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New Digital Report Card Underscores the Need to Modernize Public Education
posted by: Ruthie | March 26, 2013, 09:31 PM   

Digital Learning Now! (DLN) recently released the 2012 Digital Learning Report Card, a measurement of effective digital learning practices in all 50 states. The report highlights both recent advancements in digital learning and calls for states to modernize public education for the next generation of learners.

Overall, the report shows states are advancing student-centric reforms, reducing barriers to blended learning, and encouraging the use of technology to offer a more personalized college- and career-ready education. In 2012, more than 700 bills involving digital learning were considered and more than 152 were signed into law, with nearly every state enacting a bill that advanced a digital learning policy.

"It's encouraging to see the number of states that have put students first through legislation that helps modernize our education system for the 21st century. We need leaders in every state who are willing to make the necessary changes so that student-centered education is a reality. I am confident we can meet the challenges ahead, but only if we harness the opportunities afforded to us through technology and innovation," said Jeb Bush, former Florida governor and chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education.

States are racing to modernize their policy to create new opportunities for students, explore new models of learning, and provide needed infrastructure. Examples from the 2012 legislative session:

• Louisiana, Georgia and Utah are leading the way in adopting "course choice" programs that offer students the option to take publicly-funded, online courses from providers approved by the state.
• Massachusetts, Arizona and Iowa, among others, passed legislation designed to support competency-based models of education in which credit is awarded based on mastery instead of seat time.
• Maine, Utah and Alabama, are exploring new approaches to help schools provide Internet-enabled devices for all students.

Even with the progress achieved in 2012, only six states – Utah, Florida, Georgia, Minnesota, Virginia, and Kansas – received an A or B, indicating that considerable work is needed to offer America's students a high-quality digital learning experience and modernize an outdated K-12 education system for all students.

AAE members are also embracing technology and online learning like never before. According to the 2013 Membership Survey, teacher support this type of environment. According to the data, 64% of AAE member teachers support a Florida law that guarantees access to online course work. Another 67% of survey respondents agree with a Virginia law that requires students to take at least one online course to graduate.

Click here to read the full report and recommendations from DLN researchers.

Is your state making advances in digital learning?
Comment below.

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