Good morning all,
Online learning is big and getting bigger. LMS provider K12.com provides these tidbits, sourced from the North American Council of Online Learning’s National Primer on K-12 Online Learning (click here for the PDF):
- As of September 2006, 38 states have state-led online learning programs, significant policies enabling online education, or both, with an estimated growth of 25% annually.
- In 2002-2003, there were 328,000 distance education enrollments in K-12 public schools (US Department of Education National Center of Education Statistics).
- The Peak Group estimated 2005 online enrollments of 500,000, and projects 1 million online enrollments in 2006.
- There are 147 virtual charter schools with more than 65,000 students in 18 states.
- 72% of school districts with distance education programs planned to expand their online offerings.
- In April 2006, Michigan became first state to require online learning for high school graduation.
This comprehensive LMS allows anyone to set up and administer an online class positively LOADED with impressive features and functionality:
The founder of the company was fortunate to sell his last company which was an enterprise startup called The Mind Electric. He then decided to return to his roots in education and self-fund the development of a learning platform that could be used by schools and corporations. The edu 2.0 site targets schools and is free because it’s a labor of love. A separate and as-yet unnamed site will be the corporate version of the same technology that will provide businesses with a cost-effective web-hosted way to train their employees and customers.
To be sure, designing and delivering a complete, cohesive, well-structured online course is no easy matter! Edu2.0 can’t help with THAT, but they generously provide a comprehensive environment in which to do it, a terrific alternative to Moodle, Blackboard and other LMS providers. Going ‘free’ is not for everyone, however; many institutions will want ‘professional’ help. In my experience designing and implementing information systems, the environment setup is the EASY part. Needs assessment and detailed definition of system requirements are the hard parts. Those are what separate successful implementations from well-intentioned but spectacular failures. Plans are nothing – but planning is everything!
Hope this helps!