With the 2012-2013 school year starting, eLearning is having its moment in the sun. More and more schools around the world are adopting eLearning strategies, creating both hybrid courses (merging both face-to-face and online lessons), and completely digital learning environments.
In Florida, the Florida Virtual School offers complete courses via the internet. Its curriculum, which is both accredited and celebrated nationally, is free to Florida students and available at a charge for students across the United States. It facilitates learning for students with strict schedules, including those with health problems or extracurricular commitments, such as athletics. 2012 Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman used the Florida Virtual School to continue learning while training in gymnastics.
With more schools adopting eLearning practices, software companies like Adobe have risen to meet the need for virtual authoring tools. Adobe eLearning Suite 6, a set of integrated programs that help users create seamless, professional eLearning and mLearning content based in HTML5, allows educators to create content and deliver it how they see fit.
Adobe senior vice president of Print and Publishing Naresh Gupta explains the need for software systems like this. “Today’s eLearning professionals, educators and trainers are dealing with a growing mobile population, platform fragmentation and the need to communicate through video.”
This rise isn’t just seen in classroom adoption and tool creation – it’s also being documented in market research. In North America alone, the market for online learning is expected to reach $27.2 billion by 2016, with healthcare and educational institutions accounting for the largest purchasers. This market is growing at 4.4% each year, mirroring the 9.0% growth rate in cloud-based authoring tools for eLearning.
Clearly, education and training are moving into the digital age, creating a need for both eLearning and mLearning software and authoring tools for educators to bring their specific content to students. With so much information and media at our fingertips, it’s easy to see how eLearning can help students learn and foster curiosity in the digital age.