Michigan Virtual™ (formally known as Michigan Virtual University®) provides online courses for Michigan students, professional development for educators and is the parent organization of the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute®. As a nonprofit organization with more than 20 years of experience, Michigan Virtual is Michigan’s leading voice in online education. Visit us at michiganvirtual.org.

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