Digital Learning Discussion

The Digital Learning Council is on track to deliver a policy framework for the future of education on 11/30 at the Excel in Ed confererence.
Today, the Executive Committee discussed the various ways that states and districts block access to online learning: complicated approval processes, scheduling requirements, restricted options, and requirements for prior year enrollment.  States also don’t approve virtual charters or limit their reach by district/county or enrollment.  I’d be in favor of limiting the size of traditional schools, but it’s crazy to limit the size of online schools—there’s only one agenda there, and it’s not about student success.
The DLC wants to get digital content provisions right including extending access to open content, protecting IP rights for content developers (nonprofit & for-profit), and encouraging states to use buying power for digital licenses.
The DLC will encourage states to adopt online assessment and is likely to suggest that colleges include online instruction in all teacher preparation programs.
School funding is complicated and online learning pushes for standardization by states.  One way to end inequity and facilitate choice to the course level is for states to adopt a weighted equalized funding formula.

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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