1 in 4 Kids Now Learning Online, Only 4 Percent of Teachers Meeting Them There

The good news:

The percentage of high school students taking online courses nearly doubled in a single year. According to the latest data available from Project Tomorrow's annual Speak Up Survey, more than one-quarter (27 percent) of all high school students took at least one class online last year.

The bad news:

Only 4 percent [of teachers] said they were learning "how to teach online classes in their instructional methods courses."

The same survey found that another 30 percent of students said they weren't taking classes online because of issues of cost or availability, suggesting that the market is only going to become more massive.

In my feature in the August/September print edition, I dropped these (already outdated) stats:

More than 1 million public school students are enrolled in online classes, up from about 50,000 a decade ago. In Florida, nearly 80,000 kids take classes in the state-sponsored Florida Virtual School. Virtual charter school companies such as K12 Inc. provide full-time online education to 70,000 students in 25 states. Hundreds of small, innovative companies are springing up, vying to combine learning with the power of the Internet. Nationwide, 17 percent of high school students report having taken an online course for school in the last year; another 12 percent say they took a class on their own time. Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen, co-author of Disrupting Class, a seminal 2008 book about online education, estimates that half of all high school courses in the United States will be consumed over the Internet by 2019.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Max||

    Okay, this is interesting because eventually the government will have to regulate these online courses to protect kids from being ripped off by unscrupulous educational fakers, and you stupid libertarian ratfuckers will denounce the regulation as an unnecessary restraint on the market, right?

  • mr simple||

    begging the question

  • Tomcat1066||

    Fraud, you dipshit, is wrong even by the most libertarian standards. Of course, either you knew it and went there anyways or you're a bigger fucking idiot that I thought.

  • Max has made his last post||

    Max|6.24.10 @ 3:29PM|#

    Go suck ron puals dick, morons. You peeple are fucking retarded. I`m done coming to this wingnut sight. this is my last post.

  • jtuf||

    Max, Bruno's attemtp to suck Ron Pauls dick wasn't even funny when he tried it. Why are you still getting nocturnal emissions from it 2 year later?

  • Mary||

    Are the courses taught by properly certified teachers?

  • ||

    Does it really mayyer?

  • ||

    ^matter^

  • Embrace it||

    mayyer was funnier.

  • Astrid||

    I thought that was intentional. It made it funnier.

  • ||

    Mary is a member of the teachers' union. She teaches special education.

  • PantsFan||

    and even she's given up on Edward.

  • Zeb||

    If they count as credit toward graduation from a public high school, I would assume so.

  • JEP||

    Most states have these graduation exam things.

    Frankly, instead of regulating each individual class, they should say "If you can pass these tests, then here's your high school diploma."

    That'd be a lot faster than having to sit through 4 years of indoctrination and boredom.

  • ||

    Requiring certified teachers in public schools has accomplished what?

  • Ebeneezer Scrooge||

    The creation of many, many union jobs. Which has led to a dedicated vein of Democratic voters.

  • ||

    Only 4 percent [of teachers] said they were learning "how to teach online classes in their instructional methods courses."

    Save this factoid for the next time that some public school teacher defends their pay and benefit package for such a short work schedule by shouting about how they don't have summers (and spring break, and Xmas break) off, they're busy honing their educational skills by taking college classes at their own expense.

    Maybe I'm being too hard as the internet is brand new and we don't really know if it has any education potential.

  • Max||

    You know, you're actually stupider than the average ratfucker.

  • Abdul||

    Don't take that as an insult, J subD. Max knows from personal experience how clever one needs to be to win over the rat's confidence with romantic, candle-lit dinners.

    Or do you use that PUA stuff on them?

  • Max has made his last post||

    Max|6.24.10 @ 3:29PM|#

    Go suck ron puals dick, morons. You peeple are fucking retarded. I`m done coming to this wingnut sight. this is my last post.

  • ||

    The Internet is a passing fad.

    The Government needs to force children to learn to wake early and show up on time with a properly subservient attitude as training for working in the our nation's factories and mills.

  • Max||

    Go fuck yourself, you taker of tired old cheap shots at straw men.

  • Tomcat1066||

    ROFL. Coming from you, that's fucking hysterical.

  • ||

    I'm gonna frame and hang that comment Maxine.

  • West Coaster||

    I fart in your general direction!

    (Maybe I'm giving Max too much credit by thinking he made a MP reference.)

  • Max has made his last post||

    Max|6.24.10 @ 3:29PM|#

    Go suck ron puals dick, morons. You peeple are fucking retarded. I`m done coming to this wingnut sight. this is my last post.

  • ||

    Circadian rhythms of the students be damned. We've a bureaucracy to milk education system to run.

  • Abdul||

    My sister is a shop steward for her educational union. she once proudly told me how she challened a school district initiative to allow high school students to get credit for classes at a community college. Why would the teacher's union oppose that? Fewer jobs for the union members, that's why.

    That may also explain why so few teachers want to teach online--threatens the jobs in brick & mortar schools.

  • ||

    Did you tell your sister she's a fucking scumbag?

  • Abdul||

    Not in so many words, because I like eating solid foods.

  • ||

    It's a sad thing to see a grown man physically afraid of his sister. Is your sister's name Shelley, by any chance?

  • ||

    Agreed. Abdul is a disgrace to man-dom.

  • Abdul||

    A disgrace to man-dom who can chew.

  • Abdul's sister||

    I'd kick him in the nuts but you can see the man has no balls ;-)

  • The Gobbler||

    My sister is only 5'2" and she scares the hell out of me.

  • ||

    C'mon Epi. The4re are some quality teachers in the public system. I was occasionally taught by them. If you get them drunk, the good ones will curl your hair with insider tales about the rest of them.

  • T||

    No, if you get any public school teacher drunk, they will tell you horror stories. Sometimes they don't realize the horror, but the stories come out just the same.

    Speaking of drunk, I have tomorrow off so I'm off to the Anvil on Westheimer tonight. Prohibition era cocktails and hopefully they still have the Dogfish Head Immortale on tap. Yay me!

  • ||

    Your sister is a turd.

    Also, in California, they would be fine with this, as teachers at community colleges are in the same unions as public school teachers are. Not that that's relevant to your sister, but an interesting dynamic out here on the left coast.

  • ||

    I wonder how many of them change their tune in the name of self-preservation. I know many teachers in California that are doing everything they can to change the power structure of the unions to enable them to use more flexibility in when/how/who/where they teach. They see the writing on the wall regarding budgets and public sentiment and they don't want to get caught with their pants down with 5-7 years in the profession and no real safety net.

    Of course, these teachers don't exactly fit the mold of "progressive douchebag educator" one expects to find out here either.

  • ||

    Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen, co-author of Disrupting Class, a seminal 2008 book about online education, estimates that half of all high school courses in the United States will be consumed over the Internet by 2019.

    Not if we have anything to say about it.

  • ||

    Eventually the government will have to regulate these online courses to protect unscrupulous NEA/AFT educational fakers from competition.

  • ||

    I guarantee you it's coming. There's already grumbling about the online colleges from traditional brick and mortar colleges, and they even have their own online offerings and no NEA. As soon as the parasite public school teachers start to feel threatened, the NEA will go into high gear to demonize online classes and get them banned. I mean, just look what they did with charter schools, and the possibility of online course selection dwarfs charter school selection.

  • ||

    They won't be that overt. At the primary school level, the teachers' unions already own the field through property taxes and mandatory school attendance laws. What online classes will be is a way for parents to pay extra so that their kids get a decent education. The same thing happened in the old communist block countries. The teachers were guaranteed jobs and salaries. So they didn't care and didn't teach. (sound familiar?) So parents would pay tutors to teach their kids. That is what online is going to be.

    At the college level, they will just use accreditation to wipe out the competition. None of these schools will ever get accreditation or if they do it will be by paying protection money to the education racket. And when they don't have accreditation, it will allow creatures like Edward to claim that kids are being ripped off by non accredited schools.

  • ||

    This has already begun, or haven't you seen the many recent shots taken at "for-profit" schools in alternative/progressive media? One of the distinctive characteristics of these "diploma mills" (as labeled by the media) is a big emphasis on distance-learning (usually facilitated by internet). The charge is substandard education and fraudulent degrees, but the real threat is that if the public eventually comes to prefer (or at least accept) distance learning, there will be less demand for "credentialed teachers" (usually, union members) in brick-and-mortar institutions; in particular, that "for-profit" colleges will be able to offer regular classes for high school students, instead of just the college prep/AP courses they tend of offer now. That's DEFINITELY going to happen, if public schools don't offer similar courses under similar arrangements. Either way, unions and union members get screwed.

  • ||

    "instead of just the college prep/AP courses they tend of offer now..." SHOULD HAVE BEEN "instead of just the college prep/AP courses they tend to offer students of high school age now."

  • ||

    The rise in online learning can be linked directly to the start of those commercials where the hot chick in her pajamas explains how you can get a free guide to online colleges. I refuse to believe that any straight man much less a teenage boy could ever be immune to her charms.

  • ||

    Max is an excellent example of public education quality in the U.S.

    "Professional" educators wish he'd STFU.*

    * As do we all.

  • ||

    I think that was someone spoofing Max to get you going. The "ratfucker" line was just too good.

  • ||

    The MO makes me think it was the actual Edward. No content, just flailing away at the keyboard with one hand while furiously masturbating with the other.

  • Imagination is a good thing||

    and you would know because?

  • ||

    and you would know because?

    Deduction, my dear Watson. Simple deduction.

  • Were you Clintoned?||

    J sub D, Sherlock and I rely on scientific knowledge. We have a catalog for every sample known to man-including semen. ;-)

  • ||

    Yeah. I didn't notice to top post on the thread. That was clearly Edward. And the response to you probably was to.

  • Tman||

    I wish I had more online options back in high school when I was studying for the SAT's. I had to take a bus and a subway from Belmont to Central Square in Cambridge for a prep course from 7-10 pm every freaking friday for like three months.

    It helped improve my scores, but that class was a pain in the ass. If I could have taken it at home online I wouldn't have hesitated.

    Kids these days. Youth is wasted on the young.

    Also, my lawn- get off it.

  • ||

    It is a good leveling out. Those courses are a good way to game the system. But only middle class brats have the money to take them. Online courses ought to be cheaper and more accessible.

  • Chipotle||

    Check out iTunes U. There are all kinds of classes at all levels. MIT has a butt-ton of stuff on there. All free. I give you that you have to have some means (computer/ipod) but still. Oddly, as time has gone on, it's gotten harder to find in the itunes store and I don't think that's an accident, either.

    Found it and started downloading books on well, um, tape for the rides to and from work.

  • Tman||

    There was no "iTunes" when I took my SAT prep course.

    (shakes fist)

  • ||

    I have heard about the MIT courses. I need to start looking into that.

  • JEP||

    I've been through some of them. The STEM classes seem to be decent if you're just interested in general understand, but they won't make you competent in the subject. The intro circuits class was just a general overview of electronics - interesting, but didn't teach you how to apply it.

    The online courses seem to be a really good idea for those subjects where you just sit in a lecture and take notes. But some subjects require you to actually DO something in order to really understand it.

  • ||

    Check out this guy, who, low-budget style, is "playing real good, for free."

    http://www.khanacademy.org/#California Standards Test: Algebra I

  • kinnath||

    who studies for the SAT's? ;-)

  • Zeb||

    Studying is cheating. You should have already learned it all by the time the test comes.

  • Tman||

    I would prefer if they had just done away with those stupid SAT's. Remember these good times?


    CONFIRMED : INVETERATE

    1. knowledge : supposed
    2. financial : bankrupt
    3. immature : callow
    4. credible : incredible
    5. careful: punishing

    Ok smartasses, this one should be easy.

  • ||

    #5.

  • kinnath||

    um; pi r squared

  • kinnath||

    3

  • Tman||

    I see Mister Smart Guy Kinnath was a SAT master.

    Correct answer is #3.

    Just pasting that question made me want to get all broody and mad at my parents.

  • Tman||

    Actually, I take that back. The correct answer was #2.

    Not so smart now are we Mr. Kinnath?

  • ||

    What? 2 is the "correct" answer? None of them make sense. "Confirmed" means, well, confirmed. "Inveterate" means "confirmed through long use or habit", which is more like "highly confirmed through evidence".

    Which answer does that apply to again?

  • kinnath||

    Ditto

  • Tman||

    Here's where I got it.

    http://www.bestsamplequestions.....ogies.html

    None of this made any sense to me back then and it makes even less today.

  • ||

    I was gonna say 3! Stupid kinnath beat me to it.

  • Tman||

    To repeat: correct answer is-

    2. financial : bankrupt

    You were all wrong.

  • kinnath||

    25 years ago, I didn't know how to spell engineer. Now I are one.

  • Bob||

    How good is the teach what thay got teaching this classes online?

  • jtuf||

    Only 4 percent [of teachers] said they were learning "how to teach online classes in their instructional methods courses."

    Given the damage most public school teachers do to kids, I say this is good news.

  • ||

    "...half of all high school courses in the United States will be consumed over the Internet by 2019."

    Maybe much more than that, if the States will give PE credit for "dance dance revolution"!

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement