Keeping Pace 2011 - Top trends in online and blended learning

We are excited to report that Keeping Pace 2011 has officially gone to print. Both the electronic and print versions will be released on November 8th, on the first day of the Virtual School Symposium. In preparation for the release of the report, we’d like to start sharing key findings here on our blog. We’ll begin tomorrow with daily posts sharing the top nine trends we noted as we gathered information from our annual survey, calls and emails with contacts in every state, and many hours of Internet research. K-12 online and blended learning have evolved in new directions in the past year. While now familiar segments of the field, such as online charter schools and state virtual schools, have continued to grow, relatively new forms such as consortium programs and single-district programs are expanding even more rapidly, as is the range of private providers competing to work with districts. As of late 2011, online and blended learning opportunities exist for at least some students in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, but no state has a full suite of full-time and supplemental options for students at all grade levels.

The full list of nine trends:

Trend #1: The growth of single district programs

Trend #2: Single district programs tend to be blended

Trend #3: The growing role of regional agencies

Trend #4: Full-time schools continue to grow

Trend #5: State virtual schools diverging into two tiers

Trend #6: More than 16 states pass online learning laws

Trend #7: Common Core and OER are taking hold

Trend #8: The rapidly changing provider landscape

Trend #9: Special student needs gain new focus