3 related reports

I don’t know how it happens that three important reports are all released in the same week, but it has happened this week.  All reports relate to online learning and teens use of social media.

First, the current Keeping Pace Report about K-12 Online Learning (2011) was released as part of the Virtual School Symposium, now taking place in Indianapolis.  In the report (which has been updated every year since 2004) were the following findings:

  • Single district programs are the fastest growing segment of online and blended learning
  • Most district programs are blended, instead of fully online
  • Intermediate units, county offices, and other regional education service agencies are taking on important roles
  • Full time, multi-district online schools continue to grow
  • State virtual schools are more effective when there is an ongoing funding model in place (such as Florida and North Carolina)
  • The Digital Learning Now movement and Common Core Standards are important elements in online and blended learning

Second, the Sloan-C people released the report, “Going the Distance 2011″ which has reported about online learning in higher education.  They have continued to research and issue reports  for the past 8 years.  The current report found that:

  • 66% of higher educational institutions now report that online learning is critical part of their long-term strategy
  • 31% of higher education students now take at least one online courses
  • The number of higher ed students taking online coursesses increased by 10% from the year before
  • 67% of academic leaders believe that learning outcomes in online education are the same or superior to those in face-to-face.  That leaves 37% who believe otherwise.
  • The percentage of faculty members who accept online education as a viable form of learning is less than one-third
  • Most training for online teaching in higher ed takes place internally

The final report that relates to the first two was released by the Pew Internet Project entitled: “Teens, Kindness and Cruelty on Social Networking Sites.”  This report, as with the others listed above is an ongoing study.  Their findings were as follows:

  • 95% of teens (ages 12-17) are now online.  Of this number, 80% are involved in social media sites.
  • 69% of teens believe that their peers are mostly kind on social media sites, while 20% believe their peers are mostly unkind on social media sites
  • 88% of teens on social media sites have witnessed other people being mean or cruel online
  • 15% of teens said they have been the target of online meanness
  • 78% of teens report positive outcomes from social media sites, while 41% reported at least one negative outcome.
  • 19% reported bullying in the past year in some form – whether in person, online, by text or by phone
  • 95% of teens report that mean or cruel behavior that is witnessed is often ignored
  • 86% of teens reported that their parents have received advice on using the Internet from parents;  70% from teachers or other adults at school; 45% from classmates or peers.



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