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The centralized bureaucratically arranged school district of brick and mortar buildings clustered within a village, town, or city is in the process of changing to a hybrid virtual school system linked by computers, software, and the Internet. The educational system of the future will be designed around the capabilities of software that can personalize the curriculum to make learning more meaningful. This case study outlines how one K-12 school district is managing change related to teaching, leading, and learning as it shifts to a more student-centered approach to education within a distributed, bureaucratically arranged, virtually enhanced structure of schooling that combines bricks with clicks.

Education leadership review, volume 12, number 2 (october 2011)

NCPEA Education Leadership Review is a nationally refereed journal published two times a year, in Winter (April), and Fall (October) by the National Council of Professors ofEducational Administration. Editor: Kenneth Lane, Southeastern Louisiana University; Assistant Editor: Gerard Babo, Seton Hall University; Founding Editor: Theodore Creighton, Virginia Tech.

This manuscript has been peer-reviewed, accepted, and endorsed by the National Council of Professors of Educational Administration (NCPEA) as a significant contribution to the scholarship and practice of education administration. In addition to publication in the Connexions Content Commons, this module is published in the Education Leadership Review, Volume 12, Number 2 (October, 2011), ISSN 1532-0723. Formatted and edited in Connexions by Theodore Creighton and Brad Bizzell, Virginia Tech.

Introduction

The American educational system is about to make a transition into the future that will alter its structure as well as the core technology of teaching and learning. The data gathered from this case study indicated one school district is in the formative stage of developing a virtual organizational structure based upon a convergence of high quality software, Internet connectivity, and capacity building to support digital teaching and learning. Fully supported teaching and learning will require a commitment to an organizational structure(s) that builds capacity for a more virtual school system.

The legacy of bureaucratic education

In the last thirty years a major transformation has taken place in American education. What was expected of the K-12 educational organization in the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries reached its zenith at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Until the twenty-first century American education was successful if some students graduated with rudimentary knowledge and skill as productive members of society. In the twenty-first century teaching, learning, and the educational system itself have been buffeted by forces that challenged the traditional bureaucratic arrangement of schools with tall administrative hierarchies, centralized decision-making, and tightly controlled structures. The model of American education based upon the industrial factory is undergoing a revolution based upon emerging technologies that redefine school organization as a virtual as well as a physical learning environment.

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Source:  OpenStax, Education leadership review, volume 12, number 2 (october 2011). OpenStax CNX. Sep 26, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11360/1.3
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