Lawmaker says digital learning is key to education reform

 Replacing the traditional course with a computer, that's what state Sen. Bill Coley says is part of the solution towards reforming Ohio's education system long-term. 
"The digital learning, the blended method of teaching gives you a way to tailor instruction to each individual student, and reach 100 percent of the students, it's very exciting," Coley said.
Legislators in Columbus passed the Digital Learning Clearinghouse program  nearly four years ago -- it uses an online model within the classroom and also allows students to take online courses in other districts;thereby providing more a wider variety of course options for students without  adding to costs.
"School district that don't have the resources to have an extremely broad course catalog,  now have access to it at no additional cost," Coley said.
But would the online model results in even more costs to local districts?
"It's just a reallocation of funds that are currently in place, we currently spend over $200 per student on books in the state of Ohio, given the digital age that we live in, you have to ask yourself why do we spend a dollar on books anymore?" Coley said.
Coley says for a large districts like Lakota, the second largest in the tri-state, the digital learning model would work to streamline learning to be more cost effective in the future as opposed to imposing levys on the voters.
"A number of the Lakota schools have so many magnificent teachers but may not have the resources to give those teachers a raise -- we're going to compensate you by giving you a percentage of your online revenue, and thereby reward their best and brightest teachers, without having to pay them more from the taxpayers of their local district," Coley said.
Coley said a few districts are currently using the program, and he expects it to expand to other districts.

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