IN JUNE 2010, FORMER FLORIDA Gov. Jeb Bush traveled to Columbus, Ohio, to give the commencement speech for the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow, the state's largest virtual charter school. ECOT, which provides K-12 online education for kids who never set foot inside a classroom, was celebrating its 10th anniversary and its largest graduating class—nearly 2,000 kids. Naturally, the event, held on the campus of Ohio State University, was webcast for those who couldn't make it.
Bush served up the usual graduation platitudes about the future. Then he hit on the reason he was saluting this particular school: digital learning. It was, he said, nothing short of a revolutionary approach, a way to meet "the unique needs of each student so that their God-given abilities are maximized, so they can pursue their dreams armed with the power of knowledge."