Richtel’s Rear View Mirror Missed the Mark
Here's Tom Vander Ark's response (he was quoted in the article):
Richtel's rear view mirror piece was new in 2001 but it was a ridiculous hatchet job that ignored all of the positive evidence around learning technology and new blended school models. Did you notice that all CA CMOs went back to school with blended schools and/or pilots--it's the only possible way to do more for less.
Here's my response to Matt, who knows better
It includes links to a couple other responses.
Perhaps you heard about KIPP Empower results released this summer. You should have the blended chat with Reed Hastings; like me, we are concerned that KIPP's heroic effort model may not be scalable or sustainable and that pilots like Empower encouraging.
Tom's article is below. Here's an excerpt:
Weak ROI on computers in schools is an old story, but the future will not look like the past. Hundreds of schools and pilot projects make the case for personal digital learning. More broadband, cheap access devices, new apps, and powerful platforms are reshaping how people learn. Learning technology is reshaping the world by making education more personal and by creating more time and opportunity.
1. More personal. Instruction at the right level, in the best mode, at the right time is more effective teaching to the middle of a class with big skill differences—Rocketship's John Danner thinks it's often ten times more effective. Personalized math products like MIND Research, McGraw's Power of U, and games-based products like Dreambox and Mangahigh* have all demonstrated great early results.
2. More time. Online learning allows schools to stretch staffing ratios and leverage teacher talent. Schools that blend online and onsite instruction can afford a longer day and year. Engaging work and motivating feedback are extending learning time. Schools like Rocketship show it's possible to double productive learning time for kids that need it most.
3. More opportunity. Where policy barriers have come down, online learning is creating more opportunity for every student—access to every AP course, every foreign language course, every STEM course. Online learning is powering virtual schools and new blended models. It's helping students at risk catch up and graduate.
Richtel's Rear View Mirror Missed the Mark