Last updated: 16.08.12

Some e-learning courses 'can be limited'

There are still limitations to online learning, a specialist has stated.

AJC's education reporter and Get Schooled blogger Maureen Downey wrote for the publication that some students and teachers have very little digital literacy, which could impact their ability to succeed.

Some US educators are not allowed to instruct pupils in a different state to them, sheclaimed.

However, she noted classroom education is still moving towards blending student management systems and virtual learning environments with traditional teacher-led instruction.

Ms Downey forecast that there will be an "explosion" in the use of e-learning technologies in the immediate future, predicting that textbooks will be replaced with digital counterparts within the nextfive to ten years.

She highlighted comments made by Kramer Middle School principal Kwame Simmons on an online panel entitled 'The Promise and Impact of Broadband Education' as demonstrating the move towards blended learning.

Mr Simmons pointed out his school had consistently been identified as having a large number of low-performing students.

Only 22 per cent of students in the institution are proficient in mathematics, while 23 per cent can read at the expected level, so the school is expected to raise these proportions by 40 per cent.

Therefore, the school opted to blend classroom and online learning, creating Washington's first example of this kind of school.

Teachers have already been prepared and developed so they will be ready for this change, which is set to see 90-minute classes containing a mixture of real world instruction and virtual learning.

"It’s exactly the approach we need to engage and motivate our students and take them to the next level," Mr Simmons said, adding: "I strongly believe that this new blended learning model will help us reach and even exceed our goals."