Turning the Ten Elements of Digital Learning Now Into A High

became the first state in the
nation to turn Digital
Learning Now's Ten
Elements of Quality Online
Learning into a
comprehensive state policy.
Utah's Statewide Online
Education Program
Shifts the Paradigm
Funding Follows the
Student to the Course
• Through the Statewide Online Education Program
every 9-12 grade student in Utah has access to the
very best online courses and teachers regardless of
zip code - whether they choose electives, foreign
language, honors or AP, science, history, math, or
anything in between.
Funding Based Upon
Successful Completion
• Most efficient and accountable use of public education
• 50% upfront (25% per semester) - 50% upon credit
earned (successful completion based on UT standard)
• Credit recovery incentivized - 30% of final payment if
student completes prior to graduation (based on statutory
parameters of 9 additional weeks allowed for semester course and 12 months
for full-year course)
Tiered Cost Structure
A tiered cost structure has been created based on such factors as course
subject and difficulty and necessary level of teacher interaction.
These new course fees were designed to provide a reasonable and fair fee to
the Public School Providers of online courses while ensuring students receive
the high-quality curriculum and instruction necessary to prepare them for their
post-secondary goals.
(Based on .5 credit)
Course Fees
• Notwithstanding the online course fees prescribed a
school district or charter school may:
• negotiate a fee with an online course provider for
an amount up to the amount prescribed and
• pay the negotiated fee instead of the fee
• An online course provider who contracts with a vendor
for the acquisition of online course content or online
course instruction may negotiate the payment for the
vendor's service independent of the fees specified
Students Customize
Their Education with
Blended Learning
• Course selection tied to the student's education
occupation plan (SEOP - counselor led plan that tracks
credits needed for graduation and post-secondary goals)
• Courses offered in the Statewide Online Education
Program are not supplemental
Parents and Students
are in the Driver’s Seat
• They choose the courses
• They choose the Course Providers
• Blended Learning - Student chooses whether to take
their course from the Statewide Online Education
Program or from their primary school of enrollment
All Students Seeking
High School Credits
are Eligible
• 9-12 grade public school students eligible
• Homeschool and private school students eligible in year
• Students on track for early graduation eligible
No Caps on Student
Subject Mastery
Replaces Seat Time
• Allows students to advance based upon demonstrated
• Open-entry, open-exit permitted based upon provider
• Provider administers required state assessments
(CRTs) upon course completion - state required to
make assessments available at any time
Multiple Course
- Multiple Courses
• Incentivizes Competition
• Allows students to customize their education to best
meet their individual needs and academic goals
• Provides access to the best courses and best teachers
regardless of income level or zip code
Providers = Public and
Private Partnership
• Authorized Providers are already part of the public
school system - Providers can and currently do contract
with private providers. Eligible Providers are:
1. LEA (Local Education Agency - charter or district school) program created
exclusively for the purpose of serving students online
2. Charter or District School created exclusively for the purpose of serving
students online
• Allows for growth - as any LEA can potentially qualify by
creating a program to serve students exclusively online
Accountability for Online
Course Providers
As LEAs, Providers are already subject to USOE rule and
oversight. In addition they must provide the following
information on their website:
Description of Statewide Program & It's purposes
Eligibility & enrollment information
Course Catalog
Performance on statewide assessments
Successful completion rate
Student-Teacher Ratio
Program Expansion
• Up to two online courses in years one and two,
beginning in the 2011-12 school year
• In year three it expands by one course per year expanding to six courses in year six (based on Utah’s
requirement of 24 credits for graduation)
• A student may use the program to graduate early in
accordance with their SEOP
“Online Course Offerings Explode
for Utah Students”
September 6, 2011
Q: Do you know what happens when you allow the
money to follow the student to the online course of
their choice?
A: When you empower students and parents with the
ability to choose, options increase exponentially!
Since the Statewide Online Education Program law took
effect on July 1, 2011, there has been a 585% increase
in online learning options for Utah students.
For questions about Utah’s law or inquiries on how
to develop your own state digital learning policy,
contact Parents for Choice in Education at: 801710-2345 or visit
Parents for Choice in Education is a grassroots non-profit
dedicated to ensuring every child has equal access to a quality
education by empowering parents, increasing choice, and
promoting innovative solutions to Utah's educational challenges.
How Do We
Accelerate the
Adoption of Digital
Learning in K-12
The Same?
Utah State University:
Education Administration Graduate Program
The Problem:
The current types of educational
technology deployed generally focus on
improving classroom presentations
and create more work for teachers
When technology is placed in schools, it
is often misused, or ignored.
Interactive Whiteboards
Badly Deployed Technology a Learning Distraction
Freedom Elem. (digital) vs. Highland Elem.
Language Arts
Mathematics Proficiency
Highland (569)
Freedom (664)
All Students
Students With
Source: Utah State Office Education (USOE). Freedom Elementary was built from
the ground up to implement 1:1 technology in the classroom.
Wasted Resources?
Student Engagement?
The Khan Academy
Bozeman Science
The Flipped Classroom
Socrates Opposed Manuscript
“… for this discovery of yours will create forgetfulness
in the learners' souls, because they will not use their
memories; they will trust to the external written characters
and not remember of themselves. The specific which you
have discovered is an aid not to memory, but to
reminiscence, and you give your disciples not truth, but only
the semblance of truth; they will be hearers of many
things and will have learned nothing; they will appear to
be omniscient and will generally know nothing; they will
be tiresome company, having the show of wisdom without
the reality.” Plato's Phaedrus Dialog on Socrates' view of Writing
Many Died for Using
Disruptive Technology
On the morning of October 6, 1536, William Tyndale was tied
to a stake, strangled, revived, then burned for the crime of
mass producing the first English Bible.
Teaching to the Middle of the Bell-Shaped Curve
The Future is Now?
73% was good enough in the days of manual
instruction because it had to be.
With digital learning we can require the
other 27% or mastery.
Digital Learning Foundation
Legislators must exercise their Constitutional prerogative
of funding digital learning tools in the classrooms
through competitive vendor RFP’s and
competitive license applications from schools.
The Digital Learning
Digital Learning Tools
not likely to be in your schools
• Smart Schools – 1:1 iPad student deployment with
professional development, technical backup, and engaging
instructional tools produces significant measurable student
• Software for English Language Learners provides
engaging, individualized training which expedites English
acquisition many times faster than manual methods,
producing significant gains in student academic growth.
• Connecting all public schools to fiber. Use E-rate federal
taxes already collected in your state to fund fiber to every
school and robust connectivity within every school. Plus,
ensure all students devices are safe on the Internet whether
in or out of school.
• Self Contained Special Education Classroom –15 minutes
a day of interactive animation software diminishes
behavioral problems and accelerates academic
• Home based Pre-K software provides preschoolers with
engaging individualized reading and math instruction,
collapsing the achievement gap at home before students
enter Kindergarten.
• Online reading enhancement tool used only 7 minutes 3
times a week causes students to read faster, comprehend
more and perform better in all subjects. The online
program produces measurable results and accountability
through back end reporting.
• Post-secondary education choices are aligned with job
market realities as students engage through “sticky” social
media tool which pushes information, job offers, scholarship
opportunities to students, parents, and counselors based on
student academic performance, expressed interests, and
aptitudes. Predictive analytics use soft and hard data to
enhance success.
• At-risk students from language-deprived homes enter
school with brains unfit for school success. Repeated
instruction is futile for children whose brains are not capable
of comprehending the language of schooling. Just 30
minutes a day with engaging digital “games” successfully
“wires” the brain for the child to catch up to peers within 14
• High school dropouts drop off the radar of public schools,
but online providers contract with school districts to provide
individualized online instruction and mentoring to now eager
dropouts earning diplomas, not stigmatized GEDs. Nearly
80% of enrolled dropouts graduate as providers are paid only
when students complete credits within narrow timelines.
• 9th Review of highest rated statewide online education
legislation which overcomes traditional school resistance to
high quality online education and enables students to “vote
with their feet” as the dollars follow the online providers based
on student completion. Using digital individualized instruction
to change the paradigm that 73% is “good enough” by
requiring complete competency for all students by obtaining
proficiency in the remaining 27%.
Contact Info:
Senator Howard Stephenson
[email protected]
Mobile: (801) 815-6800

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