Getting SmartHow Digital Learning is Changing the World
A comprehensive look at the promise and potential of online learning In our digital age, students have dramatically new learning needs and must be prepared for the idea economy of the future. In Getting Smart, well-known global education expert Tom Vander Ark examines the facets of educational innovation in the United States and abroad. Vander Ark makes a convincing case for a blend of online and onsite learning, shares inspiring stories of schools and programs that effectively offer "personal digital learning" opportunities, and discusses what we need to do to remake our schools into "smart schools." Examines the innovation-driven world, discusses how to combine online and onsite learning, and reviews "smart tools" for learning Investigates the lives of learning professionals, outlines the new employment bargain, examines online universities and "smart schools" Makes the case for smart capital, advocates for policies that create better learning, studies smart cultures
Foreword by Governor Bob Wise vii Preface: Why Th is Book Now? xi Acknowledgments xix About the Author xxi 1 How Personal Digital Learning Will Make Us Smart 1 2 American Education: New Students in an Old System 19 3 Customization: Building the Right Playlist for Each Student 31 4 Motivation: Getting Everyone in the Learning Game 47 5 Equalization: Connecting All Students to Excellence 63 6 Integration: Putting It All Together to Make Schools Smarter 79 7 Innovation: Policies Th at Will Make It Happen 101 8 Investment: Paying for Innovation 119 9 Employment: Changing Our Job Descriptions 143 Conclusion: Getting Smart 157 Appendix: Getting Smart Toolkit 161 Questions and Answers 185 Notes 191 Index 199
Tom Vander Ark is CEO of Open Education Solutions, a partner in Learn Capital, and blogs daily at www.GettingSmart.com. Previously he served as president of the X PRIZE Foundation and was the executive director of education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Tom was the first business executive to serve as a public school superintendent. Tom is also chair of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL).
"I am convinced that there is an amazing new world of education right around the corner—engaging learning experiences for students, an exciting future for learning professionals, and productive options for families. This book is also a call to join me as an advocate for innovation in learning as the key to lifting the achievement of U.S. students and reaching the next billion young people worldwide." —From the Preface Our digital age has prompted the need for radical new ways of learning that touch students, teachers, and parents. In Getting Smart, well-known global education expert Tom Vander Ark examines the various facets of educational innovation in the United States and abroad. Vander Ark—a former business executive, school superintendent, and foundation director—makes a convincing case for a new model of education that blends online and on-site learning. Vander Ark explains that through the use of technology it is now possible to provide 24/7 access to learning and increase student engagement. This new model can be cost effective, even doubling productivity for students who are struggling. By customizing learning—teaching the right way at the right level—each hour of learning can become more effective for all students at all levels. Throughout this inspirational book, Vander Ark shares real-world stories of schools and programs that offer effective "personal digital learning" opportunities. In addition, Getting Smart spells out a vision of what it will take to transform our schools into "smart schools" that blend models, extend learning, and leverage community resources.
Praise for Getting Smart "Provocative and bold, Tom Vander Ark's Getting Smart challenges long-held assumptions about education, points to why innovation will be so critical to enabling the education system of the future, and paints a vision of what learning could look like throughout society—and how we so desperately need it." —Michael B. Horn, executive director, Education of Innosight Institute;and coauthor, Disrupting Class "Tom Vander Ark thinks public education ought to join the twenty-first century. In this visionary book about a new and much more effective way to educate our kids, he explains the potential impact of the digital revolution on education—a learning transformation that is inevitable, even though it's now still in its infancy. Finally, an education reform book filled with hope, accompanied by a clear articulation of the way forward." —Joel Klein, CEO, Educational Division, News Corporation "Tom Vander Ark's analysis of the interrelationships between student needs, experiences, schools, and opportunity through innovations is thought provoking and 'wicked smart.' Vander Ark illuminates a pathway that is rational and intelligent—synthesizing the opportunities for adults to get smarter in serving our aspiring youth." —Susan Patrick, president and CEO, iNACOL "As usual, Tom Vander Ark is right on target. Blended learning will change how and what we teach and how and what students learn. Tomorrow has suddenly become today!" —Terry Grier, superintendent, Houston ISD