Draft outlines digital goals for Ky. schools

FRANKFORT — A draft report presented to the Kentucky Board of Education on Wednesday offers ambitious goals for online and digital learning in the state's public schools, including shifting to online assessments and instructional materials.

The Digital Learning 2020 draft calls for ensuring all students in Kentucky have access to digital learning, especially by expanding digital and online offerings within public school buildings.

It also proposes creating a new office in the state Department of Education that would manage the program and funding for a transition to digital learning. No costs were proposed during the presentation, but suggestions were offered for changing funding procedures, such as linking funding to student performance in online courses.

The 11 recommendations in the draft include moving to online assessments by the 2013-14 school year, shifting to online instructional materials by 2014-15, and allowing students to use technology to personalize their learning.

Board members expressed general concerns about student access to computers and whether online teaching materials would be subject to state oversight.

"You tend to think there is a textbook that somebody has sat down and reviewed," said David Karem, board chairman. "... The quality control is a big issue."