Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Making Digital Learning Easier

Much has been written on how to improve education in the United States.  One improvement suggested is to offer students a blended learning environment which I wrote about last November - ED: Blended Learning Helps Boost Achievement.   From this post Susan Patrick, president and CEO of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning stated, “the advantage of online or blended learning over face-to-face instruction alone ‘is the combination of rich student-teacher-peer communication and interactions that are both asynchronous and synchronous, better utilizing the precious resource of time during, and outside, the school day to maximize learning--and personalize it in a way never before possible.’”

In the latest issue of eSchool News, January 2011 I read about the "10 Elements of High-Quality Digital Learning".  The Digital Learning Council (DLC) led by two former governors, Bob Wise of West Virginia and Jed Bush of Florida, want to see two barriers removed form digital learning: the school funding formulas and seat-time requirements.  In December 2010 the DLC released a blueprint of how digital learning can transform education and Wise stated that "students today are living in a digital age, and they are learning digitally everywhere except for school." 

Susan Patrick believes that education can be improved by using blended learning to provide live teaching "and a variety of technological tool, including online learning, to educate students."  Lisa Gillis, project director of DLC states, students can ... learn at their own pace, and the curriculum can adapt on a lesson-by-lesson basis" because students can be assessed as they finish each lesson and not progress until ataining mastery. 

The DLC introduced these "10 Elements of High Quality Digital Learning."
  1. Student Eligibility: All students are digital learners.
  2. Student Access: All students have access to high-quality digital content and online courses.
  3. Personalized Learning: All students can customize their education using digital content through an approved provider.
  4. Advancement: Students progree based on demonstrated competency, instead of rigid seat-time requirements.
  5. Content: Digital content, instructional materials, and online and blended learning courses are high quality.
  6. Instruction: Digital instruction and teachers are high quality.
  7. Providers: All students have access to multiple, high-quality providers.
  8. Assessment and Accountability: Student learning is the metric for evaluating quality of content and instruction.
  9. Funding: Funding creates incentives for performance and innovation.
  10. Delivery: Infrastructure supports digital learning.
To read the entire article please go to:

To learn more about the Digital Learning Council please go to:

To read the complete Elements of Digital Learning please go to: