Back in January, U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski challenged schools and companies to get digital textbooks in students’ hands by the year 2017. Prompted by countries like South Korea and Uruguay -- which have made similar moves – the Obama administration is seeking to create momentum on this key topic.
Adam Frankel Opens the League Meeting at Houston ISD
Yet when we look around us, most educators and superintendents in the U.S. are left scratching our collective heads as we witness our glacial progress toward fully deployed digital nationwide learning. Lack of data on “what works”, lack of best practices in district-level leadership, and a splintered procurement process are often cited as three major roadblocks to progress. As mentioned in earlier blogs here, Digital Promise’s newly formed “League of Innovative Schools” is hoping to change all that.
Distance learning for students and teachers is a growing trend as the leaders of today and tomorrow look for new, efficient ways to learn, educate, and inspire.
A recent Education Weekarticle highlights some of the ways universities are improving their online professional development options. For example, Arizona State has partnered with the state’s Department of Education to host the IDEAL program, which offers online teacher education in language arts, math, and science instruction, as well as technology integration and classroom management. Boise State has also launched an online portal through which K-12 instructors can take an assortment of online, facilitator-led workshops. Read More »
Over the past 40 years in the U.S., our student to teacher ratio has dropped from 22:1 to 17:1. Our teachers are better educated than ever – fully 62% today own a Masters degree, compared with only 23% in 1971. And we continue to spend – our nation’s investment in K-12 places us 4th in the world at $11,000 per student, trailing only Luxembourg, Switzerland, and Norway.
So, what’s happened to our reading and math test scores over these past four decades? Virtually flat.
Why is this?
Roland Fryer, the Robert M. Beren Professor of Economics at Harvard, would argue it’s due in part to the fact we really do not know what the problems are. His view: “it’s time to apply some science to the problem of student achievement in our schools.”
This week the ATC21S consortium is in London for the 2012 Education World Forum (EWF). The EWF, held once per year, is a prestigious global summit for education ministers. This event brings government representatives, industry leaders, and major organizations from more than 60 countries together and provides a forum for rich discussion on current issues, cutting-edge advancements, and the most important needs in education at the local, national, international, and global scale.
Day one of the EWF kicked off with welcome messages from international luminaries, followed by two plenary sessions with involvement from key ATC21S members.