A growing trend in K-12 education is the development of the cyberschool, a full time online learning program and the virtual school, a supplementary online learning program. These campuses replace brick-and-mortar classrooms with evolving practices of interactive technology. The research focused on the effectiveness of K–12 virtual schooling finds "no significant difference" in student performance in online courses versus traditional face-to-face learning.
Online learning is growing rapidly across the U.S.A. within all levels of education, as more and more students and educators become familiar with the benefits of learning unconstrained by time and place. Virtual schools served 700,000 students in the 2005–06 school year, mostly at the high school level. High schools have offered virtual learning for over a decade. Across most states and all grade levels, students are finding increased opportunity, flexibility, and convenience through online learning. Teachers are discovering a new way to reach students including those who were not successful in traditional schools and courses. Most colleges and universities now require the use of online learning as part of regular instruction and students who are prepared for that will be more successful in higher education. The State of Nebraska now requires all high school graduates to have completed at least one course online to graduate from high school.
SREB Educational Technology Cooperative (2007). State virtual schools – successes and growing pains. Retrieved November 16, 2007 at http://www.sreb.org/programs/EdTech/pubs/2007pubs/07T06_Summary_Report_state_virtual.pdf.
Tucker, B. (2007). Laboratories of Reform: Virtual High Schools and Innovation in Public Education. Education Sector Reports, June. Retrieved June 20, 2007 at http://www.educationsector.org/usr_doc/Virtual_Schools.pdf.
Watson, J. (2007). A National Primer on K-12 Online Learning. North American Council for Online Learning. Retrieved June 20, 2007 at http://www.nacol.org/docs/national_report.pdf.
Watson, J. & Ryan J. (2006). Keeping Pace with K-12 Online Learning: A Review of State Level Policy and Practice. Evergreen Consulting. Retrieved November 25, 2007 at http://www.nacol.org/docs/KeepingPace07-color.pdf.