What We Are Watching: Digital Learning on National TV

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A new Fox News documentary, "Fixing Our Schools," is highlighting innovative solutions to our public education system’s shortcomings.  The film takes a close look at how schools and states are using digital learning to transform their schools by creating learning environments that are personal and adaptive to each student.

Personalized, digital learning is gaining traction throughout the county, as seen by the U.S. Department of Education’s latest Race to the Top for Districts (RTT-D) competition, which asks districts to put significant emphasis on this priority. As former FL governor Jeb Bush noted in the film, online learning has the ability to disrupt current public education by breaking up monopolies and providing high-quality options to a large amount of students. Former NYC Schools Chancellor and Amplify CEO Joel Klein added that technology allows teachers to do their job in a much more effective, 21st century kind of way.

But none of this is news to Florida Virtual Schools (FLVS), which was profiled in the film. The first and largest statewide online school, FLVS now serves almost 150,000 students in 49 states and 57 countries. For the last fifteen years, FLVS has been ahead of the curve by providing students the flexibility to choose when and at what pace they learn (which has proven helpful for Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman). The school has supplemented traditional public schools by offering courses that might not otherwise be available to students (e.g. AP courses for students in rural areas).

Given the political momentum and news coverage, its smart to pay attention to personalized learning and to the work that FLVS and others are doing. For more on innovative education solutions, check out Digital Learning Now—co-founded by Governor Bush and directed by our senior advisor John Bailey.

 

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