Giving Every Student a Digital Learning Experience

By 11/08/2011

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The times are changing. Web designers and software developers aren’t the only ones plugging in to work. Today, you’d be hard pressed to find a challenging, high-wage job that doesn’t require a basic understanding of technology. Nearly everyone in our 21st century workforce – doctors, librarians, mechanics, and teachers to name a few – uses and interacts with varying degrees of technology on a daily basis.

To get those challenging, high-wage jobs, today’s students are going to need college courses, vocational certification, or job training, many of which will be offered virtually. For perspective, nearly 30% of college and university total enrollment is online enrollment.

Schools must equip students with the knowledge and skills they will need for future success, and today that means using a technology-inclusive education. Yet less than 10 percent of our nation’s students are benefiting from digital learning.

Thankfully, state leaders are recognizing the power of digital learning and the impact it has on students’ future success. Michigan and Alabama were the first states to require an online learning experience in order to graduate high school. New Mexico requires students to either take an online course, a dual-enrolled course or an Advanced Placement course in order to graduate high school. This year, Florida passed an online course requirement.

Because of the leadership of Governor Otter and Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna, Idaho is the latest state in a nationwide movement to use technology to prepare students to achieve in and outside of the classroom. By requiring students to take at least two credits online to graduate, the state is arming its kids with the knowledge and skills they will need to thrive in our increasingly digital world.

Equipping every student with a personalized digital learning experience is a must in today’s digitally-driven society. Digital learning can customize education with high expectations and ensure that all students graduate from high school with the knowledge and skills to succeed in college and careers. It leverages the power of technology to give students the ability to learn in their own style, at their own pace, providing all students the opportunity to achieve

Idaho’s actions are trailblazing a path of bold reforms that make systemic changes in education and extend customized digital learning to all students.

-Jeb Bush

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