On August 1, the Alliance for Excellent Education began an unprecedented digital process asking the American public to participate in developing major new state legislation designed to make digital learning and educational technology available to all students around the country.
The proposed draft legislation, titled the Each Child Learns Act, will help states think strategically about how to incorporate technology into their classrooms to boost student learning and increase professional learning opportunities for teachers.
Driving the proposed legislation is the reality that the current U.S. education system cannot adequately prepare all students for the increasingly global economy. Instead of the current “one-size-fits-all” approach to educating students, the United States must move to an innovative student-centered instruction model that will personalize learning and prepare students for success in college and a career. For more than a year, the Alliance has been examining the types of legislative proposals every state will need to consider in order to make this transition.
The Each Child Learns Act outlines a student-centered education approach that focuses on developing personalized student paths for academic success and incorporating digital learning. The proposed draft legislation provides comprehensive planning, language, guidance, and timelines for states to use in transitioning to this more forward-thinking and modern public education system. A major principle of the legislation is that a more personalized learning experience, driven by strong teaching in combination with the effective use of technology, should be the basis for any transition to a system that embraces high-quality digital learning.
The proposed draft legislation lays out several main elements for states that are crucial to providing a personalized and high-quality digital learning opportunity for each student. They include:
- Developing a comprehensive strategy;
- Transitioning to competency-based learning and eliminating “seat time” requirements;
- Utilizing formative assessments delivered by technology to track student progress;
- Providing teachers with enhanced continuing education and mentoring opportunities through technology;
- Establishing a mechanism to track student data so each child can be on a personalized learning path;
- Helping all public schools to allow blended learning and other tech-enhanced instruction models;
- Offering high-quality online classes for students—particularly those who need credit-recovery assistance or have special situations;
- Writing strong policy safeguards into the law to carefully monitor the quality and accountability of providers; and
- Increasing opportunities for access to internet devices and required technology infrastructure, such as high-speed broadband connections.
To read the full language of the draft legislation, please visit http://www.all4ed.org/digitallearning/legislation.