After the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the city of New Orleans still struggles to rebuild. In this time of change, many students ready to continue their education are making the jump to distance learning. Before Hurricane Katrina, education in New Orleans was already in trouble. Dropout rates in the high schools were the seventh-highest in the nation, and 75% of eighth graders failed to reach basic English proficiency. When many of those schools were destroyed, students found themselves turning to eLearning institutions to continue their education.
Distance Learning at Any Level
The aftermath of the storm was devastating, but some in the education community saw a silver lining in the tragedy–the ability to start from scratch and create a better educational system. The North American Council for Online Learning notes that since Katrina, students who cannot return to their schools at home are often turning to eLearning to continue their education from a distance.More than 1,700 New Orleans college students enrolled in eLearning courses this year, choosing to continue their education online. Many of them discovered distance learning for the first time, attending classes on computers across the country.
Hurricane Katrina and Education Online
While families are still working to clean up and rebuild after Hurricane Katrina, distance learning is becoming an important part of the landscape. For displaced students in high school and college, distance learning is a necessity while their schools rebuild. In New Orleans and around the world, distance learning gives students in troubled or poverty-stricken communities an opportunity to complete an education. For displaced students, it saves building costs and lets them continue their training when they have to be away from home. Distance learning gives students the opportunity to pursue their dreams as they put their lives back together.