When “Disrupting Class” was published in 2008, we caused a stir by predicting that by the fall of 2019, 50 percent of all high school courses would be delivered online in some form or fashion.
That forecast was rooted in a sense of optimism—that as digital learning tools and opportunities proliferated in schools, educators would increasingly be able to tailor their instruction to meet students’ different needs.
Students enter school with different skills, backgrounds and experiences. The science of “learner variability,” as it has become known, aims to study the range of cognitive, social and emotional skills—as well as health and psychological well-being—they bring into the classroom. This field was in its infancy at the time when the book was published, but it has progressed significantly since.