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Study Looks at Three Learning Predictors of Digital Learning

Study Looks at Three Learning Predictors of Digital Learning

The focus on digital learning is increasing and there are plenty of blended learning models to enhance digital learning activities. Ideally, students should enter middle school well versed in today's technology.

A recent report titled, "Keeping Pace with K-12 Digital Learning" researched by the Evergreen Education Group finds that "student choice at the state level, student choice at the course level, and the existence and strength of charter school laws are three predictors of how strong a state’s digital learning opportunities are likely to be."

Overall, the article said, "more students than ever before have access to digital learning opportunities, including online and blended learning, but state policies and other factors often limit digital learning’s availability."

The report, the article said, "examines the state of digital learning today and highlights the need for high-quality, actionable data on the digital learning tools and methods students use."

“Digital learning is not really new anymore, [although] it continues to be innovative in all sorts of ways,” said John Watson, founder of the Evergreen Education Group and the report’s main author. "Eleven years ago, most digital learning activity happened at the state level–for instance, through state online learning schools. Those types of programs and schools continue to be critical. But we’re also seeing an increasing amount of activity happening at the local level, with digital learning being used by school districts in traditional physical schools at the local level. Much of that activity is blending online and onsite components–that’s the overall trend we’re seeing.”

Watson also "outlined four main reasons schools are increasingly incorporating digital learning opportunities into teaching and learning" in the report:

  1. Improving student access to a variety of schooling options
  2. Ensuring that students reach their maximum achievement levels
  3. Increasing technology skills, which parents, teachers, and stakeholders believe to be essential for college- and career-ready students
  4. Reducing costs

The report also highlighted that "different grades use digital content and tools differently, too":

  • High schools tend to offer fully online courses and many forms of digital content.
  • Elementary schools tend to offer self-paced interactive activities that are topic-focused and collaborative
  • Middle schools are a hybrid of high schools and elementary schools, in which younger middle school students are more likely to use interactive and skill-based lessons, while older middle school students use other forms of digital content and begin venturing into online learning opportunities

Read the full story. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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