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Running head: AN ARTICLE REVIEW CONCERNING K-12 ONLINE LEARNING

An Article Review Concerning K-12 Online Learning


By Stacy Spivey
Regent University

AN ARTICLE REVIEW CONCERNING K-12 ONLINE


LEARNING

An Article Review Concerning K-12 Online Learning


With the advancement of technology and its increasing usefulness to society, educators
have established online learning as a way to make education more accessible to students of all
backgrounds and temperaments. Since its creation, though, educators have sought to evaluate its
effectiveness and resolve any issues the newly found system have posed. Tammy Ronsisvalle, a
graduate of George Washington University with an M.A. in Education Technology, is convinced
in the efficiency of online learning for kindergarteners to 12th graders. In an article on the
subject, she writes, Many virtual schools exist to expand access to high quality or rigorous
curricula, serving rural areas and special learner groups such as gifted or at-risk students
(Ronsisvalle, 2005, p. 118). This is one of the most commonly argued benefits of online learning,
as well as one I find the most compelling. God created everyone according to His plan, including
in the way that they learn or behave. As humanity has exercised stewardship in this world, we
have made technological discoveries with the knowledge God has gifted us with. Therefore, it is
our responsibility to use technology in a way that gives back to God. Online learning, as
Ronsisvalle argues, does this by educating disadvantaged students. It targets students with mental
disabilities, behavioral issues, and in rural areas students who need access to a different mean
of education. As a prospective teacher, it is my responsibility to utilize technology to meet the
needs of the students God entrusts me with. Even if I never participate in online learning, it
serves as an important reminder of my job to meet students needs and technologys place in
such endeavors. an equally important form of education that I need to educate myself on as it
continues to grow. While Ronsisvalles article offers valuable insight, she based her arguments
on results from higher education students due to the lack of studies on younger students.
Nonetheless, the amount of K-12 students enrolled in online learning courses rose 95% between

AN ARTICLE REVIEW CONCERNING K-12 ONLINE


LEARNING

2000 and 2008, allowing Jerilyn D. Harris-Packer and Genevive Sgol to provide an updated
evaluation of online learning. Harris Packer is a member of the Department of Defense
Education Activity, and Sgol is a faculty member of the School of Advanced Studies at the
University of Phoenix. She also attained a Ph.D. at Princeton University. In 2015, they gathered
data on online students performance from the Department of Education, concluding that there
was no evident superiority in their performance over conventional programs (Harris-Packer and
Sgol, 2015, p. 4-5). However, they seemed positive like me about its developing popularity.
Online learnings impact is evident in some specific areas, especially in data recorded about
gifted students (Harris-Packer and Sgol, 2015, p. 11). While online learning may only
noticeably benefit a minority, I see this as a success; especially since it has not delayed the
majoritys academic growth. I still support Ronsisvalle, Harris-Packer, and Sgols points that
educators need more data to correctly assess the progress of online learning. Amy L. Martin,
Todd D. Reeves, Thomas J. Smith, and David A. Walker from Northern Illinois University
provide more data about the importance of computer proficiency in online learning. They
evaluated teachers computer proficiency in a recent article, saying, Understanding users
computer proficiency is an important construct for both research on and effective practice in
online learning. (Martin, Reeves, Smith, & Walker, 2016, p. 257). Their results showed that
factors like age or gender did not cause dissimilarities in teachers computer proficiency, making
the future of online learning promising. Consequently, their findings provide tangible evidence
of teachers effect on online learning. It shows how online learning is a viable pursuit since most
teachers are equipped to implement it. This motivates me to sharpen proficiency with computers,
allowing me to join the many teachers who have proven their adequacy. Like the trustworthy
man Jesus described in the parable of the talents, I want to invest myself with what God has

AN ARTICLE REVIEW CONCERNING K-12 ONLINE


LEARNING
given me. I am not meant to bury technology like online learning. I am meant to make it
profitable so that God can use me to bless each student I meet.

AN ARTICLE REVIEW CONCERNING K-12 ONLINE


LEARNING

References
Harris-Packer, J. D., & Sgol, G. (2015). An Empirical Evaluation of Distance Learnings
Effectiveness in the K12 Setting. American Journal Of Distance Education, 29(1), 4-17.
doi:10.1080/08923647.2015.990768
Martin, A. L., Reeves, T. D., Smith, T. J., & Walker, D. A. (2016). Computer Proficiency for
Online Learning: Factorial Invariance of Scores among Teachers. Mid-Western
Educational Researcher, 28(3), 247-263.
Ronsisvalle, T., & Watkins, R. (2005). Student Success in Online K-12 Education. Quarterly
Review of Distance Education, 6(2), 117-124.