By 2015, preK-12 academic institutions in the United States will spend nearly $5 billion on electronic learning products and services like learning management systems, according to research released this week.
PreK-12 Growth Driven by Online Schooling, Recession
The disproportionately high growth of self-paced e-learning in preK-12 is being driven in large part by four factors: the "rapid growth of virtual schools, the dramatic increase in online students, the recession, and state budget cuts," the last of which is causing schools to shift budgets from programs like classroom-based summer credit recovery courses to self-paced courses, according to the report.
In fact, researchers noted that overall numbers of preK-12 students attending physical classrooms only will decline (by 4.2 percent) by 2015, while the population begins to migrate to virtual schools, online charter schools, and online supplemental instruction. More than 10 million students will participate in some amount of online supplemental instruction by 2015, up from 2010 levels of 2.9 million, for a compound annual growth rate of 28 percent. More dramatic growth will be seen in online charter schools and virtual schools.