The luncheon panel was held Sept. 27 at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa in Grand Traverse Village, Mich.
Panelists for the event:
Tom Watkins, Educational consultant and former Michigan State Superintendent of Public Instruction;
Michael Murray, Superintendent of Suttons Bay Public Schools;
Bryan Klochack, Principal of Michigan Connections Academy.
Moderated by: Michael Van Beek, Mackinac Center Education Policy Director
Compared to other sectors of American life, public schooling hasn't changed much over the last century. A revolution is taking place, however, with the advent of online learning. More students than ever are logging on to complete their school work, and this trend is expected to grow.
Why? Students are no longer limited to the course offerings of their local school; they can search the globe to find the right course. Online courses can be completely individualized, since not all students learn the same way. And, online instruction is proving to be effective and less expensive than traditional face-to-face instruction, and at a lower operating cost than conventional brick-and-mortar schools.
Tom Watkins is a business and educational consultant in the United States and China. He has held leadership positions in juvenile justice, mental health, higher education, government, politics, business and pre-K-12 education. He has penned numerous articles on personal, digital and e-learning, including "Exploring E-Learning Reforms for Michigan."
Michael Murray is the superintendent of Suttons Bay Public Schools. Murray believes that technology provides the tools to individualize a student's education by allowing instruction from the best the world has to offer.
Bryan Klochack has nearly 20 years of experience as a teacher, assistant principal and high school principal, and is leading Michigan’s first virtual public school.
Michael Van Beek is director of education policy at the Mackinac Center and author of “Virtual Learning in Michigan’s Schools.”