Michigan Virtual announced the release of a report about the future of K-12 education in Michigan, calling for a heightened focus on personalized learning.
“Governor Snyder tasked Michigan Virtual with stepping back and thinking about two overarching questions: (1) what is the future of public education in Michigan? and (2) what role could instructional technology play in that future?” says Jamey Fitzpatrick, President & CEO at Michigan Virtual. “The report is clear — Michigan needs to design an education system that includes tools and support to provide an individualized education for all students as well as increased support for classroom teachers to lead this effort.”
“Advances in technology are making it possible to extend an individualized instructional approach to all students, allowing every child in Michigan to learn in the manner that will best help him or her reach their full potential,” Mike Flanagan, Superintendent of Public Instruction, said.
The report’s six recommendations outline in detail the core elements needed to improve educational outcomes for Michigan’s K-12 students:
- Students: Michigan must formalize in policy strategies and tactics that permit each student to learn at his or her own pace.
- Teachers: Michigan must create a statewide system of support for teachers as they transition their instructional practice to methods that allow for full implementation of personalized learning.
- Schools: Schools must have support from the state as they create spaces that support personalized learning including technology integration and spaces for more individual and small group work.
- Technology: Michigan needs an independent, neutral and trusted voice in the educational sector to help providers and districts deploy technology that works.
- Data: The state must create and support a data infrastructure that teachers, parents, students and schools can use to inform individualized instruction.
- Quality and Accountability: The governor should appoint an independent authority to evaluate the quality of content providers.
Michigan Virtual partnered with two independent research firms — Public Sector Consultants and the Citizens Research Council — in developing the report. The research team conducted more than 30 state and national stakeholder interviews and reviewed existing academic and professional literature looking for common themes and trends across the sources that outlined a sustainable — and innovative — educational approach for Michigan’s students.
“Consistently throughout the interviews, state and national stakeholders said the future of education will include both additional face-to-face time with professional teachers and an increasing use of technology — inside and outside the traditional classroom — for students at every grade level,” reports Jeff Williams of Public Sector Consultants, one of the leaders of the research team.
“Rapid advances in technology present an opportunity to significantly improve teaching and learning in Michigan,” comments Jeff Guilfoyle of the Citizens Research Council. “However, taking advantage of these opportunities will require careful thinking about how we fund, operate and organize our schools.”
Michigan Virtual will be hosting regional forums in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Lansing and Marquette to engage community stakeholders in a conversation about moving K-12 education faster and farther in Michigan. Dates and times, when available, will be posted at www.mivu.org.
About Michigan Virtual
Michigan Virtual is a private, nonprofit Michigan corporation established by the State of Michigan in 1998 to serve as a champion for online learning. It is the parent organization of the Michigan Virtual for Students and Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute.