In this blog post for the Innosight Institute (now the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation), Bryan Hassel and Emily Ayscue Hassel argue that “schools – and nations – that excel in the digital age will be those that use digital tools both to make teaching more manageable for the average teacher, and to give massively more students access to excellent teachers.” While digital learning can help solid teachers become more effective, one of its greatest promises is to enable top teachers – those whose students already achieve well over a year’s worth of growth – to educate more students by freeing up their time, allowing them to teach students who are not physically present, and capturing their teaching prowess by recording videos or helping develop smart learning software.
Making Technology Work for Students and Teachers
In Fordham’s new book Education Reform for the Digital Era, Bryan C. Hassel and Emily Ayscue Hassel’s opening chapter proposes that “digital education needs excellent teachers and that a first-rate teaching profession needs digital education.” In the digital future, teacher effectiveness will matter even more than it does today. While the roles of teachers and other adults will change dramatically, what will increasingly differentiate outcomes for schools, states, and nations is how well responsible adults carry out the more complex instructional tasks. At the same time, technology has enormous transformative potential to extend the reach of excellent teachers to vastly more students, to help teaching attract and retain the best, and to boost the effectiveness of average teachers. To realize that promise, though, the nation needs new staffing models, significant policy changes, and a stronger dose of political will to change. Read the chapter here, and watch Bryan Hassel on a webcast of the release event here. The authors also penned a related commentary that appears here.
Blended learning is poised to transform American education by personalizing student learning – uniting the highest-quality online content with highly-effective educators in “live” instruction and supervisory roles. This white paper from Innosight Institute (now the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation), the Charter School Growth Fund, and Public Impact defines six models of blended learning, provides vivid examples of blended learning in action, and discusses both the technology and policies needed to realize the promise of blended learning. The white paper highlights the importance of creating policy environments that grant innovative educators autonomy, enabling them to design and implement models based on affordable quality and personalization. In these policy environments, the focus of regulation must not be on input-focused rules, but on accountability for outcomes.
This report, by Lauren Morando Rhim and Julie Kowal, describes how educating students with disabilities in virtual charter schools entails not only molding state charter school laws to fit a specialized type of charter school, but also adapting federal and state special education guidelines aimed at providing special education in traditional brick and mortar settings. This special report, funded by the USDOE National Initiatives Grant of the Charter Schools Program and administered by the National Association of State Directors of Special Education, is a supplement to a series of special education primers, Primers on Special Education in Charter Schools, created to inform state officials, authorizers and charter school operators about special education in the charter sector.