In Michigan, Alabama and Florida, students must have completed virtual training in order to graduate from high school. These states believe that this is an essential skill in the 21e century and others plan to follow suit, one indicates in a Report of the Francophone Distance Education Network of Canada (REFAD).
Canada is not there yet, but the document nonetheless highlights some trends and forecasts on what awaits distance education, but also in the classroom, in the coming years. “Already, neither teachers nor libraries are the repositories of knowledge or the primary sources of knowledge for students. They have turned massively to the Internet, helped in particular by the development of user-friendly search engines, it is written. […] The role of the teacher is therefore necessarily called upon to change. "
And it's not just the students' sources of information that have changed, they themselves have changed. “We are in the era of the snapshot. The student expects immediate access to information. His attention is brief. He is multitasking. People are less passive, ”say specialists interviewed.
Bernard Morin, director of distance education at the Faculty of Continuing Education at the University of Montreal, predicts that forty years from now, there will no longer be any distinction between distance education, line, indoor, hybrid, synchronous or asynchronous since everything will have been integrated into the practices.
Elementary and secondary
In British Columbia, about 50virtual schools have been set up and could possibly develop complete distance learning curricula for secondary school. “Initiatives like those of the Obama administration, aiming for fully digitized textbooks within five years, also go in this direction. We can therefore think that the use of distance education at the secondary level will be one of the great phenomena in education in the years to come ”, one writes. Moreover, the United States is not the only one. The South Korea also announced plans to have paperless classrooms by 2013.
At the elementary level, just 3 % of schools across the country have students participating in online courses. "Elements such as the low birth rate and its effects on rural schools, a certain popularity of home schooling and the increased mobility of parents could contribute to an expansion at this level", we note.
Click here to read the report Profile, perspectives and results of distance learning in French-speaking Canada in full.
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