Online schools in Rhode Island have grown at an average rate. Students interested in learning at home or through a mixture of online and on-campus courses have plenty of options. The largest public university in Rhode Island ,the University of Rhode Island, offers online courses. There are also several private and a few non-profit institutions in the state that offer online certificates and degrees. Over the last twenty years, technology in the classroom has been slowly incorporated into primary, secondary, and post secondary schools across the state. This has been made possible by a number of initiatives, including those listed below.
Higher Learning Initiatives
Statewide Virtual Education Act
The Statewide Virtual Education Act was signed into law by the governor of Rhode Island in 2012. It is a law that seeks to promote the use of virtual learning in K-12 classrooms. The law also requires that all online education programs used in Rhode Island schools be consistent with state standards for traditional instruction, as well as fulfill high school graduation requirements. The act calls for the Commissioner and the Board of Regents for elementary and secondary education to create guidelines for the use of online courses in the state’s school districts. The new law is certainly evidence that the state sees value in online learning as part of the regular curriculum, especially as it applies to digital textbooks.
The Rhode Island Foundation
The Rhode Island Foundation was founded in 1916 and is the only community foundation serving the state of Rhode Island. As a philanthropic organization, the foundation has two main initiatives: health and education. In terms of education, the Rhode Island Foundation continues to give generously to public education, trusting the state to allocate the funds as it sees fit. A large portion of the funds support state education programs that seek to improve and promote the use of technology in the classroom, including access to computer-based education.