This Week's Herman Trend Alert

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  The Herman Trend Alert

February 9, 2011

Virtual Private School---the shape of education to come

Using a video approach to learning, Herndon, Virginia-based K12 Inc. is an organization providing online learning which operates online public schools in 25 states. K12's online learning supports struggling, advanced, home schooled, and homebound students in kindergarten through twelfth grade, plus athletes, performers, Expats, and people in the Foreign Service and Overseas.

The company boasts over 1000 graduates; their students have been accepted at hundreds of institutions of higher learning, including Princeton, Duke, Julliard, New York University, Stanford, and the Art Institute of Chicago.

K12's latest development was to team up with George Washington University (GWU) to launch a fully online private prep school for high school students. Created to bring a higher quality curriculum and online classes to students around the world, this virtual school is a unique partnership between a major research university and the virtual education company.

The alliance will also conduct research on curriculum development and instruction in online learning environments. The expectation is that the partnership will result in enhanced perspectives on online instructional methods.

Most colleges and universities do not offer online teaching and learning skills in their teacher education programs. This partnership will provide GWU the opportunity to incorporate these leading edge subjects into its teacher education programs.

These types of subjects are increasingly important, because K12 Inc. served an estimated 1.5 million students during the 2009 to 2010 school year. K through 12 teacher education programs have generally been slow to embrace development and training programs around online and blended learning.

Through a highly selective admissions process, the new virtual school, called George Washington University Online High School (GWUOHS), is targeting high-achieving, college-bound students. Annual tuition for GWUOHS is $9,995 per student, or $4,995 per semester.

There are similar programs at other colleges and universities, including Stanford University, Northwestern University, the University of Miami, and Johns Hopkins University.

K12 is leading the way with this most recent alliance. Aligned with young people's love of technology, this launch of private online schools is a harbinger of the growing acceptance of online learning in K through 12. We expect this segment to grow exponentially worldwide.


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