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K-12 Online Learning: A Global Perspective. Allison Powell, Vice President iNACOL. International Association for K-12 Online Learning ( i NACOL). i NACOL is the premier K-12 nonprofit in online learning 3500+ members in K-12 virtual schools and online learning representing over 50 countries

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k 12 online learning a global perspective

K-12 Online Learning: A Global Perspective

Allison Powell, Vice President


international association for k 12 online learning i nacol
International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL)
  • iNACOL is the premier K-12 nonprofit in online learning
  • 3500+ members in K-12 virtual schools and online learning representing over 50 countries
  • Provides leadership, advocacy, research, training, and networking with experts in K-12 online learning.
  • “Ensure every student has access to the best education available regardless of geography, income or background.”
  • Conference – Virtual School Symposium (VSS): Phoenix, AZ on November 14-16, 2010
students born in 1991
Students: Born in 1991
  • The Green Giant has always been Shrek, not the big guy picking vegetables.
  • They have never used a card catalog to find a book.
  • The European Union has always existed.
  • Text has always been hyper.
  • There has always been a computer in the Oval Office.
  • Cable television systems have always offered telephone service and vice versa.
  • There have always been flat screen televisions.
  • They have always been able to read books on an electronic screen.
  • Everyone has always known what the evening news was before the Evening News came on.
  • Migration of once independent media like radio, TV, videos and compact discs to the computer has never amazed them.

-From the Beloit College “Mindset List 2013”

today s students
Today’s Students
  • Born into age of the Internet
  • Information has been universally available and free to them
  • Community is a digital place of common interest, not just a shared physical space.
  • Define characteristics by online actions rather than birth dates or traditional demographic data
millennial mindspace iconoculture s nancy robinson
Millennial Mindspace:Iconoculture’sNancy Robinson
  • Global outlook at a younger age
  • Mobile multi-media, more interactive and community-building, socially networked environments to live, play and learn
  • TiVo: time-shifting, on-demand, customization
  • “TV is boring, you can’t customize it.”
  • Demand an unprecedented amount of control of media and they “are not going to give it up”
  • “It’s not about being anaesthetized, it is about being engaged.”
  • Internet as a creator of community
millennial values implications for education
Millennial Values: Implications for Education
  • Today’s students value:
    • Freedom and choice
    • Customization and personalization
    • Ability to scrutinize and provide feedback for improvement
    • Integrity and openness
    • Want collaboration and “serious play” in their education (project-based, real-life experiences in learning)
    • Ability to move fast, at their own pacing
    • Constant innovation
expectations of education
Expectations of Education
  • Millennials want:
    • Clear guidelines, rules and goals
    • Responsiveness and fast feedback
    • Customization and interactivity when learning in a community where open, inclusive and diverse thinking is encouraged
    • Project-based, team-oriented learning
    • Involvement in community and volunteer opportunities
    • “Stand up talking is deadly for this group”
recommendations from generational learning styles
Recommendations fromGenerational Learning Styles
  • Develop online learning communities, online discussion boards, social networking for discussion and analysis.
  • Develop opportunities for experiential learning, field experiences, simulations and case method approaches.
  • Provide lots of structure.
  • Provide lots of feedback.
  • Use technology, blended classes and online learning.
  • Allow for creativity.
  • Recognize the need for social interaction and ultra-communication.
  • Allow focus time, reflection time and discussion time; Give these multi-taskers structure through course design.

- Julia Coates

national survey for student engagement nsse 2008
National Survey for Student Engagement (NSSE 2008)
  • Online learners reported deeper approaches to learning than classroom-based learners.
  • “Those who teach classes online may be making special efforts to engage their students.” - Alexander McCormick, NSSE Director
  • “People who teach online classes don’t take engagement for granted.”
  • Higher order thinking skills, integrative thinking, reflective learning
new solutions through online learning
New Solutions throughOnline Learning
  • 75% of districts use online learning to offer Advanced Placement or college-level courses.
  • 40% of public school districts in America today say they need online learning resources because certified teachers are not available for traditional face-to-face instruction.
  • 60% of schools and districts say they need online learning for credit recovery.
  • More than 50% need online learning to reduce student scheduling conflicts to graduate on time.
providing opportunities to all students
Providing Opportunities to All Students

Traditional Public/Private

Accelerated Students

Credit Recovery

Need to work and/or support family

Medically Fragile

Temporary re-location and/or Frequent Travel

Aspiring athletes and performers

Special Education and ELL

Home Schoolers

us online learning facts
US Online Learning Facts
  • 27 states have state virtual schools (KP 2009)
  • 6 state have online learning initiatives (KP 2009)
  • 46 states have significant state policies (KP 2009)
  • 25 states allow 200 full-time virtual charter schools with over 175,000 students (CER and KP 2009)
  • 30% of all employers use e-learning for training, in 5 years it will be 50%
  • 1 in 4 undergraduate and graduate student enrolls in an online course in higher education
  • 75 % of school districts had one or more students in a fully-online or blended course
  • More universities are offering K-12 courses online
    • MIT open courseware for K-12 students
    • Stanford, Northwestern programs for gifted
  • K-12 Online Learning enrollments growing 30% annually nationwide with 50,000 in 2000 over 2 million enrollments in 2008-2009
trends higher ed online learning growth
Trends: Higher EdOnline Learning Growth
  • Sloan-C “Survey of Online Learning” titled, “Learning on Demand: Online Education in the United States in 2009” studied higher education online enrollments:
    • 4.6 million online course enrollments in higher education
    • 1 in 4 college students take an online course
    • 17% increase from 2007 to 2008 study
    • 73% of institutions had increased demand for existing online courses
      • Growth from economy and H1N1 flu outbreak
    • Use of online education was strong for H1N1 contingency plans
      • 20% of schools not offering online classes were introducing online courses as part of H1N1 (academic continuity) contingency plans
    • 74% of public higher education institutions view online education as critical for long-term strategy
state online learning trends examples
State Online Learning Trends & Examples
  • Florida: funded through performance-budgeting system
  • Idaho: endorsement for online teaching at the SEA
    • Boise State University Ed Tech – online teaching
  • Michigan & Alabama: online learning HS graduation requirement
state online learning trends examples1
State Online Learning Trends & Examples
  • Texas: TX Virtual School Network, clearinghouse for districts to review and offer online courses and provides funding for each course enrollment in addition to the student FTE at the district
    • Using SREB and iNACOL National Standards to evaluate online course quality
  • Montana: new state virtual school
    • Managed by the University of Montana’s College of Education
  • New Mexico
    • PK-20 Partnership (dual credit, prof dev., etc.)
international trends in online learning
International Trends in Online Learning
  • Results of theiNACOL International Survey
    • 2006, 15 countries responded
    • 2009-10, sent to over 100 countries
      • http://tinyurl.com/iNACOLSurvey
international trends
International Trends
  • Turkey: 0-15 million students in K-12 taking online courses in 3 years
  • South Korea Virtual School
  • Hong Kong (Continuity of Learning)
  • Mexico:
    • Digitized curriculum for all schools
    • K-12 academic content online
    • all teachers trained to use online content
  • India:
    • Universal Access for K-12 Education in 10 years
    • Need 200,000 more schools
      • 1 billion+, 70 % rural population
    • Shortage of good teachers
    • “Leverage teachers using technology to bring to scale”
    • Educomp Program digitizing learning resources (online content) in K-12 education
      • View as export opportunity
  • China: 1.3 billion people
      • Digitized K-12 curriculum
      • Training Master Teachers to teach online
      • With online learning: increase educational opportunities to 100 million new students
web opens world for young chinese christian science monitor may 14 2007
“Web opens world for young Chinese . . .”-Christian Science Monitor, May 14, 2007
  • Bejing -- “Excited and emboldened by the wealth of information they find on the Internet, Chinese teens are breaking centuries of tradition to challenge their teachers and express their opinions in class. . . .”
  • “Students at Tianjin’s No. 1 Middle School are encouraged to challenge their history texts.”
  • “The Internet has given Chinese children wings,” says Sun Yun Xiao, vice president of the China Youth and Children’s Research Center.
  • 137 million online in China at the end of 2006 (in 1999 there were just 4 million connections in China)
  • 87% of urban youth in China use the Internet
how will they scale innovation with limited internet access
How will they scale innovation with limited Internet access?
  • WiMax - everything is going to change.
  • WiMax has a 50Km/30 mile radius for high-speed, wireless broadband.
  • WiMax is going prime time in 2009 - 2010.
  • They will start putting towers up and expand broadband, mobile access, all over the country.
european union
European Union
  • EU:
    • EU E-Learning Action Plan
    • IB Diploma Programme Online (125 countries)
  • UK: E-Learning Exports - 29 billion pounds annually; deal with China
    • Education as an export
england public investment
England: Public Investment
  • Already funded a VLE in every school
  • E-learning credits funded approved digital content purchase by schools (2006-2008)
  • Home Access programme $500m in 2008
  • ENGLAND has Harnessing Technology for Next Generation Learning - Implementation Plan 2009-12 $1b
    • Technology confident schools (e-maturity)
    • Engaged empowered children & families
    • Confident system leadership & innovation
    • World class joined up technology
  • All thirteen provinces and territories have some level of K-12 distance education activity.
  • Two provinces make sole use of a single, province-wide K-12 distance education programme
  • four provinces rely primarily upon district-based programmes
  • four provinces have a combination of a strong province-wide programme and several district-based programmes
i nacol canada study
iNACOL Canada Study


  • Some distance education activity in each province and territory
    • many still utilize traditional forms of distance education
    • district-based programs seem more common than province-wide programs
  • Most jurisdictions have some form of regulations
    • typically in the form of Ministerial policy documents
    • several are in the process of creating or revising regulations
  • British Columbia is leading the way in both level of activity and extensiveness of their regulatory regime
part of the australian story
Part of the Australian Story

Australia’s geography has brought about some unique programs such as the Alice Springs School of the Air.

the context
The Context
  • Pioneer in distance education, mainly servicing isolated rural schools and families
  • Curriculum breadth and opportunities for students in rural and small schools still limited
  • Some national and state based online repositories but mostly pitched at lower year levels and not always aligned to standards
  • State by state solutions
  • Online provision available in each state served via Blackboard, Moodle etc
  • Nationally, much is first generation online content – flat text, limited interactivity and use of Web 2.0 capacity
  • High level teacher eLearning capacity
  • Infrastructure significant but does vary by state
  • Federal funded national rollout of 1:1 computing across Year 9-12 by end of 2011
  • New national curriculum will create opportunities and attract third party content developers
  • Interest in online provision rapidly gaining pace
new zealand
New Zealand
  • New Zealand
    • Professional Development – ICT PD
    • Teacher Laptop Program
    • National Broadband Initiative
    • Virtual Learning Network
  • Singapore: 100% of Secondary schools use online learning
  • All teachers trained to teach online
  • Blended Learning Environments
  • E-Learning Weeks
blended learning best of both worlds
Blended Learning:“Best of Both Worlds”
  • “Blended learning should be approached as not only a temporal construct, but rather as a fundamental redesign of the instructional model with the following characteristics:
    • -A shift from lecture- to student-centered instruction where students become interactive learners (this shift should apply to entire course, including face-to-face sessions);
    • -Increases in interaction between student-instructor, student-student, student-content, and student-outside resources; and
    • -Integrated formative and summative assessment mechanisms for student and instructor.” - Educause, Blended Learning (2004)
online learning research
Online Learning Research
  • #1 Online Learning Expands Options
      • “The first impetus to the growth of K-12 distance education was an interest in expanding educational options and providing equal opportunities for all learners.” (NCREL 2005)
  • #2 Online Learning Is Rapidly Growing
      • “Recent Surveys show that K-12 online learning is a rapidly growing phenomenon.”
        • Growing 30% annually
        • 50,000 enrollments in 2000
        • Over 2,000,000 enrollments in 2009
online learning research1
Online Learning Research
  • #3 Is Effective: “Better”
    • U.S. Department of Education Report of Online Learning Better than Face-to-Face (USED 2009)
  • #4 Improves Teaching
    • Teachers who teach online reported positive improvements in face-to-face, too.
    • “Of those who reported teaching face-to-face while teaching online or subsequently, three in four reported a positive impact on their face-to-face teaching.”
professional development
Professional Development
  • Globally
    • Pre-service teacher training includes online learning (Singapore, Mexico)
  • Nationally
    • Boise State University has a Online Teaching certificate; trains all of Idaho Digital Learning Academy (state virtual school) and Connections Academy Teachers
    • Georgia’s Department of Education has an Online Teaching Certificate/Endorsement
“Using the Internet to deliver courses seems to contain great disruptive potential. It could allow a radical transformation to happen in an incremental, rational way.”

- Clayton Christensen, Harvard Business School

world future society

Alternative energy

Desalination of water

Precision farming


Quantum computers

Entertainment on demand

Global access

Virtual education or distance learning


Smart Robots

World Future Society

Top 10 breakthroughs transforming life over the next 20-30 yearsBest forecast data ever assembled


disrupting class 2008
Disrupting Class (2008)
  • Customized learning will help more students succeed in school
    • Student-centric classrooms will increase the demand for new technology
    • Computers must be disruptively deployed to every student
  • Disruptive innovation can circumvent roadblocks that have prevented other attempts at school reform
  • In 2019, 50% of high school courses will be delivered online
inacol resources
iNACOL Resources
  • iNACOL Professional Development:
      • Virtual School Symposium – 1,500+ attendees
      • Monthly Webinars: Leadership and Teacher Talk
  • K-12 Online Learning Reports
    • Promising Practices for K-12 Online Learning
      • Funding and Policy Frameworks
      • Management and Operations of Online Programs
    • National Standards for Quality Online Programs (2009)
  • iNACOL Continuity of Learning website: www.inacol.org/col
  • iNACOL - C.A.V.E. Island on Second Life
    • Community of Academic Virtual Educators (C.A.V.E. Island) in partnership with Boise State University’s ED TECH program
  • iNACOL Membership Committees:
    • Research
    • Program/VSS planning committee
    • Western States; Midwestern, etc . . . and other geographic committees

Thank you!

Allison Powell