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Ten Year’s of Transformation (A Welcome) In the Fall of 2003, seventeen pioneering leaders formed what was then the North American Council for Online Learning (NACOL) with a vision for transforming K-12 education through online teaching and learning, fostering a landscape that promoted student success and lifelong learning. Just ten years later, hundreds of new learning models have taken root across the continuum of blended and online learning, with tools and resources transforming the way traditional classrooms differentiate instruction for each and every student. The next ten years offer even more of an unprecedented window of opportunity — in addition to new barriers and challenges — for this transformative shift toward student-centered learning. If we want those directing the future of education to act differently, we must get them to think differently. Working with innovators across the field, iNACOL’s annual symposium seeks to host thought-provoking discussions and unparalleled networking opportunities in order to share ideas and enable innovation to take hold in schools across the country and around the world. Susan Patrick will explore trends shaping the future of learning, reflect on success stories from the across field and spotlight early indicators identified in breakthrough new models using online, blended and competency-based environments. Driving an Innovative Policy Roadmap Toward the Transformation of Student Learning How are policy makers removing barriers and addressing goals to enable all students to leverage a variety of transformed learning experiences and environments (blending digital components and learning online — in and out of school) to ensure that they are ready for the world? As educators on the ground are driving the big idea of competency education, it is gaining traction in federal, state and local policy at all levels. From the federal Race to the Top district programs focused on personalization to state proficiency-based graduation requirements; district innovation zones; turnaround schools; and new school models using high-quality blended and online learning — competency-based education is a key theme bridging next generation learning approaches and student-centered learning. To meet the vision of competency-based education, policy makers and practitioners need to think differently about almost every aspect of our education system. Policy leaders from federal and state government will provide a vision of the future of policy toward student-centered learning — from addressing broadband infrastructure needs to policies that focus on competency development, rather than seat-time. Panelists will explore policy strategies and approaches to unleash innovation, improve technology infrastructure, provide better transparency of quality programs and create space for innovation.

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