Strong states and common expectations are fundamental to the future of K-12 education in America. New tools create the opportunity for new schools; standards and states are the framework for quality at scale.
"We believe there's been a lack of transformative innovation in K-12," according to Joel Rose, founder of nonprofit New Classrooms. His website proposes, "an alternate credible vision for what's possible in schools."
It was a visit to Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto that inspired Scott Ellis to "really dive into blended learning." The math class using Khan Academy also impressed 60 Minutes (here's a short video description). Scott had five important observations.
The Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education commissioned the Brightlines team led by Sir Michael Barber to consider the future of education in Massachusetts. The New Opportunity to Lead is a comprehensive 120-page report that sets out an agenda for the next 20 years, beyond the Common Core and standards-based reform.
A former governor and an ed school dean met in a bar...they discussed the seeming incompatibility of digital learning with differentiated instruction and the scripted curricula mandated by many school districts.
Recognizing that "a video library probably won't change practice," Pat Wasley set out to make Teaching Channel (Tch) an interactive community. The former dean of the University of Washington College of Education turned edupreneur took over the Oakland nonprofit two years ago.
The Mooresville Graded School District recently adopted requirements for four large scale multimedia projects in 3rd, 6th, 8th and 12th grade. Beginning next year, students would add products from these projects to their digital portfolio.
The nation's digital learning health is improving. A new report card out today shows that 473 bills were introduced last year and 132 were enacted resulting in 22 states improving their grade on the 2013 Digital Learning Report Cards.
Formal education (P-20) doesn't change much. Compared to other sectors, there is little innovation and weak innovation diffusion. There are at least a dozen reasons for the stasis.
It's a big bustling conference stretching over four days with with lots of hangouts, receptions, and announcements. It's not mission-focused and coherent (e.g., better blended and online learning) like an iNACOL event; there's a stronger startup culture than at an ISTE event; there are more teachers than at ASU, but some of it (i.e., keynote choices) like Austin, were just weird. Oh, and it was cold, like freezing rain cold.