The future of online education in Michigan. Could virtual education or online education be a solution to the Michigan school budget issues? Could this empower the US to be a leading nation in education? Or, could this destroy the concept of an education system that has been in place for decades?
I attended a seminar recently that discussed the emergence of online/virtual learning in Michigan school districts and online education in Michigan. It is predicted that by 2019, 50% of high school courses will be online. While I was there, I realized that Oxford and Waterford already have systems in place. There could be even more. So, the ball is definitely rolling.
I went in thinking that online learning (if it goes too far) could be a huge detriment to the social component kids benefit from at school. But, shortly into the presentation, I realized that there are precautions being taken and there are many blend factors that allow for the online opportunity to co-exist with the current “brick and mortar” structure.
There were three speakers on the panel. Heather Staker (Researcher), William Skilling (Superintendent of Oxford Schools), and Glen Taylor (Co-Founder of W-A-Y).
Here are a few of the “pros” mentioned that demonstrate the many potential benefits of online education:
- Digital learning can re-engage students who’ve given up on school, assisting with drop-out rates
- It can open the doors for high achievers to have access to more advanced coursework than otherwise available
- It can help struggling students keep up with real-time remediation
- It can individualize the pace of instruction for every single student in real time
- It can give mobile and non-traditional students the flexibility they want
- It can flip a classroom to liberate teachers from directing standardized activities to actually facilitating individualized learning
- It can enable students to learn more per hour through customization
- It offers limitless content that is globally accessible
- It can provide credit recovery – when students need to take courses that they can’t fit in their schedule
- It can be a benefit for home schoolers
- It can allows for students to earn credits early, i.e. college credits earned by high schoolers, etc.
To watch the entire The future of online education in Michigan presentation, click here.