Schools Open Doors to New E-Learning Rules
August 29, 2012
The world of virtual schooling is experiencing a host of major policy shifts that are opening doors for its expansion, but at the same time holding it up to greater scrutiny. This special report, part of Education Week’s ongoing series on virtual education, examines how state policymakers, educators, and schools are rethinking and changing the rules for e-learning. It provides analyses on the benefits and drawbacks of these changes, and what to expect during this school year and beyond.
- Classroom Technology About This ReportThe world of virtual schooling is experiencing a host of major policy shifts that are opening doors for its expansion, but at the same time holding it up to greater scrutiny.College & Workforce Readiness Districts Require E-Courses for GraduationMandates that seek to prepare students for the demands of college and the workforce may also increase demand for e-learning.Classroom Technology E-Learning Funding Models AnalyzedFinancing approaches vary widely from state to state, but virtual education advocates see some models as better than others.Classroom Technology Teachers' Unions See Opportunities in Online ChartersRecent developments could signal the start of a more collaborative relationship between teachers' unions and virtual education after years of friction.Classroom Technology Digital Advocacy Group Wields Policy InfluenceThe bipartisan organization Digital Learning Now pushes its agenda in state legislatures, but critics say the group's impact is overrated.Classroom Technology Quality Control a Challenge for Virtual Ed.Different approaches are emerging as states try to determine how to evaluate the effectiveness of virtual schools.Classroom Technology State Laws Lift Virtual Ed. Enrollment CapsMeasures lift previous caps on the number of students attending online schools, but some educators worry that virtual education may be growing too fast.Classroom Technology New Laws, Programs Expand E-Learning OptionsSeveral states have enacted laws that require more choices for students who want to try taking courses online, outside the offerings of brick-and-mortar schools.Teaching Educators Evaluate 'Flipped Classrooms'Benefits and drawbacks are seen in the approach, which replaces in-class lectures with on-demand video to make more time for analysis and discussion during class time.Classroom Technology Virtual Ed. Addresses Teacher-Certification QuestionsAs the rise of blended learning increases the ranks of online teachers, states are grappling with how to ensure the quality of those educators.