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Teachers College, Columbia University
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Online classes can save schools money, expand learning time for K-12 students

New research at the University of Florida predicts more public school students in kindergarten through 12th grade will take classes online, have longer school days and more of them in the next decade. Academic performance should improve and schools could save money. 
 “Policymakers and educators have proposed expanding learning time in elementary through high school grades as a way to improve students’ academic performance, but online coursework hasn’t been on their radar. This should change as we make school and school district leaders more aware of the potential cost savings that virtual schooling offers,” said Catherine Cavanaugh, associate professor at the University of Florida’s College of Education. “Over the next decade, we expect an explosion in the use of virtual schooling as a seamless synthesis between the traditional classroom and online learning.”
 
 “Dr. Cavanaugh’s report provides a vision of what schools could look like in the near future, as online courses and programs are developed that not only expand learning time but help educate students with a wide range of academic and learning needs,” said Susan Lowes, director of research and evaluation at the Institute for Learning Technologies at Teachers College, Columbia University.
 
The article “Online classes can save schools money, expand learning time for K-12 students” was published on May 18, 2009 in the “University of Florida News” website. http://news.ufl.edu/2009/05/18/online-learning/
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