Project Tomorrow’s “Learning in the 21st Century: 2009 Trends Update” reports on a survey of over 335,000 students, teachers, school administrators, and parents.
According to the report, 44% of middle and high school students selected “online learning as a technology with the greatest positive impact on learning.” Some of the top reasons for using an online learning format included “work at my own pace” and “get extra help in a subject.”
Online classes provide students with flexibility in their learning. Online tutoring has similar benefits. They both make students responsible for their own learning. Online learning is the start of a trend where teachers become guides during the learning process and become less like the traditional lecturer.
The report also surveyed teachers who have taught online classes: “76% believe that online learning benefits students by putting them in control of their own learning.”
My experience as a student in online classes has been good. Taking an online class allows me to spend as much or as little time on projects and learning activities as I need.
Online learning is now available in many forms and grade levels. Online learning includes the use of many web based technologies including interactive simulations, discussions boards, chat rooms, whiteboards, instant messaging, and various document sharing and collaboration tools.
What’s great about online learning is its ability to overcome physical barriers of distance and allow students from around the world to have access to the same quality learning experiences.
Which of these technologies have you or your children used in online learning? Did it accomplish the learning goals? Was it more effective than traditional classroom learning?