We Made Some Progress: 2010 in Review

Team Obama/Duncan get high marks for their first two years with the most edReform progress ever in a 24 month period; the next two years will be less productive.
The Vander Ark/Ratcliff team spent the last half of the year supporting the development of the Digital Learning Now report. This report, and ongoing advocacy efforts, will help to shape American education in the decade to come.
With a lot of help from a dozen friends, my favorite blog project of the year was the The Pivot to Digital Learning: 40 Predictions for the next 1, 5, and 10 years (also posted by EdNet).
Another big December story was Union Square’s investment in Edmodo (a Learn Capital portfolio company).  With more than one million students on Edmodo, it is the breakthrough platform that marks the end of the first generation of flat and sequential online learning and the beginning of engaging, adaptive, and personal digital learning.
In response to all the teacher quality activity, I asked Why Solve Old Problems When New Problems are Easier? This case for more productive schools that incorporate online learning was one of a couple dozen blogs on blended learning including Blend don’t Cram, 10 High School Models, How the US will Blend, and a couple stories on Rocketship.
There have been a couple higher ed pieces at edReformer,  including this one suggesting that Colleges are losing their ROI; it features Western Governors University; and so does this short follow up. And a end of the year short on P2P learning.
Joel Klein had a great run in NYC; he worked hard to enact the good school promise.  We’ll both focus on learning platforms in the new year.  The year past will go down as the year of the tablet and the end of the book; it’s time to ditch textbooks and go online.
I wrote a book about digital learning during the second half of the year (out next summer); a focal point is the 3×5 revolution and the 10 shifts that change everything. A May post suggests that there are 5 great reforms: goals, time, choice, money and employment—we made progress on all 5 this year.
Millions of people interacted with edreform stories through a handful of powerful documentaries, Oprah, NBC’s Education Nation, EdWeek Blogs, and better edu coverage from WSJ, NYT, LA Times.
The edReformer team would like to thank all the guest bloggers and contributors.  Bryan Setser had 18 great blogs including the last one on Digital Learning CFOs.  Chad Sensing wrote 8 blogs, Tara Thean wrote 5, Andrew Miller contributed 3.  We appreciate the edequality news clips that we repost from our friends at Education Equality Project.
Happy New Year!

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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