The New York Times reports that a profusion of online programs that can track a student’s daily progress is changing the nature of communication between parents and children, families, and teachers … and sometimes increases family tension.
Citing studies showing that parental involvement can have a positive effect on a child’s academic performance, educators praise the programs’ capacity to engage parents. But sometimes there is collateral damage: exacerbated stress about daily grades and increased family tension.
Technology-based forces of “disruptive innovation” are gathering around public education and will overhaul the way K-12 students learn—with potentially dramatic consequences for established public schools, according to an upcoming book that draws parallels to disruptions in other industries.
Like the leaders in other industries, the education establishment has crammed down technology onto its existing architecture, which is dominated by the “monolithic” processes of textbook creation and adoption, teaching practices and training, and standardized assessment—which, despite some efforts at individualization, by and large treat students the same, the book says.
The book does hold out hope that established school organizations can adapt to disruptive innovation.
A national survey of 3,200 adults found
more support for advanced, college-level
courses for high school students
and online courses for rural students
with limited coursetaking options than
for courses targeting dropouts or
Source: Education Next and the Program on Education Policy and Governance at Harvard University
He underscored that the book does not aim to frighten school leaders, but to urge them to treat the approaching changes as an opportunity rather than a threat.
“Whenever an industry gets disrupted, people always consume more, because it’s more affordable, it’s simpler, easier to access, to customize to what they need,” he said. “What a wonderful thing, that we would consume more education.”