Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Future of Online Learning

Big fan of Michael Horn and received the following email from them - definintely worth a read:

"Over the past two years, we have published a series of case studies about the fast-growing field of online learning in K-12 education. The case studies shed light on some of the challenges states and school districts nationwide are facing in their quest to implement online learning.In a policy brief released today, "Moving from inputs to outputs to outcomes: The future of education policy," we summarize the findings from the case studies to reveal some policy recommendations for states and districts to implement online learning most effectively.

Our major finding is that policymakers have largely failed to create legislation that rewards systems, providers, and operators for successful student performance. Instead, policymakers too often focus on input measures, such as seat-time, student-to-teacher-ratios, and teacher-certification requirements. This inhibits innovation and diminishes the transformative promise of online learning.

The policy brief exposes a few key actions policymakers must take to allow online learning to unlock a path toward the creation of a high-quality student-centric education system. A few examples include: paying online providers for student performance; giving school operators control over budgets and how they allocate dollars; and allowing students to demonstrate competency through assessments, portfolios, or other means anytime they complete a course, not just at limited fixed times throughout the year.

Managing this policy shift will challenge our assumptions about what education looks like and how it happens. But with the emerging world of digital learning, the potential to reinvent and reinvigorate the country’s education system and better serve each and every student has never been brighter."