10 Shifts that Change Everything

Tom Vander Ark

Change forces and market drivers (described in 3×5 revolution) are finally bringing the digital revolution to education. Online learning is creating new options for students. Blending online and onsite learning has the potential to improve learning and operating productivity. The digital learning revolution is creating 10 shifts int he way we learn (first explored in a 7/3 post)
1.Responsibility. Families are taking back responsibility for learning and choices in learning are exploding. In America, most states grant charters to nonprofit groups to operate independent schools. New York City closed 90 failing schools and invited community organization to assist in developing 400 new schools. Independently run government funded education is common in Europe, Scandinavia, and Chile. Low cost private schools provide educational options in India and Africa.
Higher learning choices are expanding; and while traditional college costs spiral higher, some new options like Open University are free, and some are very low cost. Competency-based programs like Western Governor’s University give credit for demonstrated expertise. Straighter Line allows students to earn college credits on an accelerated basis for $99 per month.
2.Expectations. The standards movement, culminating in the Common Core,[iii] reflects American political consensus that all students should be eligible and prepared for higher learning–a monumental step for equity but with the unintended consequence of standardizing a 19th century version of schooling based on age cohorts, credit hours and bubble sheet tests.