State Virtual Report Cards: What You Need to Know about Your State

Tuesday, May 21, 2013 -- Scott Lobdell

In the virtual education world, the government always seems to be playing catch up. iNACOL came together years ago to promote and set standards for the virtual education field, but another organization has come together to specifically advance legislation at the state level so that government can catch up to what is needed in education today—a clear cohesive picture to advance virtual education. The organization is Digital Learning Now! (DLN).

The following comes from their website http://www.digitallearningnow.com:

Digital Learning Now! is a national campaign under ExcelinEd with the goal of advancing state policies that will create a high-quality digital learning environment to better equip all students with the knowledge and skills to succeed in this 21st-century economy. The policy framework stems from the belief that access to high-quality, customized learning experiences should be available to all students, unbounded by geography or artificial policy constraints.

Digital Learning Now! created the Digital Learning Report Card to evaluate each state’s progress in advancing reforms aligned to the 10 Elements of High Quality Digital Learning. The intent is to provide an annual summary of state laws and policies to better understand what states are doing to create a policy ecosystem that embraces new education models, promotes the use of technology to meet the needs of all children, and breaks down the barriers that constrain student-centric innovation.

On their website they go through the following ten elements and the metrics associated with the each element:

  1. Student Eligibility
  2. Student Access
  3. Personalized Learning
  4. Advancement
  5. Quality Content
  6. Quality Instruction
  7. Quality Choices
  8. Assessment and Accountability
  9. Funding
  10. Delivery

The information provided on this report card is very useful and will help the reader understand what laws have passed in each state’s legislature in 2012 (there is also a page for 2011, the first year of the report card). The report card shows the 10 Elements of High Quality Digital Learning as well as the multiple strands associated with the elements. These strands are used to grade the state on each element. The ten individual grades are averaged for a final overall grade for each state. States are then ranked.  

Click the link below to view the report card and the breakdown of each element. There is also a pdf to download.

Directions:

Click on this link - http://www.digitallearningnow.com/reportcard/#grade0

Click on the state you want to view on the map of the US

Just above Overall Score you will see “View State Profile.”  Click on this for the pdf file.  On this pdf you will view the state’s individual scores for each element and strand.

Looking over this information is well worth your time. It will allow you to know what is going on from state to state and see how far states still need to go. After all, knowledge is power.  As we know in the virtual realm, the delivery method of that knowledge is just as important as the knowledge itself.