Keeping Up With the Digital Learning Curve

Former governors Jeb Bush (Florida) and Bob Wise (West Virginia) are the architects behind the Digitial Learning Council. The goal is to help legislators and policymakers make their way down the new and changing path of learning opportunities — including advanced technologies in traditional settings, online and virtual courses and more.

The Council released an informative report last week that focuses on quality and opportunity. It can be found here. The Fordham Institute provides some brief analysis.

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?

The Digital Learning Council has 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 10 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!