Today, the Digital Learning Now Organization released their state by state report card regarding digital “elements.” The press release is here. Also blogged about at Getting Smart.
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.