Former governors Jeb Bush of Florida and Bob Wise of West Virginia, both proponents of education reform, have joined forces to encourage the implementation of technology into the classroom. Education Week reports that Bush and Wise have launched the Digital Learning Council. The council’s goal is to identify policies that integrate current and future technological innovations into public education
The 50 member council includes Susan Patrick, president and CEO of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL), state officials, and members of education think tanks. U.S. Assistant Deputy Secretary of Education James H. Shelton, head of the Department of Education’s (DOE) office of innovation and improvement, is a liaison to the council.
“Technology has the power to customize education for every student in America,” said Jeb Bush, co-chair of the Digital Learning Council. “Providing a customized, personalized education for students was a dream just a decade ago. Technology can turn that dream into reality today. The Digital Learning Council will develop the roadmap to achieve that ultimate goal.”
Governor Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education, said the move to create digital learning standards is urgent for several reasons, including teacher retirements and declining state revenues. In a statement released yesterday, he went on to say, “The members of the Digital Learning Council share a sense of extreme urgency about the need to bring digital learning to every school, every classroom, and every child.”
According to a press release from the Alliance, more than 2 million K-12 students take courses online, and 1.5 million home-education students complete their courses online, the “niche role” of digital learning. The council plans to create a set of practices that address a variety of digital learning issues, including online and virtual schools, classroom technology, and digital content. These standards for digital education are scheduled for release in November and December. States can then resolve to adopt the standards.
Read more of the Education Week article at http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2010/08/18/01data.h30.html?tkn=ZLPFXbF+32wqcPnucZtTUZHvsfJPbEELRNpt&cmp=clp-edweek. The Alliance for Excellent Education is available at http://www.all4ed.org/press_room/press_releases/08182010. For more information about overnor Bob Wise and The ACE, visit http://www.all4ed.org/about_the_alliance/bob-wise.