Online Learning for K 12: A Beneficiary or A Bane


As per the report of US Department of Education of 2010 online learning is one of the fastest growing trends in the field of education. The question is whether students benefit more out of these online learning programs or out of face to face learning with a teacher.

The New York Times in an article hinted towards the debate over the effectiveness of online learning. Advocates of online learning say that it is a way more cost-effective medium than the traditional medium of instruction. Also, it provides numerous options. Online learning facilitates makeup courses, additional electives and Advanced Placement classes which the traditional model of education can hardly accommodate. Moreover, the propounders of the online learning say that along with offering a variety of courses, it also renders students a chance to make up for classes which they failed earlier by working at their own pace.

Although critics have suspected the efficiency of online learning. The opponents of the online medium of learning fear that technology might completely replace the traditional medium of instruction rather than supplementing it.

In Idaho, numerous students are dependent entirely on computers instead of teachers for getting their lessons. The lawmakers of Idaho are considering to expand the horizon of students receiving online education.

The opponents believe that online learning will increase plagiarism. It will mean more screen-time for a generation of students which is already neck deep in technology.

According to the research of the Department of Education on the effectiveness of online learning, it was found that students who were exposed to online learning performed moderately better than the students who received traditional face to face instruction. Although, there were several factors other than the medium of instruction which lead for students to perform better.

While the efficiency of online learning hasn’t been established as yet, it is sure to gain more consideration in the near future.