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Michael Horn: Digital Learning Day Cometh

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January 17, 2012 07:57 pm


In his weekly blog for Forbes, Michael Horn, the co-founder and executive director of the education practice of the Innosight Institute, writes that the arrival of Digital Learning Day, February 1, 2012, is the latest step that the “disruptive” (in a good way) innovation of K-12 online learning is moving more into the mainstream.

In his post, Horn, who is the coauthor of Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns, tracks the emergence of technology in education from a few enthusiastic early adopters to a dramatic shift from print to digital.

Horn cautions that Digital Learning Day cannot be, “technology for technology’s sake,” but a “student-centric system powered by digital learning that allows each child to realize his or her fullest human potential.” At the Alliance for Excellent Education, we couldn’t agree more.

Horn continues:

Technology in this vision becomes the backbone that helps us to customize an education for each child’s unique learning needs, not the gadget that’s just there because it’s cool or because we simply think learning through or with technology is the way we should do it now.

To do this right, it’s important to bear in mind the definition of digital learning from Digital Learning Now’s Roadmap for Reform: “Digital learning is learning facilitated by technology that gives students some element of control over time, place, path, and/or pace.” The document defines each of these elements and offers the following line: “Digital learning is more than just providing students with a laptop.”

As our formal education systems move into the digital age, we should do so with the student and his or her learning at the center, not technology.

Read Horn’s complete blog post at

To learn more about Digital Learning Day, visit


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Every Child a Graduate. Every Child Prepared for Life.