We started this blog five years ago and have posted more than 4,000 blogs–and we’re getting closer to figuring out what this site is about. There is an underlying premise to this blog, you could almost call it a theory of change (as my friends at Bridgespan would say):

  1. Excellence and equity in education is the most important issue for the American economy and society; even more so for developing economies.
  2. Expanding access to high quality learning experiences requires innovation particularly new learning tools and formats.
  3. Learning online holds great promise for improved productivity and expanded access; new school formats that blend online learning and onsite support and application have the potential to prepare more kids for the idea economy.
  4. Blended learning environments leverage great teachers and improve working conditions and career options.
  5. Producing and scaling innovation requires focused investment suggesting an important and complementary role for the private sector; most important advances will be the result of public-private partnerships.
  6. Expanding opportunities for education entrepreneurs and the ability to approach old problems in new ways requires more sophisticated advocacy, particularly the use of new media to amplify impact.
  7. Occasionally, other sources of media provide analogy, insight or inspiration (i.e., serendipity).
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Tom Vander Ark is author of Difference Making at the Heart of Learning, The Power of Place, Better Together, Smart Parents, Smart Cities and Getting Smart. He is co-founder of Getting Smart and Learn Capital and serves on the boards of Education Board Partners, 4.0 Schools, Digital Learning Institute, Latinx Education Collaborative, Mastery Transcript Consortium and eduInnovation. Follow Tom on Twitter, @tvanderark.

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