Opinion
Ed-Tech Policy Letter to the Editor

Technology’s ‘Tipping Point’ May Increase Online Classes

April 21, 2009 1 min read

To the Editor:

I want to congratulate you on an excellent edition of your annual Technology Counts special report (March 26, 2009). It is interesting to note that among the many positive statements about technology’s potential and examples of how it is being introduced successfully at the margins of the education market, Douglas A. Levin of the National Association of State Boards of Education takes aim at Clayton M. Christensen’s recent book Disrupting Class in the article “Virtual Approaches Vary.”

Mr. Levin rejects Mr. Christensen’s prediction that half of all high school classes will be taught online by 2019 on the basis of policy concerns about quality. But many of Technology Counts’ articles point to how much quality has improved in a short period of time. Just as Mr. Christensen has described, early entries into the educational technology field provide underserved markets with products that are “better than nothing” (such as online Advanced Placement courses where none can be offered). Over time, as the technology improves and as your report makes clear, the products are as good as or better than those traditionally available.

If the exponential growth of technology in general is any indication, we will reach a tipping point, probably before 2019, when critical budget constraints, a lack of qualified human capital, and the demand from students and parents for individualized learning will indeed make Mr. Christensen’s prediction come true.

Gisèle Huff

San Francisco, Calif.

A version of this article appeared in the April 22, 2009 edition of Education Week as Technology’s ‘Tipping Point’ May Increase Online Classes

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
Interactive Learning Best Practices: Creative Ways Interactive Displays Engage Students
Students and teachers alike struggle in our newly hybrid world where learning takes place partly on-site and partly online. Focus, engagement, and motivation have become big concerns in this transition. In this webinar, we will
Content provided by Samsung
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Classroom Technology Webinar
Educator-Driven EdTech Design: Help Shape the Future of Classroom Technology
Join us for a collaborative workshop where you will get a live demo of GoGuardian Teacher, including seamless new integrations with Google Classroom, and participate in an interactive design exercise building a feature based on
Content provided by GoGuardian
School & District Management Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table With Education Week: What Did We Learn About Schooling Models This Year?
After a year of living with the pandemic, what schooling models might we turn to as we look ahead to improve the student learning experience? Could year-round schooling be one of them? What about online

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Ed-Tech Policy Millions of Students Got Free Home Internet for Remote Learning. How Long Will It Last?
Time and money are running out on temporary agreements between districts and ISPs. Broadband advocates want a federal solution.
10 min read
Cupped hands hold a precious wi-fi symbol
Vanessa Solis/Education Week and Digital Vision Vectors/Getty
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Ed-Tech Policy Whitepaper
Using E-rate Funds to Enhance School Networks
This guide offers a roadmap to help K-12 leaders successfully leverage federal funds to expand digital learning opportunities for their students.
Content provided by Spectrum Enterprise
Ed-Tech Policy FCC Takes One Step Closer to Offering E-Rate Funds for Remote Learning Technology
Advocates have urged the FCC to loosen its rules on E-Rate funds so schools can pay for technology that helps students learn remotely.
2 min read
Andrew Burstein, 13, participates in a virtual class through Don Estridge High Tech Middle School in Delray Beach, Fla., this school year.
Andrew Burstein, 13, participates in a virtual class through Don Estridge High Tech Middle School in Delray Beach, Fla., this school year.
Joe Cavaretta/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP
Ed-Tech Policy New York Banned Facial Recognition in Schools. Will Other States Follow?
New York schools are prohibited from using the widely criticized biometric identifying technology until at least July 2022.
3 min read
Girl looking into smartphone facial recognition
Getty