The New York Times has an excellent report on the promise of digital education:
“I don’t believe that charters and vouchers are the threat to schools in Orange County,” [Superintendent William M. Habermehl] said. “What’s a threat is the digital world — that someone’s going to put together brilliant $200 courses in French, in geometry by the best teachers in the world.”
The economics of digital courses will be so compelling that no vested interest will be able to stop it.
If each course is approximately $200, students can sign up for 10 digital courses for approximately $2,000 plus the cost of a computer and a broadband connection versus — in the case of the D.C. public schools, for example — somewhere between $8,322 and $25,000 that was reportedly spent on each pupil last year.
Plus, entrepreneurial educators can cater to a wide variety of individual interests and learning abilities and make a good living doing it.
Imagine being able to study economics in high school with someone like Milton Friedman (or Paul Krugman, if you prefer) or creative writing with the likes of J.K. Rowling.
So maybe instead of advocating charters and vouchers, educational reformers ought to emphasize credits for digital courses.