The Way of the Future: Digital Learning Now!

(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)

The Digital Learning Council, led by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and former West Virginia Governor Bob Wise, released a blueprint on online learning today at Jebfest the Foundation for Excellence in Education summit in DC. The summit was a smashing success more than doubled the attendance from last year, with lawmakers, educators, activists and state superintendents from 34 states.

I have read the blueprint and think lays out a great vision for the transformation of learning. My only suggestion is that digital learning enthusiasts need to put greater emphasis on transforming private school models though technology.

If organizations were able to proliferate a number of high-quality/low-cost private schools based, with technology helping to keep costs down, I’m guessing we would see a more rapid pace of change in the public sector as well. To be sure, there are plenty of other things that already make this urgent, such as state bankruptcy and enormous educational deficits, but some healthy competition can only help matters.

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3 Responses to The Way of the Future: Digital Learning Now!

  1. MOMwithAbrain says:

    My kids have always been in private schools. I pay tuition, I prefer a teacher teach them. If I wanted them to learn via a computer, I’d hire a computer to teach them.

    Technology can be a useful tool but it has also been a crutch (eg…calculators)

    Looks like computors are going to replace teachers! Now can we have our tax dollars back?

    • Daniel Earley says:

      Your sentiments on this represent a good share of the parent marketplace. From interviews I’ve conducted with schools and parents, what I see emerging in the private sector is variety of hybrid models. Rather than replace teachers entirely, technology will be used to supplement instruction delivery, but only when it is well suited. The spectrum of time divisions between brick and mortar vs. digital will be quite broad. As delivery models evolve in the private sector, as Matt suggests, it will have a disruptive effect on the public sector as well. There will be little reason to protest though, since you’ll always be able to find a mix that matches your needs, at least after the models mature a bit. This is already beginning to happen in higher ed. Either way, whether in our generation or the next, variations of this shift are inevitable.

  2. Patrick says:

    Nevada state law grants power to the Nevada State Board of Education to regulate private schools.

    They regulate the minimum square footage per student, require no more than 35 students per full time teacher. Require 2 teachers if you have less than 35 students and require a licensed teacher and licensed administrator if you have over 250 full time students. Then there are dozens of reports you have to fill out each year and return to the state as well as fill out the paperwork for private school licensing renewal ever 2 years.

    There are a few loopholes I’m seeing, but the state controls everything regarding education. I’m not surprised as to why Nevada has so few private and charter schools.

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