Georgia, like many other states, is paving the way for future growth in online education. New laws are shifting focus and funding for virtual learning opportunities in public school systems, not only at the post secondary level, but in middle schools and high schools as well.
Higher Learning Initiatives
The Center for 21st Century Universities at the Georgia Institute of Technology
Also known as C21U, the Center for 21st Century Universities is a “living laboratory” for new educational technology. The goal of the center is to conduct experiments within the classroom using new technology, online learning strategies, social networking, and other tools. The center also seeks to collaborate with other educators to identify the best strategies, platforms, and techniques for the future of education and online schools in Georgia. In further testament to its commitment to revolutionary educational methods, C21U has paired up with MOOC provider Coursera to provide free, high-quality classes to the public.
Georgia’s Online Learning Bill (SB 289)
In 2012, the Online Learning Bill was passed in Georgia. The initiative focuses on promoting virtual and digital learning to prepare high school students for an increasingly technological world. The bill will require all end-of-year core assessments to be completed online by the 2014-2015 school year. More immediately, students who enter ninth grade during the 2013-2014 school year will be required to complete at least one online learning course prior to graduation.
Georgia Virtual School
The Georgia Virtual School was founded in 2005 to provide schools and students with alternative and supplemental lessons to traditional classroom learning. GVS offers teacher-led virtual classroom environments that are accredited by SACS and CASI. Courses are provided for free to middle school and high school students who are enrolled in the Georgia public school system. They are also available to non-residents for a fee. Students who are studying from home or looking to take advanced course work stand to gain the most from the school’s services.