The global e-learning market is estimated to reach $275.1 billion by 2022, according to Stratistics MRC. In the United States, e-learning is gaining popularity in classrooms and at home. Teachers are assigning homework to be completed online, and parents are considering various educational apps to help their children learn. Though e-learning is still far from being the standard in education, teachers and parents should be aware of the opportunities that online learning software presents.
To learn more, check out the infographic above created by American University’s School of Education program.
Chapter 1: E-leaning in the US
Studies have shown that using tech devices as main teaching tools in the classroom can lead to increased student achievement. E-learning is on the rise, but it will take some time for educators to realize the full potential of this new teaching method.
Technology in the Classroom
A greater influx of technology has made its way into the classroom in recent years. Some of this tech includes digital cameras, desktop computers, interactive whiteboards, liquid crystal display projectors, tablets, laptops, and other mobile computing devices. The introduction of various e-learning programs has also helped to bring tech to the educational forefront. These programs can either be fully online or can offer a hybrid of online and in-class instruction. Some of the top platforms used by teachers include Khan Academy, YouTube, and NASA.
E-learning Stats: K-12 Schools, 2014-15 School Year
Studies indicate that during the 2014-15 school year, 24 states had virtual schools offering supplemental online courses. More than 462,000 took the supplemental online courses, and students took 815,000 online semester-long courses. High school students made up 85 percent of the K-12 online course enrollments.
Math represented 23 percent of the online courses taken, while 14 percent of the courses were science-based. A total of 275,000 students were enrolled in full-time virtual schools.
Chapter 2: Trends and Popular E-learning Platforms
Chalkboards have long been out, and whiteboards are starting to fade away. The digital screen is taking center stage.
What’s Driving and Supporting the Growth of E-learning
There are numerous factors that collectively push toward e-learning’s increased presence. Some of these factors are based in practicality, as tech devices can facilitate learning anywhere, increase access to education, and boost the ease of learning. Other factors carry a long-term slant. For instance, it may be easier for tech-savvy individuals to gain employment. Additional factors point to e-learning platforms offering a more fun and exciting experience.
The Future of E-learning
As e-learning grows, e-learning strategies are also forming and shaping. For instance, e-learning engagement strategies such as playing games or interactive exercise will help children learn. The use of shorter videos can also help, as video content will be more appealing to children and keep their attention longer than text. Finally, automated teaching has become another key strategy, as it allows teachers to deliver online content and will enable parents to obtain real-time performance metrics.
Popular Platforms and Apps
There are numerous e-learning choices that educators to select from as they build their e-learning strategies. Duolingo, for instance, is an app that allows students to learn a foreign language via speaking, listening, translating, and multiple-choice exercises. ClassDojo enables students to create digital portfolios and share classroom stories with their families. Science360 is an app curated by the National Science Foundation (NSF), which provides high-resolution images, videos, and stories about the latest scientific discoveries. Another app, Spelling Stage, enables students of all ages to participate in unique spelling competitions. The nonprofit organization Khan Academy Kids offers creative activities, stories, animated videos, and assessed assignments for kids ages two to six. Additionally, Curious World allows kids ages two to seven to read books, watch videos, play games, and do activities offline to grow knowledge and skills across eight areas of study. Finally, National Geographic Kids allows children to learn about the world via videos, games, apps, and other types of content.
Chapter 3: Tips for Navigating E-learning
With so many options for e-learning software and platforms, it can be hard to understand the differences. Educators and schools need to understand the basics so they can support students and keep parents updated.
Tips for Schools
E-learning software should align with a teacher’s curriculum and have clear objectives to be effective. It can also motivate and engage learners and be tailored to the needs of each student. Additionally, it must demonstrate effectiveness for various learning styles, and should provide structure assessments and immediate feedback. Finally, a good e-learning software program must be transparent and intuitive.
Tips for Parents
Parents can get involved with e-learning by teaching their children how to find reputable online learning sources to complete assignments. They should also be comfortable enough to discuss e-learning tools and software with their child’s teacher or teachers before making an investment. Additionally, they should check with the school to see what steps they’re taking to protect their children online. They should also set limits to technology use for online learning and encourage offline reading. Finally, they should help their child stay on schedule for online assignments.
Designers of e-learning software will continue to make improvements to meet students’ specific learning needs and help teachers support students’ success. The classroom will become increasingly virtual, but learning will remain an unchanging goal.