“Life is difficult” — M. Scott Peck

Opening with the famous first sentence of The Road Less Traveled, Tom Vander Ark spoke to an audience of superintendents, administrators and teacher’s this morning in Oklahoma City, OK at Innovation 2011.

During his speech, Tom acknowledged that its been a tough year to be in education and focused on blended learning and the pivot to digital learning as a way to improve schools in Oklahoma. Through customization, motivation, and equalization he hopes all students will have access to quality education anywhere and anytime. Tom highlighted models around the country like Carpe Diem, that both he and Barresi were fortunate to visit a few months ago. Carpe Diem is serving hundreds of students with six stellar teachers in a modern blended learning setting. Tom also gave an overview of Digital Learning Now and the 10 Elements of Digital Learning, a blueprint for policy makers to ensure that every student is a digital learner.

Prior to Tom’s speech the 12 finalists for Oklahoma Teacher of the Year were acknowledged on stage by Superintendent Janet Barresi.

Check out Wesley Fryer’s blog for a full recap of Tom’s speech. Search the hashtag #Innov8 on Twitter to read what others are saying about the conference.


  1. Many thanks to Tom Vander Ark for a wonderful keynote to the Innovation 2011 event. We hope it inspired many in our state and questioned old paradigms. Thanks again!


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