Last updated: 27.08.14

Importance of online learning for children highlighted

Education options are widening every year, with e-learning among the new avenues students can pursue if they wish to broaden their learning.

Technology has enabled online learning to explode in the last few years and in the US, moves are being made to ensure all youngsters have some form of e-learning experience in their education.

But online learning is increasing all over the world and one of the key advantages is how it can open up education to those who may otherwise have been cut off from the system as it stands.

Liz McGonagle, executive director of The Education Cooperative (TEC), stated that the goal is now for every child to have had an online learning experience by the time they come to graduate.

Speaking to Wicked Local Wayland, she explained it is going to be increasingly vital for young people to pick up these skills in the future.

However, it is not just in schools where online learning is having a big impact. The high cost of university in the UK is putting off a lot of people from low-income families from furthering their education, but they now have the option of taking e-learning classes that can be fit in around any existing family or work commitments.

TEC has set up the TEC Connections Academy, or TECCA, and hundreds of people have already signed up to take online learning classes through the system. It is competing for students with Massachusetts Virtual Academy at Greenfield Commonwealth Virtual School and this type of e-learning education establishment looks set to become more common in the near future.

In the UK, companies such as Virtual College have teamed up with schools to provide a mix of between face-to-face learning and e-learning for young people. As all children prefer to learn in a different way, it is vital for them to have a mixture of teaching as part of their education.

Natick superintendent Peter Sanchioni stated that he does not expect many young people in Massachusetts to have a 100 per cent virtual education, but many may elect to take certain classes via e-learning rather than attending courses in person.

He said: "Many colleges are having kids take online classes. Having that experience in high school better prepares them."