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Forty states now offer virtual classes for k-12, according to a study done by the National Education Policy Center.
Virtual schools will clearly be taking a larger role in public education, and it is important that state and federal governments ensure that they are high-quality.

SALT LAKE CITY — Twenty years ago, classrooms were lucky to have at least one computer in their room. Now, it seems, most classrooms in America would be considered completely inept without at least one.

Forty states now offer virtual classes for k-12, and many of them are requiring public school students to take at least one online course during their tenure, according to a study done by the National Education Policy Center.

"Virtual schools will clearly be taking a larger role in public education, and it is important that state and federal governments ensure that they are high-quality," wrote Valerie Strauss in the Washington Post. "There are some high-quality cyber schools, so there are models out there with practices that can be replicated."

Public schools aren't the only thing in education going digital of course. The online movement has been gaining steam for awhile at the university level, and college presidents seem to be the most satisfied with it.

Fifty-one percent of college presidents agreed that online classes provide the same value as traditional ones in a classroom, according to a study done by the Pew Research Center.

At UVU, increased online classes have allowed for increased enrollment. The university recently surpassed University of Utah as the college or university with the largest enrollment in Utah, as indicated by Higher Ed Utah.

The state of Utah has also increased the amount of online instruction used in public schools.

Digital Learning Now ranked Utah as No. 1, tying with Wyoming, for the most qualifying aspects of digital learning. This means Utah teachers used computers and technology more in their daily curriculum and employed it more successfully than other states, according to the qualifications tracked.

The internet is also changing how students study for any subject. Sites like quizlet.com provides more than seven million sets of flashcards on any subject or other options like blackboard where students and teachers can interact on the web make for a new and modern take on education.

One of the most popular online resources is Grockit.com, a social media site that helps group students from nearly 170 countries to make the study group a more effective tool of learning.

"Traditionally, you've had to be in the same place as your study group," Roy Gilbert, CEO of Grockit.com told the U.S. and News and World Report. "With Grockit, a student from Texas can study with a student from India."

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