Technologies and School Reform: Kissing Cousins*

Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

Over the years, I often get asked how I got interested in the uses of technology in schools and classrooms. I answer the same way each time. When I taught high school history and as a district administrator in two urban school system I was the target for a quarter-century of high-tech innovations and classroom reforms. Again and again.

I then add that I have been trained as an historian and studied many efforts of reformers to improve schooling over the past century in U.S. classrooms, schools, and districts. I looked at how teachers have taught since the 1890s. I analyzed policymakers’ frequent curricular changes since the 1880s. I even investigated the origins of the age-graded school and the spread of this innovation through the 19th century. I also parsed the utopian dreams of reformers who believed that new machine technologies (e.g., film, radio, instructional television, desktop computer) would alter…

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VCU offers a certificate in online teaching

I will have to explore this certificate a bit more. It is an interesting idea and I wonder what their program entails. Hopefully this translates into success for students because that is the bottom line. This also means that most of the K-12 teachers who teach online do not have certification in online teaching. I wonder how these certified teachers will fare compared to those who currently teach online programs.

On a side note, as programs like this evolve so does the legitimation of K-12 online learning. I wonder the staying power of these schools and how the traditional public school districts will respond to these programs. Will they change how schools operate? Only time will tell!

VCU Online Teaching Certification Story

Virtual School expansion continues

Yesterday I posted a story about the struggles of the virtual school in Massachusetts. Today I am posting a story that shows despite struggles around the country with these schools, they seem to be still growing. As mentioned yesterday, a failure of a school does not mean that the type (in this case, online learning) is inherently flawed. However, if these schools are going to continue to operate they need to succeed or they need not exist at all, of course this is true of any type of school.

Here is the story about the virtual school possibly opening in Maine. 

Mass. Virtual School Put on Probation

This is something we are seeing in Pennsylvania too. The question remains, why have these schools been having such a hard time? Is it the nature of the platform itself? Is it that they take lower-achieving students? Is it the ineptitued of the organizations and companies that run these schools? These are all key questions that need answering.

Click here for the story:

Mass. Virtual School Put on Probation

Or here is a different story about the same school