Clicking on the map certainly helped remind me where each state was located in the U.S.. I had heard this was going to be released and remembered that the Center for Digital Education had done a state by state rating in 2008 and 2009 regarding online education as well. Michael Barbour echoed my thoughts in this blogpost in August.
First, I wondered how the state where I live (California) was rated.
Then, I wondered how the states where I knew online learning was more advanced were rated (Florida, Michigan, Idaho)
Then, I wondered how it would look to put states next to each other to see how the numbers lined up.
Then, I wondered who was doing the rating and how each of these scores was determined.
For California, I already knew they would rate low. The highest rating in any category is 10, and California rated a 4 in one area (quality choices) and then 2 or lower in each area. If I average all 10 scores, California rates a 1.4.
In the previous state ratings for online learning, Florida was on the top of the ratings (most people in K-12 online learning look to Florida as the leader, having established the Florida Virtual School in 1997). The Digital Learning Now report card validated the previous findings. Florida even had a 10 in one category (Personalized Learning). Although I did not look at all states, I bet the Florida’s average score of 4.1 will be among the highest. Utah, another state which started a statewide virtual school in 1997, also had a several higher scores (10- Barriers to Access; 9-Personalized Learning; 9-Quality choices). Their average score is 4.9. Idaho, another state that ranked high in previous ratings also received a 10 for personalized learning and then 9 for “Barriers to Access”. Their average of all 10 scores was 4.6, higher than that of Florida. Michigan, which has had a statewide virtual school since 2001, scored an average of 3.7. I was surprised that they received a 0 in the “advancement” category because I had understood that their statewide virtual school meets the needs of all levels of learners. Then, I happened across Alaska and they received an “11” in personalized learning. Not sure how they could get an “11” on what I thought was a “10” point score. But, they have been forced to embraced online learning because of their remote populations. Their average score was 3.7.
I put 15 of the states I thought might be the top states based on the previous ratings, in an Excel spreadsheet, and then calculated the average of each state, which resulted in the chart below:
Despite how the scores were determined or whether or not you agree with the measures used, I wonder what Idaho, Utah, Florida, Texas, or Louisiana are doing to rate so high on this measure. And then I wonder if California will ever be ranked high on a list like this in the future.
Also announced was Digital Learning Day which is February 1, 2012.