From the Inside Flap
—From the Preface
Our digital age has prompted the need for radical new ways of learning that touch students, teachers, and parents. In Getting Smart, well-known global education expert Tom Vander Ark examines the various facets of educational innovation in the United States and abroad. Vander Ark—a former business executive, school superintendent, and foundation director—makes a convincing case for a new model of education that blends online and on-site learning. Vander Ark explains that through the use of technology it is now possible to provide 24/7 access to learning and increase student engagement. This new model can be cost effective, even doubling productivity for students who are struggling. By customizing learning—teaching the right way at the right level—each hour of learning can become more effective for all students at all levels.
Throughout this inspirational book, Vander Ark shares real-world stories of schools and programs that offer effective "personal digital learning" opportunities. In addition, Getting Smart spells out a vision of what it will take to transform our schools into "smart schools" that blend models, extend learning, and leverage community resources.
From the Back Cover
"Provocative and bold, Tom Vander Ark's Getting Smart challenges long-held assumptions about education, points to why innovation will be so critical to enabling the education system of the future, and paints a vision of what learning could look like throughout society—and how we so desperately need it."
—Michael B. Horn, executive director, Education of Innosight Institute;and coauthor, Disrupting Class
"Tom Vander Ark thinks public education ought to join the twenty-first century. In this visionary book about a new and much more effective way to educate our kids, he explains the potential impact of the digital revolution on education—a learning transformation that is inevitable, even though it's now still in its infancy. Finally, an education reform book filled with hope, accompanied by a clear articulation of the way forward."
—Joel Klein, CEO, Educational Division, News Corporation
"Tom Vander Ark's analysis of the interrelationships between student needs, experiences, schools, and opportunity through innovations is thought provoking and 'wicked smart.' Vander Ark illuminates a pathway that is rational and intelligent—synthesizing the opportunities for adults to get smarter in serving our aspiring youth."
—Susan Patrick, president and CEO, iNACOL
"As usual, Tom Vander Ark is right on target. Blended learning will change how and what we teach and how and what students learn. Tomorrow has suddenly become today!"
—Terry Grier, superintendent, Houston ISD