While many people are realizing that integrated learning is of huge benefit to students and schools, there are still some who are wary to try out something different and would rather stick to the tried-and-true, traditional method of schooling. There is definitely something to be said for traditional methods-students have benefited from this approach for years. But that's not to say that we should ever stop trying to improve upon things. Methods get stale, society and culture changes (whether we like it or not), and something that may have worked beautifully even 3 years earlier no longer has the same affect. Imagine where we would be if Mary Anderson thought that it worked just fine for drivers to roll down their windows when it rained in order to see the road and didn't invent the windshield wiper? Imagine how many wrecks have been avoided by simply adding one more component to the automobile.
If you are part of the group who is still wondering about the benefits of online learning and questioning whether or not it's good for your school, check out some of the feedback Tom Vander Ark of Getting Smart has compiled.
"Robert A. Taft Information Technology High School in Cincinnati was converted to a technology-focused school and saw graduation rates skyrocket from 21% to more than 95%
The US Department of Education's Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies of more than 40 studies found that (mostly higher ed) 'students who took all or part of their classes online performed better, on average, than those taking the same course through traditional face-to-face instruction.'
Project RED data found that the use of technology-based interventions for English-language learners, struggling readers, and students in special ed. were the top predictors of improved high-stakes-test scores, dropout-rate reduction, and course completion.
Many virtual school students out performed the public school counter parts in grades and test scores.
...and, a recent US Department of Education Study outlined nine ways that online learning can boost productivity."
It's been proven time and time again that digital learning and integrated methods bring positive results to students, teachers, parents, and schools. When will you boost your school?