Debunking the Myths About Online Learning Rob Letcher Director – High School Instruction k 12 , Inc.
Introductions <ul><li>Rob Letcher </li></ul><ul><li>8 yrs. B & M and 5 yrs. “virtual” </li></ul><ul><li>Director – High Sc...
What are  myths ? <ul><li>Derived from the Greek word mythos </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The word based on faith </li></ul></ul>...
How do they come about? <ul><li>Lack of knowledge and understanding </li></ul><ul><li>Often have an element of truth, but ...
Uncovering  the Myths <ul><li>Continuous Improvement </li></ul><ul><li>During SY ’06-’07 Focus Groups In Several States </...
Most Common Myths We Heard <ul><li>Online High Schools Do Not Exist </li></ul><ul><li>It Is Easy and Takes Less Time and E...
Myth #1: Online High Schools Don’t Exist <ul><li>What have  you  heard?  </li></ul><ul><li>Research:   </li></ul><ul><li>S...
Myth 2: Easier and Takes Less Time <ul><li>What have  you  heard?  </li></ul><ul><li>Research: </li></ul><ul><li>Can take ...
Myth #3: Online Schools Have No Accountability <ul><li>What have  you  heard?  </li></ul><ul><li>Research:   </li></ul><ul...
Myth #4: Rampant Cheating <ul><li>What have  you  heard?  </li></ul><ul><li>Research:   </li></ul><ul><li>No significant d...
Myth #5: Online Students Are Lonely <ul><li>What have  you  heard?  </li></ul><ul><li>Research: </li></ul><ul><li>The pote...
Examples of Interactivity
Myth #6: There Are No Teachers <ul><li>What have  you  heard? </li></ul><ul><li>Research: </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers are s...
Myth 7: It’s a fad <ul><li>What have  you  heard?  </li></ul><ul><li>Research: </li></ul><ul><li>Estimate of 40,000 to 50,...
Myth 8: Cheaper than Traditional Schooling <ul><li>What have  you  heard?  </li></ul><ul><li>Research: </li></ul><ul><li>A...
What other myths have  you  heard? How do you address them?
How can you  prevent  myths?
Remember… <ul><li>Myths are… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of knowledge and understanding </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Often ha...
More information? <ul><li>Rob Letcher </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>www.k12.com </li></ul><ul><li>ww...
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Debunking The Myths About Online Learning

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This is a presentation I delivered at the 2007 NACOL conference about Debunking the common myths about online learning.

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  • Debunking The Myths About Online Learning

    1. 1. Debunking the Myths About Online Learning Rob Letcher Director – High School Instruction k 12 , Inc.
    2. 2. Introductions <ul><li>Rob Letcher </li></ul><ul><li>8 yrs. B & M and 5 yrs. “virtual” </li></ul><ul><li>Director – High School Instruction for k 12 , Inc. </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>k 12 </li></ul><ul><li>Founded in 1999 to create an excellent, traditional program in education </li></ul><ul><li>Curriculum from K to 12 and k 12 -managed Virtual Academies in 23 states (10 HS) </li></ul><ul><li>School districts and non-K12 managed schools in 10+ states </li></ul><ul><li>Children are more likely to reach academic success if parents take an active role in their education </li></ul><ul><li>… and you are? </li></ul>
    3. 3. What are myths ? <ul><li>Derived from the Greek word mythos </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The word based on faith </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not necessarily factual or non-factual </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Something in which one must believe </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Compared to logos, which can be proven </li></ul><ul><li>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myth </li></ul>
    4. 4. How do they come about? <ul><li>Lack of knowledge and understanding </li></ul><ul><li>Often have an element of truth, but ‘grows’ </li></ul><ul><li>Missing schema </li></ul><ul><li>Attempt to explain something </li></ul><ul><li>Fear </li></ul><ul><li>Purposeful ‘misinformation’ </li></ul>
    5. 5. Uncovering the Myths <ul><li>Continuous Improvement </li></ul><ul><li>During SY ’06-’07 Focus Groups In Several States </li></ul><ul><li>Participants had not heard of Online High School programs </li></ul><ul><li>Comments exhibited common myths of the ‘uninitiated’ </li></ul>
    6. 6. Most Common Myths We Heard <ul><li>Online High Schools Do Not Exist </li></ul><ul><li>It Is Easy and Takes Less Time and Effort </li></ul><ul><li>No Accountability </li></ul><ul><li>Rampant Cheating </li></ul><ul><li>Students are Lonely </li></ul><ul><li>No Teachers – Taught by a Computer </li></ul><ul><li>It’s a Fad </li></ul><ul><li>Cheaper than Physical Schools </li></ul>
    7. 7. Myth #1: Online High Schools Don’t Exist <ul><li>What have you heard? </li></ul><ul><li>Research: </li></ul><ul><li>Sloan Consortium ’05/06 estimate of 700K student enrollments (1,2)– (1.5% of 48MM public school students) </li></ul><ul><li>About 25 percent of all K–12 public schools now offer some form of e-learning or virtual school </li></ul><ul><li>“ Within the next decade every state and most schools will be doing so” (3) </li></ul>
    8. 8. Myth 2: Easier and Takes Less Time <ul><li>What have you heard? </li></ul><ul><li>Research: </li></ul><ul><li>Can take twice as much time and effort (4) </li></ul><ul><li>Although it takes more time, teachers cite that they enjoy it more (5) </li></ul>
    9. 9. Myth #3: Online Schools Have No Accountability <ul><li>What have you heard? </li></ul><ul><li>Research: </li></ul><ul><li>State-led programs report to state’s education agency (6) </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual public schools are accountable in the same ways all public schools are accountable, and in some cases, more </li></ul><ul><ul><li>All NCLB/AYP requirements apply </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>State tests, including end-of-course and graduation tests </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reporting to the charter school authorizer </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Regional accrediting associations have developed a Commission on International and Trans-Regional Accreditation (CITA) for schools the cross regional boundaries. (2) </li></ul>
    10. 10. Myth #4: Rampant Cheating <ul><li>What have you heard? </li></ul><ul><li>Research: </li></ul><ul><li>No significant difference between cheating on regular paper assessments and web-based assessments. Only 3% of 796 undergrads admitted to cheating, similar to traditional courses.(7) </li></ul><ul><li>1998 survey conducted by the Josephson Institute of Ethics found that 70% of high school students and 54% of middle school students reported they had cheated on an exam in the last 12 months. (8) </li></ul>
    11. 11. Myth #5: Online Students Are Lonely <ul><li>What have you heard? </li></ul><ul><li>Research: </li></ul><ul><li>The potential for learner interaction with others is generally greater in electronic distance education. (2) </li></ul>
    12. 12. Examples of Interactivity
    13. 13. Myth #6: There Are No Teachers <ul><li>What have you heard? </li></ul><ul><li>Research: </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers are still necessary and integral to the success of online learning. It’s not that online learning does not require a teacher – rather, what a teacher DOES changes. (9) </li></ul>
    14. 14. Myth 7: It’s a fad <ul><li>What have you heard? </li></ul><ul><li>Research: </li></ul><ul><li>Estimate of 40,000 to 50,000 students enrolled in online courses in 2001 (10) </li></ul><ul><li>Smith, Clark and Blomeyer estimated 700,000 for 2005–2006 (2) </li></ul><ul><li>This growth will be sustained(11) </li></ul><ul><li>If growth mimics post-secondary online enrolment growth-trends, the enrollment in online courses would easily approach several million students. </li></ul><ul><li>“ About 25 percent of all K–12 public schools now offer some form of e-learning or virtual school instruction. Within the next decade every state and most schools will be doing so” (12). </li></ul>
    15. 15. Myth 8: Cheaper than Traditional Schooling <ul><li>What have you heard? </li></ul><ul><li>Research: </li></ul><ul><li>About the same cost </li></ul><ul><li>California Department of Education (Date) Report to the Legislature: AB 294 Online Classroom Pilot Program. (From The State of Online Learning in California Sept 2006 report). </li></ul><ul><li>Real costs in range from $7200 to $8300 per FTE for full-time virtual students </li></ul><ul><li>Bottom line: Costs comparable to brick-and-mortar </li></ul>
    16. 16. What other myths have you heard? How do you address them?
    17. 17. How can you prevent myths?
    18. 18. Remember… <ul><li>Myths are… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of knowledge and understanding </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Often have an element of truth, but ‘grows’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Missing schema </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Attempt to explain something </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fear </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Purposeful ‘misinformation’ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Use education and information to combat them </li></ul><ul><li>Be sure you don’t unwittingly propagate them </li></ul>
    19. 19. More information? <ul><li>Rob Letcher </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>www.k12.com </li></ul><ul><li>www.tinyurl.com/225gks </li></ul>

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