For a preview of what education in Ohio could look like in the coming years, take a look at Medina High School in northeast Ohio.
The Akron Beacon Journal’s John Higgins reports that Medina High School is moving towards an all-digital model. Here’s what the means for now:
The technology includes a new software system called Blackboard that enables teachers and students (and next year, parents through an online portal) to handle everything from homework and assigned reading to quizzes and book reports.
The upgrade includes a new wireless system to access Blackboard from anywhere in the building and a new policy allowing students to use their own devices — from laptops and tablets to cell phones and hand-held video games — to get on the system.
The full story also notes that the 7,400-student Medina district was able to afford the software system by sharing costs with other school districts.
This week, even as schools like Medina are moving towards online education and distance learning, a group of state policy makers and administrators from traditional public schools as well as private and charter schools will meet to map out Ohio’s online education strategy.
That group, the Ohio Digital Learning Task Force, consists of:
- Governor’s Education Policy Advisor Robert Sommers,
- State Rep. Matt Huffman,
- State Sen. Peggy Lehner,
- Senior Vice Chancellor Gary Cates (representing Chancellor Jim Petro),
- Ohio Department of Education Technology Consultant Dan Badea (representing State Superintendent Stan Heffner),
- Connections Academy VP State Relations Susan Stagner,
- Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow Chief Financial Officer Scott Kern,
- Loveland school district Superintendent John Marschhausen,
- Dublin school district Superintendent David Axner,
- Cleveland school district Superintendent Eric Gordon and
- Worthington Christian Schools Principal Troy McIntosh.
By March the group is going to issue a report that recommends how Ohio should address issues such as:
- Creating digital content and instruction for public schools, private schools and homeschoolers;
- Online professional development for teachers; and
- How funding for online education should work.
The task force meets Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. at the State Library of Ohio.