The historic pivot to digital learning will occur on August 20, 2012—mark your calendar.  A bunch of new schools, some districts and a handful of pilot programs will join Maine in August 2011, but a large number (dare we say tipping point) of states will make the shift to high access environments that make predominant use of digital content and assessment for the 2012-13 school year.  This will give them a year or two head start on the new RttT Core-aligned assessments.  This stake was placed in the ground during the opening keynote at the State EdTech Directors Association (SETDA) today (by yours truly).

Over the weekend I sketched out how U.S. Education will adopt online and blended learning over the next 10 years.  Thanks for your comments and constructive follow up conversations.

To recap, learning at home (homeschooling + full time virtual charters) will grow to almost 5m students, close to 10%.  It will plateau there because most families appreciate the custodial nature of a place called school and most kids appreciate (most of) the social aspect of school.

New and converted charters will serve at least 3m (2x today), maybe 4m or more if a couple chains can figure out how to scale.  This is entirely possible because, as Rocketship is demonstrating, blended models have the potential to work better and cost less than traditional models making them far more scalable.

At least 5m students will take advantage of online courses on a part time basis (I’m thinking of this as the DIY blend as opposed to district-led efforts below).

The big assumption in my forecast is that about one quarter of district schools with at least 17m kids will adopt blended mode