Last spring, CLRN collaborated with the Evergreen Education Group to create the California eLearning Census, an project to collect accurate virtual and blended learning populations, report the blended models in use, understand the distribution of course publishers in California, and inform the California state profile in Keeping Pace 2012. 30% of all California school districts and direct-funded charters participated in the census, which was conducted between March and May, 2012.
The California eLearning Census found that public school districts and direct-funded charter schools are quickly adopting online and/or blended learning ranging from offering individual courses to students, such as AP Calculus, to full-time virtual courses. Census data reflects 45% of districts and direct-funded charters who participated in the census reported students participated in online and/or blended learning in 579 schools, affecting a critical mass of districts and charters. The data, though, shows that while implementation is fairly wide, it is currently a relatively shallow pool, affecting just 3.4% of the total California student population. A significant number of districts and direct-funded charters (33%) had less than 30 students participating in full-time virtual learning, and 30% had less than 30 students participating in blended learning. This is to be expected with any disruptive innovation. While Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns predicted that online learning would reach a tipping point in 2013, and with eLearning growing up to 30% each year, census data seems to indicate that this revolution is either trending towards or may have already passed a tipping point, particularly when accounting for the large number of census respondents (33%) that indicated they were in the planning stages to implement virtual or blended learning.
The California eLearning Census was created by CLRN as part of its mission to inform K12 educators about high-quality, CLRN-Certified online courses; highlight eLearning’s steady growth, trends and resources; and understand districts’ needs so that we can continue to provide relevant services to our customers.
Online and blended learning, while not new, have continued to grow consistently as districts and charters seek new ways to serve their students. With this revolution trending towards, or surpassing, the tipping point, eLearning enters its adolescence. Like all teenagers, continued guidance will be necessary to ensure it becomes a responsible adult.
Download the report here: http://www.clrn.org/census/ and/or watch the video below.