Salman Khan of Khan Academy concisely articulates the potential for online learning to flip the classroom. The goal is to use technology to humanize education. Rather than focusing on student to teacher ratios, the key metric is the ratio of student to valuable human time. Rather than lecturing and grading, teachers (or peers) can sit with the learner and facilitate what is normally assigned for homework, flipping the classroom. Meanwhile, Video pause, rewind, and replay enables self-pacing. So far data at Khan Academy seems to suggest that labels of gifted vs. challenged may often be due to a coincidence of time. And that true, full mastery should be a goal for all.
For me, the interplay with Los Altos School District is also an interesting example of closer connections between emerging solution development and end users — a gap I’ve been thinking much about while working towards creating EDesign, a more user-centered and interdisciplinary collaborative to problem-solve for education innovation.