Digital Learning: The Road Now Widely Traveled
Online and blended learning models are growing within districts and schools across the nation, leaving many with questions about the use of technology in education. In this first of two podcasts, Mickey Revenaugh, co-founder of Connections Education, shares insights on the evolution to online & blended learning, the emerging, transforming role of the teacher in an online classroom, and more.
Here are some highlights from the interview:
The State of Digital Learning in 2015
Mickey Revenaugh says that in the past, online and blended learning was an option for only a certain subset of learners. Online students included home school students, student athletes, performers, dancers, students on either end of the achievement bell curve, and others. But within the last few years, we have seen a shift in who is able to benefit from online and blended learning. Now digital technology allows us to accommodate the whole spectrum of students. Education has been opened to all kinds of students that may have been excluded from a high quality education experience in the past.
Regarding the Role of the Teacher in the New Model
Mickey says that teaching has also shifted in the new model. In an online learning environment, teachers are able to monitor progress as students interact directly with content. They can observe their students to see who is engaged, and who is “getting it” by using formative assessment practices. This creates an opportunity to build in teacher support and a lot more practice opportunities that students might find more engaging.
Online and blended learning is becoming a more mainstream option due to the advent of digital technology. With online and blended learning, or what is increasingly being referred to as digital learning, every day in class is a little bit different, which many students find appealing. Learning is tailored to how a student learns; there is no longer a “one size fits all” formula for every student. Content is available anytime, so students can learn at their own pace, which allows students to drive their own learning experiences. There are higher levels of efficacy and student engagement than what traditional schools were able to offer.
Mickey continues talking about the state of digital learning and the prospects for the future. Listen to the full podcast as she talks more in-depth about these topics as well as how online learning is growing worldwide and the influences of mobile technology.
About Mickey Revenaugh
Mickey Revenaugh is co-founder and executive vice president of Connections Education. She likes to think of herself as an evangelist for the power of high-quality online and blended learning – and a non-stop advocate for learning opportunities for students around the globe.
She serves as chair of the board of directors of iNACOL, the International Association for K-12 Online Learning. For fun she helps her husband run his art school for kids on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, and digs in the dirt in her backyard garden in Brooklyn, NY. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies from Yale University, earned an MBA from New York University, and is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at Bennington College.