Virtual School Meanderings

May 22, 2020

Just Published: Cutting-Edge Programs Expanding Students’ Social Capital

As I say each week…  From the neo-liberal, educational privatizers masquerading as an academic body – so the term research here is used VERY loosely (as none of this actually represents methodologically sound, reliable, valid, or empirical research in any real way).

Check out this week’s highlights from the Christensen Institute. 
Christensen Institute · 92 Hayden Avenue · Lexington, MA 02421 · USA

May 20, 2020

The Launch Of Class Disrupted

An item from a business professor with little direct experience in education, but who believes free market economic principles are the answer to education’s (and pretty much all other society’s social) problems.

The Launch of Class Disrupted

A New Podcast to Answer Parents’ Questions About K–12 Schools During These Challenging Times

As the impact of Covid-19 continues to roil through society, many students, parents, teachers, and families have struggled with the transition to remote learning in K–12 schools across the country.

With a front-row seat into what their children’s learning looks like for the first time, parents and families are grappling with questions around what should school look like and why were so many districts unprepared for this transition. The lid has been lifted on education in America. It’s shown how it’s working—or not working. And this moment is opening us up to the idea that maybe school can work differently from here on out. Maybe school doesn’t have to—and shouldn’t—operate like it has for the last many decades.

To answer the burning questions parents are asking and address their frustrations, I’m thrilled to announce that I’ve partnered with Diane Tavenner, the mom of a high school senior; the co-founder of Summit Public Schools, a network of schools on the West Coast; and the author of Prepared: What Kids Need for a Fulfilled Life, to launch a new, limited-run podcast series called Class Disrupted today in partnership with The 74 Million.

Diane is one of the most brilliant and passionate educators I know. She has long been someone I’ve looked up to in the world of education. Together, each week we answer questions from parents and speak with educators and thought leaders about how schools can change to better meet the needs of all learners.

All those things causing parents frustration—the grading confusion, the busywork, the schedule, the technology, the sense of purpose their kids lack, the sense of self-direction they’re trying to force on them—Diane and I have been looking at those things, and tackling them, for years. And in the podcast, we will bring you some of the great ideas out there about how to fix them.

The first two episodes of Class Disrupted are now available, and we will release a new episode each week through July. I hope you’ll listen and subscribe (through Apple PodcastsGoogle Play, or Stitcher)—and share your feedback.

As always, thank you for listening, reading, and writing. And stay safe and stay strong.

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© 2020 Michael B. Horn
PO Box 720263, San Francisco, CA 94172

May 16, 2020

What Students Can Do On A Gap Year During A Pandemic

An item from a business professor with little direct experience in education, but who believes free market economic principles are the answer to education’s (and pretty much all other society’s social) problems.

What Students Can Do On A Gap Year During A Pandemic

Even as much of society is still shuttered and the economy remains in tatters, there are good opportunities

In my last newsletter, I wrote about how COVID-19 is a crucible moment for high school and college students.

For those students who may take a break from college—and as many as 20% are looking at doing just that given the current circumstances, according to some projections—rather than view a gap year as a year off, students should reframe it as a year on purpose.

A question of course with so much of society still shuttered and the economy in tatters is what should students do if they are not enrolled in school. I wrote about the topic for Forbes recently in “What Students Can Do On A Gap Year During the Pandemic.”

NYU Professor Scott Galloway has suggested that the United States build a “Corona Corps” in which students could help on the front lines of the pandemic. Kaplan has launched a new program called Boost Year, in which students enroll online to learn who they are and where they fit professionally, connect with professionals and a mentor, complete projects with companies, and cultivate community with other students. Brown University Professor Matthew Kraft has suggested building a tutoring corps, in which students and recent graduates tutor K–12 students—and former Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has started building such an offering. LearnLaunch, a nonprofit education innovation hub where I’m on the board—is partnering with prestigious universities to offer online internships with education companies.

As I chronicle in the piece, students can also sign up for online experiential learning opportunities, much as Adjacent Academies is offering. At Adjacent, non-computer science liberal arts undergraduates develop technical skills through experiential learning. Together, they dive into an intensive learning experience that favors application rather than discourse, failure and iteration over answers, and teamwork over individual success. All students receive a transcript from Davidson, which they can seek to have their home institution accept for transfer credit.

I encourage you to read more in my piece for Forbes here.

Over the next several weeks, I’ll also be interviewing leaders of gap-year programs on YouTube Live and Facebook Live (please subscribe and follow both channels!) to learn about their suggestions for students in the year ahead and how they are responding to the pandemic.

You can watch the interview I did with Abby Falik, founder and CEO of Global Citizen Year on YouTube.

Or check out my conversation with Rutledge Long, founder of Parachute, here.

And next week I’ll interview Charlie Talibi, CEO of Year On, which you can watch live here. The week after that I’ll interview the leaders of Kaplan’s Boost Year program.


Here are some other radio broadcasts, podcasts and articles that may interest you:

·      One Third Of Private 4-Year Colleges Are At High Risk Financially, Model Predicts, WBUR Radio

·      Kansas City’s Confusing Reopening, Distance Learning vs. Expectations, Kids At Home, KCUR, NPR in Kansas City

·      COVID-19’s Ultimate Impact on Online Learning: The Good and the Bad, Campus Technology

·      COVID-19’s Ultimate Impact on Online Learning: The Good and the Bad, Campus Technology

·      The Impact of COVID-19 on Higher Education—The Time Horizon Matters!, The EdUp Experience Podcast

·      Higher Ed Thought Leader Interview with Michael Horn, The Collegiate Empowerment Show

·      Will COVID-19 Permanently Change Instruction and Costs in Higher Ed? Episode 58 of Future U with John Katzman, founder of Noodle Partners, 2U, and Princeton Review, and Ben Nelson, founder of the Minerva Project

·      The Three Digital Waves of Higher Ed in a Pandemic: Episode 57 of Future U

·      Some students are considering dropping out of college because of coronavirus, CNBC

As always, thanks for reading, writing, listening and contributing. Stay safe and stay strong.

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© 2020 Michael B. Horn
PO Box 720263, San Francisco, CA 94172

May 15, 2020

Envisioning The 7 Habits Of Highly Resilient Schools

As I say each week…  From the neo-liberal, educational privatizers masquerading as an academic body – so the term research here is used VERY loosely (as none of this actually represents methodologically sound, reliable, valid, or empirical research in any real way).

Check out this week’s highlights from the Christensen Institute. 
Christensen Institute · 92 Hayden Avenue · Lexington, MA 02421 · USA

May 8, 2020

The Online Edtech That Helps Educators Make Distance Learning Less Distant

As I say each week…  From the neo-liberal, educational privatizers masquerading as an academic body – so the term research here is used VERY loosely (as none of this actually represents methodologically sound, reliable, valid, or empirical research in any real way).

Check out this week’s highlights from the Christensen Institute. 
Christensen Institute · 92 Hayden Avenue · Lexington, MA 02421 · USA
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