The traditional brick-and-mortar learning model has been eroding for years. Now, the pandemic has completely upended traditional in-person education. As more learners and parents are exposed to remote learning than ever, it’s important to ask, “How is online learning impacting academic growth?”
We’re here to provide an answer. In this article, we examine the state of academic growth in remote learning and examine where education is headed.
The remote learning boom is here to stay.
Remote learning has skyrocketed during COVID-19. In fact, 93 percent of people in households with school-age children have now experienced distance learning. However, the move toward remote learning started long before the pandemic.
Even before COVID-19 forced people inside, remote learning was predicted to balloon into a more than $300 billion market by 2025. Although some schools will go back to physical classrooms, the majority of parents, students, and instructors have been exposed to the positive potential of remote learning. That means there’s a strong chance that remote learning will only continue to grow in the future.
There’s potential for an academic growth explosion through online learning.
As K-12 classrooms across the nation start embracing online education, it could be paving the way to more positive outcomes for learners—and there’s plenty of room for improvement within traditional public education. According to the National Report Card, fewer than a quarter of twelfth graders are proficient in math and only 35 percent of fourth graders are proficient in reading.
Fortunately, online learning has the potential to lift learning performance to a new level. Here are five of the biggest advantages to online learning that are surfacing.
1. Flexible Schedules
Busy students, such as student athletes and performing artists, have long been held back by traditional schools. If these students need to carve out time to practice, perform, or attend games based on rigid bell schedules, it can block their full potential. Remote learning programs allow active students to learn when and where they want—opening the door to a more productive learning schedule.
2. More Digital Literacy
As technology becomes increasingly integrated into our world, digital literacy is essential for learners who want to prepare for success in the future. Online learning helps students naturally develop digital literacy skills, in addition to their normal learning load.
3. Personalized Instruction
Alarmingly, traditional public schools are becoming crowded across the nation. That puts students in danger of being academically neglected or falling behind. The best online learning programs will use small class sizes and frequent one-on-one sessions to give students the attention they need to grow.
4. Self-Paced Learning
Advanced online learning includes self-paced learning programs that let students advance at the speed that suits their needs. That way, they can accelerate faster or spend extra time on difficult subjects.
5. Deeper Engagement
Although results depend on the quality of each individual school, online learning has the potential to drive engagement and learning outcomes. In fact some studies suggest e-learning can increase retention rates by 25-60 percent.
Not all schools are prepared for remote learning growth.
Unfortunately, many traditional public schools have been blindsided by the move to online education. Even though traditional public schools are racing to offer more remote learning, recent surveys have found 34 percent of schools have no formal strategy outlined for using technology. As a result, students are missing out in the classroom and instructors are feeling overwhelmed.
Teachers are being asked to pick up and master technology on the fly in many cases—leaving many parents feeling frustrated and putting students in a position where they have to teach instructors how to use technology. In fact, some surveys have found 13 percent of instructors either say they lack the confidence to use technology in school or struggle to use it on a level that’s needed for education.
Online charter schools are leading the way.
As remote learning increases exponentially and underprepared schools leave a hole in the educational landscape, online charter schools are filling the learning gap. Here are three reasons online charter schools that have long-established online learning programs are now positioned to lead:
1. Distance Learning Experts
Online charter schools that have been offering online learning for years are staffed with distance learning experts. These instructors know how to use technology to drive better learning outcomes.
2. Technology Mastery
The best online charter schools won’t just know how to use technology to deliver instruction; they’ll use the school’s technology to pinpoint learning needs and allow students to easily interact within the online learning community. They’ll also use technology to provide a trusted curriculum that’s been approved by major regulatory entities.
3. Proactive Online Programs
With schools rushing into online circles underprepared, leaders will often overlook important development programs, such as socialization programs. Because they’ve been perfecting online instruction for years, advanced online charters already have socialization programs in place that help your student develop those essential skills they’ll need later in life.
Learn more about online learning.
Even though online learning is positioned to grow, not all schools are prepared to meet these trends head on. Method Schools has spent years crafting an online learning community that’s built to drive positive learning results. Method is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), is staffed with distance learning experts, and uses small class sizes to give students the attention they deserve.
Want to see how online learning works at Method Schools? Download our free guide, What to Expect From Online School.