Education leaders, policymakers, business leaders, educators, and non-profit and community-based organizations discussed the public perception of U.S. public education at an event today, hosted by Lumina Foundation and Gallup, following the release of the 2011 PDK/Gallup poll results.

The event brought to light encouragement and questions around an increased use of digital learning tools in the classroom. Robust conversations regarding content and quality, teachers’ roles and blended environments took place at the event as well as online.

Former Governor Bob Wise and Tom Vander Ark spoke about the nation’s support for digital learning, pointing to the poll result that stated “91% believe that providing all students with access to the Internet is important.”

The speakers touched on ways that we can integrate more online and blended learning into educational designs. They also answered questions from the audience around teacher involvement, quality of online sources, learning environments, integration designs and digital strategy.

Vander Ark spoke optimistically talked about the ways technology and digital learning can transform students’ college preparations and teachers’ teaching methods in the classroom. Yet, it takes new digital learning policies and initiatives to bring these great tools to the hands of students and educators.

The 10 Elements of Digital Learning by Digital Learning Now! on www.DigitalLearningNow.com target barriers to current policies today like seat time, says Vander Ark. In response to current seat time policies, Wise asks, why do we measure our children by whether or not they sat in a 180-day class when we don’t require those same standards in other results or products.

In the near future, we’ll see breakthroughs in smart search engines, assessment data and behavioral data in the future, says Vander Ark. Wise adds that the digital process can help develop better assessment data. The goal isn’t simply to increase technology, Wise says, “You have to have good teaching in order for the technology to be effective too.”

View the “Public Perception of the U.S. Education” below:

Video streaming by Ustream

Click here to view the video recording of the event on UStream.

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