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In my feature in the August/September print edition, I dropped these (already outdated) stats: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