APPROACHING K-12 ONLINE EDUCATION IN PENNSYLVANIA
Drexel University (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2013 Proceedings
Publication year: 2013
Conference name: 7th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 4-5 March, 2013
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:According to the website Keeping Pace with K-12 Online Learning, “Pennsylvania had eleven K-12 cyber charter schools that served 24,603 students in grades K-12 during the 2009-10 school year [which was] an 11% increase from 22,205 students in the 2008-09 school year. One new cyber charter school will be opening in the 2010-11 school year” (2012). Clearly the demand for online education in K-12 public school districts in Pennsylvania is growing. And yet, due to the lack of legislation supporting online education at this level, district decision-makers are left to their own devices to take on the challenge of determining the right solution for students in their district.
By focusing on educational legislation, the personalization of online learning and online learning solutions, this study is built upon a solid foundation of critically relevant information which informed development of survey questions and interpretation of results. Data from participants (district decision makers) indicated that the driving force for developing online learning alternatives was student interest and while many districts are outsourcing the development of online education, most are neutral in their level of satisfaction with said efforts. Participants identified ESL and special education as the most challenging categories related to online learning development. As a result of this study, it is believed that school districts in Pennsylvania should work together to develop a competency-based, personalized learning environments within a learning management system to deliver online learning alternatives in an effort to keep students and funding in the home district of the student.