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ERIC Number: EJ890703
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jul-14
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0277-4232
Virtual Ed. Biz Seeks Mainstream
Gustke, Constance
Education Week, v29 n36 p1, 16-17 Jul 2010
The for-profit e-learning company K12 Inc. grew 40 percent last year, generating $385 million in revenue by providing virtual courses to 70,000 students across the country. Connections Academy, another such provider, generated about $120 million in revenue serving up online courses to some 20,000 students. And last month, the education technology company PLATO Learning announced that it is now offering online Advanced Placement courses, marking the first time the company will do so as part of its courseware for school districts. Experts say for-profit providers of online courses--long seen as an option for home-schoolers and a potential rival to public schools--are breaking into the public education mainstream as more schools mix face-to-face classes and online courses to expand their curricular offerings. With demand for that "blended" approach expected to grow, other players in the online-coursetaking marketplace, such as Apex Learning, Aventa Learning, Compass Learning, and Kaplan Virtual Education, are also seeking business in public schools. But the growth of such companies has also attracted critics, who say schools should take a closer look at the benefits the providers tout. Some critics have said that content-development costs have prevented for-profit online course providers from adding the kinds of multimedia features that are the hallmarks of high-quality online courses. They say that in many cases, traditional content is merely placed online. Even e-learning proponents concede content costs are a barrier.
Editorial Projects in Education. 6935 Arlington Road Suite 100, Bethesda, MD 20814-5233. Tel: 800-346-1834; Tel: 301-280-3100; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A