Chris Riedel wrote an excellent article for THE Journal. For the 2012-2013 academic year, Florida Virtual School (FLVS) had 410,963 half-credit enrollments and a student population consisting of 30 percent minorities. Of the total population, 72 percent came from public and charter schools, 22 percent from home school environments and 6 percent from private schools.
In 2000, there were 45,000 K-12 courses delivered online, in 2009 that number was more than 3 million and by 2019, it is estimated that more than 50 percent of all high school courses may be delivered online. These numbers suggest that traditional public school teachers had better research some of the positive factors from online education and incorporate them into their classroom pedagogy.
Online education, virtual education, distance learning, blended learning, hybrid delivery all seem to be converging on what educators have long believed to be the holy grail of “personalized” or student-centered education.
Another important move in online education is heading in a new direction. This program will extend the promise of free online education to the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago and allows US universities to export their intellectual properties around the world in MOOCs. While the lecture may have been filmed at Stanford or Harvard, the group discussion will take place in Caribbean learning hubs in libraries, embassies and local colleges. Many NGOs are looking to MOOCs to educate the developing world. Many believe that MOOCs could finally be the ticket for education ridding itself of Baumol’s Disease. If only the education oligopolies had the same noble intentions.