My first job out of college took me to the coalfields of southwestern Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh was just starting to rebound from the loss of thousands of steel jobs. The universities played a pivotal role in the development of a new economy based on technology, finance, and health jobs.

Online learning can expand student (and staff) options, grow enrollment, and power blended learning. It shares many critical success factors with traditional education, but different enough that you need to do your homework and develop a good plan. Following is a 10 point district/network guide to online learning.

Nexus Academy, supported by Connections Learning, is a personalized competency-based environment--a great example of a flex blend with lots of extra features. It's worth a visit.

Hey, how about some good news from Detroit? As noted recently, education in Detroit is coming out of the tailspin. There are some very good schools serving high need populations and it rivals the Bay Area for innovations in blended learning.

"We want people to be perplexed--to embrace the paradox of starting new schools," said Larry Rosenstock in the opening to the A+ Urban High School Summit in Denver Wednesday.

How to help more students graduate ready for college and careers? We're exploring the perennial question at the A+ Urban High School Summit in Denver.

Sprawling across a desert valley, Phoenix is the opposite of Boston in many ways--the streets are straight, just about everything was built in the last generation, and there are not a handful of storied institutions of higher learning.

It took 30 years from the first shots of the American revolution to an operating constitution of these United States. Michael Moe, in his keynote at ASU/GSV Education Innovation Summit, noted that it has been 30 years since A Nation at Risk--and a lot has happened since then. It's clear that the revolution in learning is here. As one example, Moe noted the traction of new tools: Dreambox taught 65 million lessons last year; Edmodo serves 18.7 million users; 2U delivered 1,146 courses every week last year; Knewton had 5,000 users last year, 5 million this ...

Money matters. The way districts and states fund schools influences leadership behaviors. We need to create funding systems that encourage innovation, power options, and promote achievement.

Bart Peterson took office as mayor of Indianapolis in 2000 and quickly won the right to authorize charter schools--the first mayor in the country with that authority. That caught my attention in 2001, so I visited the mayor and his talented aides David Harris and Ellen Quigley.

The opinions expressed in Vander Ark on Innovation are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

Follow This Blog


Most Viewed on Education Week



Recent Comments