Tag: Online Education

This week on “The Learning Curve,” co-hosts Gerard Robinson and Cara Candal talk with Susan Patrick, the President and CEO of Aurora Institute and co-founder of CompetencyWorks. Susan shares observations about the long-term implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for American K-12 education, and the prospects for expanding digital learning. They discuss the overall quality of the remote and blended learning America’s K-12 school districts offered during the pandemic, and which states excelled. Susan shares thoughts on how digital models can help address pre-pandemic achievement gaps and learning loss due to COVID-19, especially among poor, minority, and rural students. They also review claims by skeptics of digital schooling about its efficacy for early childhood, urban, or special needs students, and best practices drawn from the pandemic for better serving these groups. Susan provides insights around digital schooling and some policy levers that national, state, and local leaders should explore to improve K-12 education.

Stories of the Week: In Michigan, families have filed suit against the state Department of Education and Ann Arbor Public Schools claiming they received inadequate special education services during the pandemic. New survey results from New America and Rutgers University find that, a year after pandemic-related school closures, 15 percent of lower-income students in a nationally representative sample still lack fast and reliable internet access at home.

This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard continue coverage of COVID-19’s impact on K-12 education, joined by Michael Horn, co-founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation. Michael shares his thoughts on his mentor, the late Clayton Christensen, a renowned Harvard Business School professor, influential thinker, and best-selling author. They discuss the lessons we are all learning from the COVID crisis about technical advancements that allow schools to innovate, in ways that were unthinkable just 20 years ago. Michael explains his view of online learning as a means of shifting the focus from schooling en masse to individual growth and mastery, and the need to provide incentives for meaningful student outcomes. They also explore which states are leading in digital learning, which are lagging behind, and specific initiatives that are making a dramatic difference in children’s preparedness for kindergarten and academic achievement.

Stories of the Week: How should states move forward on online learning during COVID-19? A new Pioneer report by digital learning innovator Julie Young offers tips for state policymakers and district leaders seeking guidance on equipment, teacher preparation, meeting special education needs, and more. In California, Governor Newsom is identifying strategies for re-opening in the aftermath of the pandemic, including staggered start times, classrooms reconfigured for social distancing, and more online learning.

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Two news items from Arizona prompt further thoughts on education and election reform. Tempe, Arizona, home of the main Arizona State University campus just had their municipal election this week, and the results may trip a 2018 Arizona law that does much of what I advocated in “Two Simple 2020 Initiatives to Change the Political […]

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This week on Banter, AEI resident fellow Jason Delisle joined the show to discuss the role of inspectors general in the Department of Education and their influence on policy debates. He also discussed his new report on graduate schools with the lowest rates of student loan repayment. Delisle’s work at AEI focuses on higher education financing and student loan programs. You can read his piece on the inspectors general and the graduate schools report at the links below.

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In this episode of the “New Skills Marketplace” podcast, Andy Smarick (AEI) and John Bailey (AEI) sit down with Leah Belsky from Coursera.

Leah first recounts the founding of Coursera, addresses common misconceptions about massive open online courses (MOOCs), and identifies the groups of people that Coursera serves [2:22]. She then describes the ways in which Coursera measures the quality of the courses on its platform [8:36]. Leah next talks about the flexibility of nontraditional providers like Coursera [15:16]. Finally, Leah gives her perspective on the skills gap issue, how Coursera may fit into the solution to the problem, and what policymakers should do to help [21:51]. Andy and John conclude with a reflection on their discussion with Leah.

Dispatches From a Higher Ed Insider


shutterstock_120855589During the editors’ podcast last week, we wandered off onto the topic of online education, with a special emphasis on the idea that it has the potential to be an antidote to much of what’s wrong with modern American college campuses. That wasn’t a topic any of us had planned to discuss — it grew naturally out of our ad spot for The Great Courses — so the resulting conversation may have been a bit desultory.

Luckily, this being Ricochet —where you can find an expert on anything if you just look hard enough — I subsequently received this bit of correspondence from an academic working in a leadership position in a public regional comprehensive university. His point (and it’s a good one): our conversation entirely elided the complications posed by accreditation. That individual has generously allowed me to reproduce it here:

I probably spend about 4-6 hours each week thinking about online education or at least have lately.  I have both created coursework online and administered programs that offer online education and online degrees. Our leadership urges us to create more and more of it.