Foundation for Excellence in Education, Digital Learning Now!, (Foundation for Excellence in Education, December 1, 2010).Education Summit in D.C. Fuels High-Tech Ideas for Reform, Huffington Post, December 2, 2010.
Over the past decade, digital learning at the K-12 level has exploded—from a national enrollment of 40,000-50,000 in 2000 to an estimated 3 million in 2010. And this trend line is sure to get steeper, way steeper, in coming years. But what sort of policy environment will greet this development, which cannot be stopped but can surely be bungled? This week, the Digital Learning Council (chaired by former governors Jeb Bush and Bob Wise—and shepherded by Tom Vander Ark) released policy recommendations for the future of virtual and hybrid education in America’s K-12 classrooms, in conjunction with the Foundation for Excellence in Education’s high-profile, well-attended and generally first-rate national summit. This manifesto highlights ten elements of high-quality digital learning that every state should put into place. These non-negotiables include access to digital learning from multiple, high-quality providers and customizable content for all students. Although it stays at the 30,000 foot level, the paper’s release at the FEE summit has quickly put it in the hands of governors, state education secretaries, school superintendents, and a myriad of other folks in attendance—including Secretary Duncan. And the Council (and FEE) will be back in October with a scorecard on how states are doing in relation to these recommendations. Up, up, and away!