January 11th, 2013 by Dan Meyer
Rocketship CEO John Danner went on record with EdSurge. The Learning Labs aren't leaving.
Online learning is integral to our model…The Learning Lab is not going away, rather we are working to integrate its key components directly into our classrooms under the guidance of our incredible teachers and staff…I think Merrow probably just happened to focus on an isolated incident and wanted to bring it up as it is always a valid concern with online learning. We continue to work on the data integration piece and this pilot doesn't change the importance of that. Our teachers continue to get more robust data from the Learning Lab and are eager for us to work towards a fully integrated and real-time system.
Jason Dyer notes that this doesn't really address NewsHour's criticism:
Is the complaint from the PBS interview really about “teacher interface” or even “data”?
Meanwhile, on his blog, Danner writes a post called "Kids learn when they are solving problems," in which he laments the state of online learning and basically outs himself as a radical constructivist.
When you are in a school, I think it becomes very clear when learning happens. Students who are working on a problem that they can solve learn by trying to solve the problem and receiving prompts and insights from peers or the teacher when they make mistakes. This eventually helps them get over the hump and be able to solve similar problems with a lot less mental effort. That's learning. This happens thousands of times a day in well run classrooms. For whatever reason, we have really lost this truth in online learning.
All of this makes Danner, and Rocketship, really hard to pin down. But there's a lot to like here and even more that's interesting.