Tuesday, June 11, 2013


Imagine an Illinois that is at the forefront of education innovation – a state that boosts student achievement by personalizing learning through digital instruction. 

Imagine a place that policymakers and educators from across the country look forward to see what the future of education should be. 

Imagine a region with a thriving entrepreneurial community creating the technology and tools to help students learn and thrive.

Now is the time to make that idea a reality.

That’s why the Illinois Policy Institute, in partnership with the Union League Club of Chicago and its Public Affairs Committee, is hosting the Digital Learning Symposium in Chicago. This in-depth, one-day conference will explore how we can help students achieve their full potential with digital learning.

Everyone with a stake in improving student outcomes – from teachers and administrators to education entrepreneurs and policymakers to parents and taxpayers – is invited to the Digital Learning Symposium.

What:          Digital Learning Symposium hosted by the Illinois Policy Institute
Date:           Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Time:           8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Location:     Union League Club of Chicago
                    65 W. Jackson Boulevard 
                    Chicago, Illinois 60604
Attire:         Business Casual*
Cost:          $20 (includes continental breakfast and lunch)

What is digital learning?
Digital learning is the integration of technology to aid instruction in the classroom. Children learn at their own pace while teachers are provided with real-time feedback on individual student performance.

Why does digital learning matter?
  • It can help struggling students excel and give dropouts a second chance.
  • It allows students to expand horizons by studying new subjects. 
  • It helps teachers plan more effectively and reach all students.
  • It frees up time and resources to focus on what really matters – helping students learn.
At this symposium, you will:
  • Learn about the national, state and local digital learning landscape.
  • Hear from educators who built digital learning programs from the ground up.
  • Network with professionals who already use technology in their classrooms.
  • Access cutting-edge developers who are creating technology aids that can be used in the classroom.
  • Learn how digital learning can help districts facing longer school days and tight budgets. 
  • Gain the knowledge to successfully incorporate digital learning in your school. 
  • Understand the policy reforms that can advance digital learning deployment. 
Confirmed speakers include:
  • Michael Horn, Education Executive Director, Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation
  • Susan Fine, Chief Academic Officer, New Classrooms Innovation
  • Matthew Wicks, Chief Operating Officer, International Association for K-12 Online Learning
  • Robert Enlow, President and CEO, Friedman Foundation
  • Todd Yarch, Principal, VOISE Academy
  • Rick Ogston, Founder and CEO, Carpe Diem Schools
  • Howard Tullman, Chairman, Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy
  • Rhonda Hopps, CEO, Perspectives Charter Schools

About the Illinois Policy Institute
The Illinois Policy Institute inspires changes in hearts, minds and laws through its mission to promote personal freedom and prosperity in Illinois and America. As a leading independent research and education organization, the Institute generates positive and sustainable policy solutions for citizens and lawmakers that help unleash talent and entrepreneurial ability.

About the Union League Club of Chicago
Founded in 1879, the Union League Club of Chicago (ULCC) is the only private club in the U.S. with an institutional commitment to public policy advocacy. Early in its history, the Club protected the City of Chicago’s municipal personnel code and urged adoption the 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, allowing election of U.S. Senators by popular vote instead of by state legislators. Recognized for its work on election and judicial reforms, the ULCC is credited with launching the Chicago Crime Commission and helping to shape a new Illinois state Constitution. Among the Club’s current initiatives are regional transportation improvement, civic literacy programs, and education reform.

PartnersThe Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation
The Clayton Christensen Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank dedicated to improving the world through disruptive innovation. Founded on the theories of Harvard professor Clayton M. Christensen, the Institute offers a unique framework for understanding many of society’s most pressing problems. Its mission is ambitious but clear: work to shape and elevate the conversation surrounding these issues through rigorous research and public outreach. With an initial focus on education and health care, the Christensen Institute is redefining the way policymakers, community leaders, and innovators address the problems of our day by distilling and promoting the transformational power of disruptive innovation. 

The Institute for Humane Studies

The Institute for Humane Studies is an institute devoted to research and education in the conviction that greater understanding of human affairs and freedom will foster peace, prosperity, and social harmony. The mission of IHS is to support the achievement of a better future by discovering and facilitating the development of talented students and scholars who are dedicated to the principles of freedom and opportunity. IHS’s latest project, EdVantage, supports the efforts of faculty to communicate the ideas of freedom by providing a one-stop shop for supplementary materials in the social science classroom. With an impressive array of featured materials on economics, philosophy, and political science, EdVantage will change the game in faculty resource discovery and supplementation. 

Florida Virtual School®
Florida Virtual School® (FLVS®) is a fully accredited public school district with a 15-year history of successfully educating students. An award-winning, international leader in online learning, FLVS offers more than 120 FREE courses to Kindergarten–Grade 12 public, private, and homeschool Florida students.
Every FLVS course is taught by a dedicated and certified teacher who is focused on student success. Courses are aligned with Florida and national standards and are accessible 24/7. Enrollment is open 365 days a year due to the Florida Virtual School year-round rolling enrollment model.
As a national model for virtual education, the FLVS performance based-model makes Florida a leader in education reform and ensures remarkable accountability. Driven by a performance-based funding model, FLVS only receives funding for students who successfully complete courses.

Stand for Children Illinois
Stand for Children Illinois is a grassroots education reform organization that supports high-quality public education access for all children with a focus on closing the academic achievement gap.  Our mission is to ensure that all children, regardless of their background, graduate from high school prepared for, and with access to, a college education. To make that happen, we:
  • Educate and empower parents, teachers, and community members to demand excellent schools.
  • Advocate for effective local, state, and national education policies and investments and ensure that those policies impact classrooms and students.
  • Elect courageous leaders who will stand up for our priorities.

The International Association for K-12 Online Learning 

The International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) is a non-profit organization working to transform education toward student-centric learning through policy advocacy, research, the establishment of national quality standards, knowledge sharing, professional development, and the promotion of new learning models that allow for highly personalized educational experiences for all students – no matter where they live or how they learn. iNACOL represents a field of pioneering educators, school leaders, researchers, policymakers, entrepreneurs, non-profits, content providers, and thought leaders working across the full spectrum of online, blended, and competency-based learning. iNACOL also hosts the annual iNACOL Blended and Online Learning Symposium – the premier education conference and networking event for leaders shaping the future of K-12 online and blended learning.

New Schools for Chicago
New Schools for Chicago works to radically improve outcomes for Chicago’s children through education. We do this by investing in excellence and innovation, demanding accountability and promoting school choice. Since 2005, we have raised more than $70 million, launched 73 new charter, contract and performance schools, helped establish more than 10 charter networks, and brought choice to 27 communities in which at least 75 percent of the schools were failing. We continue to spur change by supporting the replication of Chicago’s proven charter networks, recruiting the best and brightest charter operators from across the country, and investing in innovation through new learning models that incorporate technology to improve student outcomes and teacher satisfaction.

The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice
The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice was established in 1996 to promote universal school choice as the most effective and equitable way to improve the quality of K-12 education in America.
Founded upon the ideals and theories of Nobel laureate Milton Friedman and economist Rose D. Friedman, the Foundation is dedicated to research, education, and outreach on the vital issues and implications related to school choice and competition in K-12 education.

Freedom to Learn Illinois
Freedom to Learn Illinois (F2LI) is a charitable, non-profit organization fighting on behalf of families for comprehensive school choice legislation in Illinois, in order to provide high-quality education for all students. F2LI is building a coalition of school choice organizations, non-public and charter educational networks, think tanks and corporations. Through its website, social media and newspaper articles, F2LI educates voters about parental choice’s value. By building and orchestrating grassroots, community, business-sector and media support, F2LI seeks to decisively influence both the public at large and elected officials.
F2LI’s philanthropic efforts include its Opportunity Scholarship Program, a privately funded scholarship program for at-risk students in Chicago’s disadvantaged neighborhoods.

*Please note: the Union League Club of Chicago maintains a "business casual" dress code – e.g., collared shirt and slacks for gentlemen, no jeans or denim, and equivalent dress for ladies.

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