Inventing the Future: VSS Day One

I took over as chair of  iNACOL today.  Here’s my welcome to members:

We are living through pivotal times.  Over the next few year, the centuries old model of age-cohorts slogging through print will give way to personal digital learning.  iNACOL member are leading the historic pivot by piloting competency-based personalized learning.  You are not just creating valuable options for students today, you are paving the path for education tomorrow.  You are advancing American education and building solutions that will change the world.

Right in front of us is the opportunity to extend access to high quality secondary education to 500 million students. Low cost blends will connect students to college and careers, and extend prosperity to millions.
iNACOL made substantial contributions to advocacy  (testifying in 15 states) and thought leadership (e.g., competency-based edu paper) this year.  I’m proud to work with director Susan Patrick and the iNACOL board and represent you–the people  inventing the future of learning.

This is the 10th Virtual School Symposium and it’s bigger and better than ever.  Over 1800 attendees will see exhibit highlights:
Presence Telecare (online speech therapy) and Rethink Autism give me confidence that online learning will lead to special needs breakthroughs.
Pearson put on great reception, K12 and Aventa had big booths, Connections was well represented (discl: venture & advocacy partners).  I visited with Blackboard and recent acquisitions Elluminate & Wimba.  Florida Virtual was out in force.
Lots of conversation about moving beyond flat and sequential first gen content and moving to engaging and adaptive components on a social learning platform; good buzz about Edmodo (discl: former director).

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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1 Comment


Good seeing you at VSS Sunday. Just a note that our company is RETHINK AUTISM (, not Rethinking Autism. The latter is a site that we have no connection with and do not endorse.
All the best,
Daniel Etra
Rethink Autism

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