Virtual School Meanderings

September 16, 2012

Virtual School MOOC – History of K-12 Online Learning: Summary Entry

As a part of the novice badge for the Introduction to K-12 Online Learning Research, I’ve asked people to “a short blog post summarizing what you’ve learned about the topic and why you think the topic is important.”

As I mentioned in my previous summary message, after researching this topic for years now I’d be lying if I said that I learned something specific from reviewing this material that Tom Clark has compiled.  I’ve read Tom’s work in the past, all of it in fact (or at least all of the public material).  One of the things that Tom provides us in his work, including in the material that he prepared for this MOOC, is that there has been a great deal of research into K-12 distance education prior to the advent of K-12 online learning.  Tom, better than any of us I believe, has a strong understanding of the lessons that have been learned from how we design, deliver and support K-12 distance education using mediums like traditional correspondence, educational radio, instructional television, and audiographics/telematics.  One of the things absent from most of the research being conducted into K-12 online learning today, my own work included, is an understanding of this material and the ability to draw parallels to what constitutes effective distance education.

Upon reflection, I kind of wish one of Tom’s blogging activities would have asked us to go back into the literature into K-12 distance education and find some lessons that could be applied to the current medium of K-12 online learning – maybe that would be a good idea for the creation of the Virtual School-Designer badge.


  1. This is all new to me, I had no clue to the history of distant education or even that it not just one element to the learning and it has many types of descriptions. Online learning is very important, this will help teach and reach as many students as possible. I do feel that the results with k-12 students should be similar or better than results within the public school in order to continue funding or recieve the same amount of funding that a student in public school would.

    Latina H.

    Comment by Latina Hill — September 18, 2012 @ 12:01 am | Reply

    • Latina, while it wasn’t a topic for this MOOC, I’d also argue that K-12 online learning doesn’t cost as much as face-to-face learning and shouldn’t be funded at the same level (but that’s just me).

      Comment by mkbnl — September 18, 2012 @ 1:55 pm | Reply

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