The Future of Virtual Learning
What started off as a trend in the late 1990s has steadily become a mainstream option that most students in the U.S. have access to. Virtual learning continues to have a significant impact on K-12 schools given the many benefits and solutions it can provide to students and families. In addition to the flexibility to learn at their own place and pace, virtual learning provides an opportunity for students to take classes that otherwise may not be available to them. Students are no longer bound by the walls of a classroom or limited to only the classes offered at their local school. Virtual learning programs also eliminate the need for long commutes and costly transportation, reduce the number of students falling victim to bullying, and eradicate barriers resulting from inadequate access to learning materials.
Over the last two decades, there has been an explosion of virtual learning options; from state-run and virtual charter schools to virtual learning programs run by local school districts or private organizations. Online learning has truly grown in popularity over the years, in fact, “the number of K-12 students taking online courses is now approximately 4.5 million.” With so many options available to students, it’s hard to imagine how virtual learning will continue to evolve and impact the future of education.
While most virtual learning programs offer traditional core subjects such as math, ELA, science, and social studies, others have incorporated a variety of elective options for students. From photography to health, and foreign languages, to AP® courses, students often have a wide array of course options. And with the advancements in technology playing a central role in the transformation of virtual learning, student interest is expected to continue to grow rapidly in the near future. How can virtual schools and programs keep up with this demand?
Looking Towards the Future
Many virtual learning providers are looking for ways to expand their course offerings, incorporating non-traditional options that will capture a larger audience of students and better prepare them for their futures. Offering courses that are current with technological trends like Bitcoin and Blockchain, or those that teach students about emerging technologies and provide opportunities to explore future-focused careers are growing in demand. With courses that explore topics like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics, digital curriculum provider Pointful Education offers solutions that providers are looking for to propel their virtual learning program into the future. In fact, many well-known virtual programs such as Michigan Virtual, Primavera Online School, Idaho Digital Learning Academy, and VLACS have turned to Pointful Education to help broaden their course offering. In addition to courses on high-engagement, student-demanded topics such as Gaming and Esports, Entrepreneurship, and Java, Pointful Education offers several options that focus on preparing students for industry-recognized certification exams such as Adobe, Child Development Associate, AutoCAD, and Project Management Pointful Education is committed to preparing students for their future and partners with virtual learning providers to do just that.