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Thought Leaders in Online Education: Cheryl Vedoe, CEO of Apex Learning (Part 5)

Posted on Friday, Mar 17th 2017

Sramana Mitra: Why is that, though? It makes sense to equip all schools with this ability to personalize and help teachers give this personalized guidance. Why is that movement slow?

Cheryl Vedoe: I think I can answer that, most readily, by speaking about why it was faster in the other two cases. In the case of advanced placement, what motivated the use of online courses was the very simple fact that many high schools simply were not able to provide access to advanced placement courses unless they gave students the opportunity to take them in a virtual environment. There is a very strong and compelling need to be addressed that drove that change.

Similarly, with struggling students, there’s a very clear need on the part of educators to keep more students in school and on track to graduate on time. There’s a very clear motivation to look at how to change the learning experience for those students so that they can be successful. When you go into the middle, one of the reasons we see as to why things occur more slowly there is, because it would involve every teacher starting to look at the changes they can do in the classroom every day to integrate digital curriculum and personalize learning for every student. It’s really about change and the pace at which change occurs. Change occurs more quickly where there’s the greatest need.

Sramana Mitra: It’s also been a long time. Digital learning has now been in the market for a good decade. I think the benefits are understood especially from the capabilities of personalization and skill gap analysis.

I’m just disappointed to hear that it’s still not rolling out as fast as you would hope. You take these middle students who are doing okay but maybe they can do a lot better. Maybe they can become AP students if they were given the right kind of education on a regular basis.

Cheryl Vedoe: I can’t disagree with you on that. I agree with you. I think there’s potential for more students to achieve at higher levels if classroom teachers are able to do more to personalize learning to meet individual student needs. That’s certainly a real theme that we hear more of today. Part of our focus is on making sure that the solutions that we develop can fit in practically into what a teacher does in a classroom so that teachers are more likely to incorporate it and students are able to see the benefits that you describe quite well.

This segment is part 5 in the series : Thought Leaders in Online Education: Cheryl Vedoe, CEO of Apex Learning
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