Online learning news & views

1. Met the management team of Provost last week and was impressed with their plans. They’re the first 2nd gen virtual provider that I know—they’re developing their content as learning objects with the ability to customize the curriculum for each learner by level and modality. Also like how they’re thinking about schools that blend online/onsite. Edison bough Provost a year ago and together they negotiated a statewide charter in SC that opened last week.

2. Tom Benton, Hope College (sister is alum) makes thoughtful suggestions for his higher ed colleagues

3. The Florida online free-for-all is resulting in an interesting competition. Kaplan recently signed up three districts including Miami Dade.

4. This WaPo article makes a common mistake rear view mirror prediction,

The typical 2030 faculty will likely be a collection of adjuncts alone in their apartments, using recycled syllabuses and administering multiple-choice tests from afar.

This leads to a bizarre conclusion that we should spend even more on higher ed

But unless we make a strong commitment to even greater funding of higher education, the institutions that have allowed for academic freedom, communal learning, unpressured research and intellectual risk-taking are themselves at risk.

Online learning will transform how and where learning takes place—it will be better and cheaper than it is today. And let’s hope that by 2030 we’re at least 15 years past multiple choice tests.

5. Meanwhile informal learning explodes, see EduFire for example.

Tom Vander Ark

Tom Vander Ark is the CEO of Getting Smart. He has written or co-authored more than 50 books and papers including Getting Smart, Smart Cities, Smart Parents, Better Together, The Power of Place and Difference Making. He served as a public school superintendent and the first Executive Director of Education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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