It appears that there is a paradigm shift underway in American education. As we see more school choice options unfolding for students, we have hope that parents will have greater freedom to choose how their children learn.
Earlier this month, the news site Education Week published an inside look at one family’s hybrid schooling experience:
“Emmy Elkin’s school day starts with a cooking show.
The 10-year-old and her mom, Jill Elkin of Peachtree City, Ga., are up at 8 a.m., making breakfast along with “Iron Chef America” and chatting about algebra. Last week, Emmy left home after breakfast to meet a new Japanese tutor, around the time her sister Kayla, 14, dragged herself awake to get her independent mathematics study done before a friend came over for a joint British literature course. The sisters spent the afternoon working through achemistry course online, with Jill Elkin giving more individual coaching to her younger daughter.”
Higher education is also becoming increasingly customized. Daphne Koller, co-founder of Coursera, an online learning platform that offers free courses to anyone in the world from some of the U.S.’s top universities, explains the massive potential customization that online learning holds. Koller describes how one of her Stanford colleagues had over 100,000 students enrolled in a machine course online. “So to put that number into perspective, for [the professor] to reach that same size audience by teaching a Stanford class, he would have to do that for 250 years.”
For their part, policymakers should ensure that education funding is free from 19th-century ideas about schooling, in order to empower families to enjoy the benefits of 21st-century delivery models. School choice—whether vouchers, education tax credits, education savings accounts, or virtual schools—ensures that families won’t be left behind when the online learning revolution is in full force.
Read more at The Heritage Foundation’s blog.