The growth of online learning — and a dangerous digital divide

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A company called Satellite Internet Pros sent Campus News these interesting charts. As education becomes more and more reliant on Internet technology – and students with proper Internet access do get better grades – a portion of America is being left behind. A reported 20 percent of Americans have no Internet access at all.

Here’s what the charts and other data SIP provided report:

•             Online enrollment has grown 233% as a percentage of total college enrollment since Fall of 2002.

•             119 million Americans still lack broadband Internet access while education experts agree that access is becoming critical to higher education.

•             61% of chief academic officers believe online learning is critical to long-term education.

•             Studies in the United States show a strong positive correlation between Internet access, ACT scores, and GDP per capita.

As for students, those who have access to decent Internet:

•             achieve higher grades.

•             have an advantage searching for and applying for jobs.Image

•             are more qualified for jobs compared to a student with similar grades/experience without a history of Internet access (as more and more industries utilize online tools and solutions).

Ryan Grier, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Satellite Internet Pros, added: “We know that students without consistent access to the Internet are at a clear disadvantage in the classroom. We’re working to drive awareness to the growing digital divide and encourage those who’ve seen the impact of the divide, or felt it themselves, to share the information with their peers in hopes of addressing the situation.”

What do you think? Write to editor@cccnews.info (or the snail mail address in this paper) with your thoughts on the value of the Internet for your education.

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