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Online Learning: Addressing Challenges, Seizing Opportunities


Allison Powell, PhD
, Vice President, International Association for K–12 Online Learning
Barbara Treacy, Director, EdTech Leaders Online, Education Development Center
Lori Westhoff, Principal, Humboldt High School (Humboldt, Iowa)
Bob Wise, President, Alliance for Excellent Education

America’s K–12 education system faces three significant challenges: (1) increased global demands for skilled workers, (2) significant financial shortfalls, and (3) a looming teacher shortage. Independently, these factors present significant challenges for U.S. schools. In combination, they create a national imperative for swift action to create a more innovative, effective, and efficient education system.

Every day, creative educators are using technology better to meet the needs of students and teachers. Technology can no longer be considered an “add-on” tool in education but rather one that is integral. Embracing online-learning opportunities for students and teachers will strengthen the supply and quality of teachers, improve efficiency, and increase students’ college and career readiness.

The Alliance for Excellent Education (the Alliance) recently published two documents to help education leaders and policymakers understand these issues better. “The Online Learning Imperative: A Solution to Three Looming Crises in Education” is a brief that describes the three crises confronting the nation and suggests ways that online learning can lead the U.S. education system out of them. The “Online Learning: Addressing Challenges and Seizing Opportunities” state profiles present state-specific information about the three crises in each state, online-learning opportunities in that state, the presence of state policies that support online learning, and how federal policy supports online learning in that state.

On July 8, the Alliance hosted a webinar to release these publications and facilitated a conversation among experts using questions submitted by participants from the around the country. Following the webinar, panelists participated in a live online chat.


Agenda PDF filePDF

Speaker Biographies PDF filePDF

The Online Learning Imperative: A Solution to Three Looming Crises in Education (report) PDF filePDF

“Online Learning: Addressing Challenges and Seizing Opportunities” (state profiles)

PowerPoint Presentation PDF filePDF

Online Learning Spectrum of Programs (by iNACOL) PDF filePDF

Click on the image below to watch the July 8 video clip on teacher shortage.










Click on the image below to watch the July 8 video clip on twenty-first-century skills.


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