The Impact Of eLearning On K12 Education

The Impact Of eLearning On K12 Education
Summary: eLearning, aka Internet-based fusion / hybrid learning, is by far the most significant of learning technologies that has emerged in the last 10 odd years and pervaded our lives. There is research done in evaluating programs, and documentation of the manner in which eLearning has rapidly found entry into all classes of learning in the United States and other parts of the world as well.

eLearning And Its Impact On K12 Education

There is an increasing number of collective and concerted environments which are made available to educators and teachers. There is a great potential for supporting online learning and research has found out the effectiveness of such environments. There is seen great strategizing and synthesizing of all information to have procedural knowledge that will be used by educators for professional development activities. There has been made huge effort to provide access to publications on the policies relevant to eLearning.

We see that new technologies are being executed constantly and this allows students and teachers to interact better in the classroom as well as outside the classroom. This is not limited to the college level alone, but it also has infused and pervaded K12 education around the world. The technology revolution in the eLearning segment provides an entire learning management system which supports K12 learning communities of teachers, students, parents and administrators with solutions to guide the learner’s critical early steps.

K12 is one among the three primary domains of education; the other two are corporate and higher education. On  the one hand, corporate and higher education cater to the needs of adult learners, who have a moderate income and access to computers, busy lifestyles and the requirement of flexible access to learning. On the other hand, K12 education seems like a segment best served in traditional schools due to the age of learners and having lesser access to technology. Therefore, we see a trend where the forces that drive eLearning in corporations and colleges as well as universities are not as predominating in K12 environments.

That brings us to the question "What is the scope for eLearning for K12 candidates?" What research proves time and again is that K12 students are great candidates for eLearning, but for reasons other than the ones discussed so far. For eLearning to be functional at the K12 education the main focus would have to rest on “how technology enhances teaching and learning”.

Differences between corporate/higher education eLearning market and K-12

The corporate/higher education eLearning market  is determined and driven by strategic goals, financial factors, compliance training and knowledge management. On the other hand, the K12 eLearning market is determined by increased access to learning and increased learning thereof. This is one research data that is worth looking into by higher educational authorities as well as corporations.

Information sharing with all K12 decision makers and leaders on all issues that concern deployment and development of eLearning is seen as a major priority. The infusion, inclusion, and diffusion of eLearning is now an alluring and potent power in the US. Therefore, it becomes important that we give careful consideration and systematic approach to those details that will have a greater and everlasting impact on the educational system. What follows is that careful and detailed consideration should also be given to all aspects of eLearning that is seen to have an effect and impact on the efficiency, quality, equity, and choices in K12 education that is made possible and available to America’s students – regardless of their race, age, socioeconomic standing, and religion anywhere and anytime.

How has technology been an enabler in the eLearning process especially in K12 education? What are the developments that have taken education to greater heights?

America’s schools today have such far reaching developments in telecommunications, linking microcomputers from schools to local-area networks (LANS) and also expanding wide-area networks (WANS) and all these are interconnected by the conduit of the internet provided. As per the National Center for Scholastic Statistics, “By the end of 2000, practically all public schools in the US had been given access to the Internet; 98 percentage of these were connected. CAL, Computer Aided Learning, on the mainframes has become an omnipresent and ubiquitous new method and version of computer-based learning, which is capable of being delivered anywhere and anytime via the World Wide Web."

With the internet revolution and its use in K12 education and post-secondary institutes, there has been a huge impact on the evolution of computer usage and the integration of newer technologies in schools. The internet has become one of the most important communications channel offering the prospect of collaboration and communication. The courses that are offered online afford a note worthy medium by which teaching and learning of a standards based collaboration and evolution of norms can happen in simulated, virtual and effective communities.

Be it a traditional system which uses face-to-face coaching/tutoring or be it a highly cultured and erudite learning environment, providing content which is standards-based can ensure the most effective learning space and environment for students of all races, creed, age and socio-economic levels. Most of the teachers and students of K12 have access to microcomputers and internet connection, and they are already using simple mechanisms as enablers of online communication like e-mail, or very simple forms online. However, we do not see the usage of completely online courses in the K12 schools and classrooms and this is yet to become a common instructional exercise. All that is available as information today is based on research done in the higher educational institutes and in the realm of international education. Only a very small part of the body of K12 educational research is today available to monitor and guide the development and implementation of online eLearning in K12 schools.

Online tutoring and its impact on K12 students

The e-tutoring framework provides an in-depth curriculum to students in grades K12 all over the world. The e–tutoring program is ideal for home schoolers, athletes and performers, international students, the health-impaired and those who want to refresh their educational skills. The e-tutor module for K12 students provides classes and curricula for language, the arts, mathematics, science and social studies. This framework promotes student engagement and learning and helps increase the K12 student’s knowledge in specific areas and subjects by a targeted approach which addresses issues faced by individual students in a particular subject. The concept adapted by the K12 schools aids in increasing the rudimentary academic skills such as spelling, history, reading, science and mathematics while allowing synthesis and evaluation of information. With study guides, extended learning programs, vocabulary and quizzes this program for the K12 students has received worldwide acclaim.

Integration of instructional technologies and implementing engaging learning and classroom curricular incorporation as well as the newer high-speed telecom technologies bringing new initiatives to the K12 learning environment gain more from what has already been learnt about computers in schools. This ensures plugging in where choosing and using educational technology addresses the use of microcomputers in K12 settings to support engaged learning. If you are an educator who wishes to keep pace with the current trends in the changing phase of the 21st century, it is important that you keep updated on these trends.