You are here

online learning

Whether a student has just moved into town with his military family or is finding her way after a misstep in school, Aventa Learning by K12 products are easing the way in Spotsylvania County, Virginia.

It’s not unusual for parents to call Laura Belnap in tears over the Utah-based virtual school she oversees. And that’s a good thing.

“Parents are constantly emailing or calling us crying, thanking us for the support, and sharing stories of their children’s educational growth,” said Belnap, director of Washington Online School Utah.

Distance learning has come a long way from sending coursework back and forth through the mail. Leading the way is K12, Inc., whose innovative online learning programs are helping school districts meet the challenges of 21st-century education with 21st-century tools.

For instance, home-schooled students at Washington Online School Utah use K12 products to attend elementary, middle and high school classes without interrupting their sports training or other responsibilities.

Clintondale (Mich.) Community Schools’ high school has turned the traditional school day upside-down by asking teachers to assign short video lectures as homework and have students do activities, participate in discussions and complete assignments in class, with their teacher at hand to answer questions.


In the 1990s, school districts invested all they could in desktop computers that had plenty of horsepower, since applications and data were all stored locally on individual machines. By the 2000s, the individual machines had become less critical as districts moved to server-based networks.

Mobile learning is on the rise, and consequently, so is the need for mobile connectivity. According to a 2010 survey of E-rate consumers, including public schools and libraries, conducted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 50 percent of respondents said they plan to implement or expand the use of digital textbooks and other wireless devices.

In August, as the back-to-school clothing and supplies were hitting the stores, Miami-Dade County (Fla.) Public Schools launched its own new "product line of services" to its student clientele, including additional magnet schools, a conservatory for the arts, salad bars, and new technology and online digital tools for students. This "ritual of reinvention" is a signature program of Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, as he's unveiled similar plans each year since joining the district in fall 2008.

According to a recent study, 43 percent of students feel unprepared to use technology in college and work life. SOURCE: e Education Development Center and Nellie Mae Education Foundation

The Turnaround Mindset: Aligning Leadership for Student Success

Rowman & Littlefield Education $34.95