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Plan Early for Important Digital Learning Day: February 1, 2012, is Coming

Twelve weeks seems like a long time to someone my age, and I know it can be really hard for almost anyone to plan beyond the Christmas holiday and into the New Year. But I wanted to let you know about a great opportunity so you can mark your calendar right away for Wednesday, February 1, 2012, the first-ever Digital Learning Day:

a year-long campaign to celebrate bold, creative innovative teachers in classrooms across this nation. These front-line innovators are already embedding digital learning into new instructional practices to ensure that every student leaves the classroom ready for college, career and life success. We ask you to join with us, as with them, as we launch an unprecedented, collaborative effort to expand innovation into every city, town, school and classroom in America!

Former West Virginia Gov. Bob Wise explains a little bit more in this 3-plus minute video:

Digital learning has real power to help transform our state’s and nation’s education system into a more nimble, productive, effective, and student-centered enterprise. But it’s far from just a matter of importing iPads into the classroom. The market for computerized and web-based technology to enhance learning is booming, but progress is hindered by policies designed for the 20th century factory age.

If you want a clear and sobering big-picture assessment of where our education system is today, and why it needs to change dramatically, check out former Florida Governor Jeb Bush’s CNN interview with Piers Morgan.

Last month’s release of the Nation’s Digital Learning Report Card provided a road map. Most of its proposals that Colorado hasn’t already adopted can help fulfill the promise of online and blended learning strategies for students and for our state. But remember: as my Education Policy Center friend Pam Benigno and the nationally-renowned Michael Horn both have said, more regulation is exactly the opposite of what we need.

In fact, an effective array of digital learning options can best be created by quite the opposite approach. Via American Thinker’s Gary Jason:

…the unionized teachers and administrators may use web-based instruction to co-opt school choice….

Keep pushing vouchers. Within a voucher system, one can easily allow cyber-schooling for those who want it.

Exactly. The two reform ideas are complementary, not contradictory. In the meantime, my Education Policy Center friends will continue helping to arm students and parents with information about their education options — including full-time online and blended learning — as policy makers hopefully see the need to overhaul policies that are choking effective innovations like digital learning. So get yourself ready for February 1, sign up today (it’s not too early), and help spread the word!