Last updated: 10.02.12

Online learning embraced by US educational facility

A new online learning system has been launched by an educational establishment in the US that is hoping to improve access to studying material to its students as a result.

Iowa Connections Academy has set up the full-time online K-12 public school, which will be taught by licensed teachers across the state, with the same requirements asked of students who sign up.

Sophomore Connor Bacon is backing the new idea and he told local news provider ABC 5 he thinks school is "boring" and "not interesting".

"I think I'll be able to stay more focused and get things done and succeed," he said of the chance to use the online learning system, rather than sit in a traditional classroom and be taught face-to-face by a teacher.

Laura Rice of Iowa Connections Academy explained that the funding for the e-learning scheme is coming from the state and gave an insight into the type of young people who are likely to be able to benefit from the project.

She noted: "It works really well for students who may be struggling, need more time, or for students who are gifted and actually are ahead of other students."

A spokeswoman for the Iowa Department of Education pointed out that the state is fully behind this type of move into the field of online learning and highlighted the fact there is no need for the organisation to give permission to any establishments wishing to take advantage of e-learning.

Thomas Buckley, assistant vice-president of academic services at the Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, recently told IT World Canada that online learning has to always be viewed as an enabler for education in an academic context if it is going to be a success.

But he noted there is no rush at the facility to embrace the use of online learning.