As I’ve been crisscrossing the country in recent weeks, many friends and colleagues have asked me to fill them in on the idea of an “eSchool.” So I thought you might like to hear a little about it, too.
In a nutshell, an eSchool will be the ultimate outcome of all the dreaming, dedication, and dollars America is investing right now to create the ideal learning environment for the next millennium.
As you know as well as I do, America now operates in a global economy, in an ever more competitive world market. As a result, the nation needs a work force far better educated than any that has come before. We need well-educated, creative, flexible citizens who can understand and successfully negotiate rapid change. Today’s students must “learn to learn” if they are to cope with the world we see evolving now.
In the years immediately ahead, America must find a way to move from the old school to the eSchool.
An eSchool is what visionary educators are building to replace the factory-model educational facilities that were common during most of the century just ending.
The old school was well suited to a homogeneous student population, a learning environment in which all students and all school employees looked pretty much alike, thought pretty much alike, and had pretty much the same needs. It was a place where a settled body of knowledge enjoyed a broad consensus.
But as society was getting more complicated, education research began to notice that each student is unique, has a specific learning style, acquires knowledge best when interacting with the material being studied and sometimes even when directing her or his own learning.
At just that moment, technology made it possible to provide the individualized instruction the research called for. In this very issue, in fact, you can read about the interactive curriculum systems, powerful new computers, sophisticated software, all the new and emerging technologies that enable you and your colleagues actually to create the learning environment these times demand.
Education today is on yet another new frontier. To guide our journey, the concept of the “eSchool” was born. In the days and months ahead, eSchool News and its electronic companion (at http://www.eschoolnews.com) will strive to polish and perfect that shorthand term.
So please subscribe, contribute. Let us hear from you.
Join us and your fellow pioneers as we strive first to visualize and then to build that ideal learning environment for the new millennium.
Gregg W. Downey
Editor & Publisher