Michael B. Horn
School networks AltSchool and Summit are betting on a breakthrough
Is one-third computer time about right?
Combinations of private, blended, and at-home schooling meet needs of individual students
Unlocking opportunities or substandard learning?
States legislatures scramble to boost, or in some cases block, online learning
If 2012 was the year of MOOCs (massive open online courses) in higher education, then the flipped classroom was the innovation of the year for K–12 schools.
Education Next talks with Chester E. Finn, Jr., and Michael B. Horn
Part 2 of a forum on whether digital learning can transform education
Might it be “social learning”?
State planning is key to progress
Use technologies that compete against nothing
An increasing number of regions are trying to create concentrated groups of blended-learning schools alongside education technology companies
The full-time virtual charter schools that care about quality need to band together and create a membership organization and take responsibility for their industry’s results.
A big challenge with blended learning is knowing how many students are actually experiencing it. A new report tackles this problem in the state of Ohio.
A significant focus in my next stage of life will be to work with a portfolio of education companies in a variety of board and advisory roles to help shape the future of education in ways that I could not as executive director.
Micro-schools have the potential to transform the independent schooling landscape—and threaten existing independent schools in the process
American schools don’t expect youth to be responsible for themselves or their learning. Finnish schools are different.
Julie Young’s new venture offers international students the opportunity to earn a dual diploma from their native country and from a U.S. accredited high school through virtual learning.
The fierce debate over the privacy of student data often risks preventing students from benefiting from the enormous breakthroughs that technology makes possible in 21st century schools.
As technology transforms society in the years ahead, it’s critical that our education system keeps pace.
The skills teachers need to be successful are changing and our current institutions that prepare and train teachers are woefully unprepared to support the shift.
To help school districts implement blended learning, we need to amplify the stories of places that are doing it right—and push districts to get more rigorous.
To call attention to some district schools that have adopted blended learning and boosted student outcomes, here are profiles of six schools.
There are plenty of district schools that have adopted blended learning and boosted student outcomes.
Match Beyond combines College for America, the disruptive, online university, with a relatively new college and jobs services division of Match Education, a charter management organization.
Technology can help us redesign schools to allow students to have far more meaningful face-to-face interactions with teachers and peers
No, this isn’t another piece about how online learning can allow students to continue to learn even when school is canceled because of snow.
The two innovators still have a significant amount of work ahead, but their moves are pointing in the right direction.
A few scattered predictions from around the world of education about what we might see.
A new report ranks which countries get the best bang, in terms of student outcomes, for the government buck.
The online training program’s diverse assessment system and its flexibility should help us move toward a competency-based learning system in which time is variable but learning is constant.
inBloom, a non-profit that offered a data warehouse solution designed to help public schools embrace the promise of personalized learning, collapsed and has ceased to exist, as privacy concerns from interested parties mounted over a period of many months
Is KIPP falling prey to the classic innovator’s dilemma by not deploying disruptive innovations?
What happens when reformers try to use blended learning in a disruptive way in the hardest-to-serve parts of Detroit?
A growing number of examples show that used well, blended learning—and hence education technology—can help boost student achievement in both charter and district school settings.
We need more opportunities for education leaders to help their peers with solutions to the problems and barriers they confront as they move toward blended learning.
Barbara helped create the K–12 online-learning movement, a powerful disruptive force that has the potential to create a more personalized and equitable education system that is student-centered so that all students can succeed.
Course Access is still a new policy, but for many students, no matter where they live or what school they attend, it will give them a significantly greater chance to fulfill their potential.
In Korea, where popular teachers become millionaires by broadcasting their lectures online, schools and families are only very slowly warming up to other kinds of online learning.
Disrupting our K–12 schools or our public school districts is impossible today because there is no nonconsumption of education in this country, but helping our schools use disruptive innovation to disrupt the classroom—the way they arrange teaching and learning—is possible.
The main reason personalized learning is needed is that each student learns at a different pace and each student’s pace tends to vary based on the subject or even concept one is learning.
“Course choice’ policies give K–12 students the option of taking courses from a range of providers, often but not always online, and public dollars follow students to the chosen course.
Moving to a student-centered, blended-learning environment is tricky. A new video “course” on blended learning shows how it can be done.
What is the NCAA objecting to that California, land of input-based regulation for schools, isn’t?
In my travels throughout Korea, in virtually every meeting I heard a variation of the same theme. “Why does President Obama think that Korean schools are good?”
Meister High Schools are converted vocational schools that partner with companies in specific industries to create educational experiences tailored to the needs of the workforce.
Can Korea maintain its educational edge if it does not change its public education system into a student-centered one that can personalize learning for each child’s different learning needs and be intrinsically motivating?
The most natural places for educational disruptive innovations to take root are in emerging markets and developing countries.
Julie Young’s guiding vision for the Florida Virtual School (FLVS) began in 1996 as she wrote the word “student” at the center of a piece of paper and then asked a series of questions of the team gathered around her. What could school look like if the student was at the center?
Critics often accuse school reformers of “privatizing” public education. When for-profits enter the conversation, those same critics level more serious charges and often accuse those companies of having one motive: making money off of the backs of kids.
Education Elements is one of the few entities helping schools do the most basic work of implementing blended learning into traditional classrooms.
Personalized-learning models powered by technology posted more promising gains in the 2012-13 school year, according to a recently released Columbia Teachers College study.
The move to blended learning matters because learning science has long told us that students learn at different paces, have different working memory capacities, and possess different background knowledge when they enter a learning experience.
Kung Fu offers an interesting example of a system of mastery-based learning: enabling students to learn at their own pace and advance as they master content, rather than moving forward based on time requirements.
Will digital learning fulfill its potential to create a student-centered education system? The actions of state legislatures will inevitably shape part of the answer.
Stating whether an organization is for-profit or non-profit says little about whether it is doing good things for students.
I’m excited to see many more blended-learning programs funded that don’t only provide online experiences but also project-based learning experiences as a central part of what they do.
Too often in the edtech world, people claim technology would have impact if only we paid for professional development alongside it.
Those who fear that the emergence of technology will replace teachers have their worries misplaced.
How — and how much — will online learning grow?
When Disrupting Class hit the bookstores five years ago, it contained a prediction that stunned many: by 2019, we said, 50 percent of all high school courses would be delivered online in some form or fashion.
Analyzing blended learning through the lens of disruptive innovation theory will help people anticipate and plan for its likely effects on the classrooms of today and schools of tomorrow.
Will we still need teachers as digital learning rises?
All too often, products and services in the education market are not informed by what we know about learning.
As schools across the country adopt blended-learning models, a few clear trends are settling in, and some groups continue to help schools push the design envelope on what’s possible for students.
As Sal Khan explained how his team is setting up its network, it reminded me that those who are discounting the long-term value of entities such as the Khan Academy and Knewton may be making a significant mistake.
With the rapid growth in online and mobile learning, students everywhere at all levels are increasingly having educational choices.
Digital learning is tailor made for the purpose of intrinsically motivating all students.
Common Core creates a huge opportunity for innovation and personalization and the implementation of a competency-based learning system.
At the outset of any industry, the technology tends to be immature and not yet good enough for the majority of users.
Student-centric digital learning provides a means to make sure that physical exercise doesn’t fall by the wayside
Two developments this week signal that funders are pushing personalized learning and innovation forward in schools—and both herald promising things for improving education in this country.
As innovation increases in education in the years ahead, the way we prepare some teachers may need to change as well.
The Department of Education’s latest foray into digital learning is a big deal.
All too often advocates for education technology have extolled its benefits without recognizing that technology alone will not transform education.
Just because an experience is online or blended does not make it necessarily good or bad.
Teach Like a Champion’s techniques may work, but many of them may be irrelevant for the jobs of teachers in the future
States are right to be concerned about how to best regulate virtual charter schools, but blocking or delaying the option of full-time online schooling isn’t the right tact to take.
It is exciting to see a foundation step up and take some risks to reinvent learning to create dramatically better and lower-cost learning experiences for all students.
We hope that Race to the Top-District competition encourages substantive student-centered reform, and in order to ensure this clear purpose we have a few suggested revisions.
In the wake of Steve Jobs’ passing, many wrote about the statements he made throughout his adult life about how to improve the U.S. education system. Some noted that for much of Jobs’s life, he had, ironically perhaps, been skeptical of the positive impact technology could make on education.
Having taken an extended vacation the past few weeks, I returned to the United States to see that the pace of innovation in education is continuing at a breakneck pace
The lessons from disruptive innovation suggest that these technologies may never be as good as the absolute best human tutor, but they will be plenty close.
A bill introduced to fix the state’s funding problems of online learning in a way that would strengthen students’ ability to tailor an education for their unique needs will now do the exact opposite.
A month has passed since the first-ever national Digital Learning Day. Given the excitement generated from teachers and others tuning in to the National Town Hall meeting and given today’s National Leadership Summit on Online Learning up on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. that iNACOL sponsored, I thought it was worth noting some great examples that weren’t highlighted during the day’s festivities.
The political incentives to create high-quality assessments aren’t particularly strong, so having philanthropists invest dollars to create these assessments and continue to push innovation is critical.
Imposing a new funding model on top of the existing business typically doesn’t work. Instead management needs to create an autonomous organization that can craft its new business model from scratch as the innovation demands–serious business model innovation.
It’s an embarrassment that California, the state that led the technology revolution in America, is, according to Digital Learning Now, last in the nation in using technology to transform its education system from its current factory-model roots into a student-centric one.
For someone who advocates for a transformed student-centric education system powered by digital learning, you might think my quick answer would be an emphatic yes, but I’m not so sure.
Bror Saxberg, the chief learning officer of Kaplan, Inc., is a man for whom I have great respect. Whenever I have a question about the science behind learning, he is the first person I turn to. He verses himself in the latest in cognitive and neuroscience research and applies his multiple degrees to great use.
An investigation of Colorado’s full-time virtual schools has revealed some dubious results and practices, which led the state’s Senate President to call for an emergency audit of all of Colorado’s virtual schools. But the state shouldn’t be shocked by the report. As the truism goes, you get what you pay for.
Innosight Institute joined the NewSchools Venture Fund and Education Elements in releasing a K-12 education technology market map at The Philanthropy Roundtable’s K-12 Education conference in San Francisco October 12, 2011.
ImagineK12, an incubator modeled after Y Combinator to help education startups “get it right and get funded,” held its first demo day for its first cohort of 10 companies Sept. 9 in Palo Alto.
People should not take from the New York Times article that technology will not be a significant part of the answer for the struggles of the country’s education system. It will likely be the very platform for it.
An article by Katie Ash in Education Week about a new report by the investment bank, Berkery Noyes, caught my eye recently because of its analysis about the education technology market. According to the piece, “companies focused on technology-based instruction and tools for data collection and analysis are thriving in the K-12 market.”
At the end of July, the Fordham Institute launched an important new series to examine how to create healthy policy for the emergent and disruptive force of digital learning that is sweeping through our education system.
Teachers will be critical to our nation’s future in a world of digital learning—and if we do this right, they should not just be different, but they should also be a whole lot better, as it liberates them in many exciting ways.
A strong majority of already-active parents over time will demand a digital learning-powered system that disrupts the classroom as we’ve known it.
One way to unlock innovation in our school system and help it transform into a student-centric one is to get out of our own way and eliminate disincentives. But waiting for superheroes across the country to ignore them is not a sound strategy.
Across America a skyrocketing number of K-12 students are getting their education in blended-learning environments. Over 4 million K-12 students took at least one online course in 2010 and this space is growing now by a five-year compound annual growth rate of 43 percent.
President Obama’s 2012 budget proposes to create an Advanced Research Projects Agency for Education—also known as ARPA-ED—to address what the administration says is an under-investment in learning technology. Creating agencies to spark innovation modeled on the “best practices” of DARPA may very well fail, not because they are implemented unfaithfully, but because the circumstances in which each operate are starkly different.
This bubble might not fit the technical definition of the term but it has some elements of that, as well as a few others that should give all of us at least some pause.
An audio excerpt from “Disrupting Class” by Clayton M. Christensen, Michael B. Horn & Curtis W. Johnson
Sign Up To Receive Notification
when the latest issue of Education Next is posted
In the meantime check the site regularly for new articles, blog postings, and reader comments