Guest blogger Paul T. Hill is the director of the Center on Reinventing Public Education and the author of a recent paper in Fordham’s Creating Sound Policy for Digital Learning series, “School Finance in the Digital-Learning Era.”
have long regaled us with predictions about technology dramatically
improving education by giving millions more students access to the very
best teachers and deploying computer-based systems that allow them to
learn at their own pace at whatever time and place works best for them.
This vision is now becoming a reality, partly because tight budgets are
forcing K-12 schools to employ fewer teachers and boost the productivity
of those who remain.
Saving money is only part of technology’s educational potential,
however. More important is individualization and rapid adaptation to
what a student is learning, leading to the possibility of greater and
more consistent growth. Managing equipment, web links and vendor
contracts is also far nimbler than re-organizing people.
All this potential notwithstanding, however, plenty of policy and
structural barriers stand in the way of widespread...