Innovation for Online Education

Yesterday I attended an open discussion hosted by the Independence Institute. The discussion focused on the constraints and obstacles in the way of innovation for online and blended models of learning.

This was a great opportunity for Colorado leaders of online education to come together and discuss issues related to digital learning, the obstacles we need to move out of the way, and the policies that are working which need to be protected and unchanged.

Colorado allows for many choices within the public education system which includes charter schools, magnet schools, open enrollment policies (Inter-district and Intra-district choice programs), and online education; and just recently the Douglas County School District has voted to move forward with initiating a voucher program.

Colorado has seen an explosion of online programs over the past several years and this state is setting the pace for other states to hopefully follow.

According to CDE’s website, Colorado currently has 22 full-time multi-district online schools, 11 single-district online schools and one statewide school which offers supplemental (COL) online programs.

But there are without a doubt too many states that limit public school options like the online option due to statute. States put caps on the number of online schools that can operate, caps on enrollment, limits on the grade levels that can be offered, and not allowing parents the right to choose an online option for their children in the state in which they reside.

At yesterday’s meeting we had the pleasure of listening to a presentation by Randy DeHoff. Randy is a former State Board of Education member and yesterday was officially Randy’s last day on the SBE after serving for 12 years. He has an extensive background in the field of science and has made many contributions to the education of children in Colorado. Randy is also a member of the Digital Learning Council which launched in August 2010.

The Digital Learning Council is an effort that started last summer when former Governor Bob Wise, West Virginia, and former Governor Jeb Bush, Florida, teamed up with Excellence in Education to develop a roadmap to education reform. The Digital Learning Council includes a diverse group of leaders with some of the best minds in the country who have already given over 100 hours to discuss the issues of digital learning.

Rose Fernandez, secretary/treasurer of the National Coalition for Public School Options represents the voice of parents across the country as a member of the Digital Learning Council. A huge thanks to Rose for all she does to help promote this important and viable educational option for our children. Listen as Rose shares her perspective on individualized instruction.

Yesterday Randy discussed the 10 Elements of High Quality Digital Learning. Read about the Council’s shared vision for education in America.

Thank you to all of the members of the Digital Learning Council for all of the many hours you have given and for your commitment to supporting better educational opportunities for all children.

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  1. I love when states and school districts provide students with a variety of learning options, so that the student is successful!
    My recent post Seahawks- PLAYOFFS BOUND!

  2. We have online learning as a option here. I have no idea how it works.

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