Michael Horn

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MIchael Horn photo

Authority on the Future of Education and Blended Learning Expert; Co-Founder and Distinguished Fellow, Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation; Author, “Disrupting Class” and “Blended;” Principal Consultant, Entangled Solutions

Biography

Michael Horn is a co-founder of and a distinguished fellow at the Clayton Christensen Institute (CCI) and the former executive director of its education program. At the CCI, he led a team that educates policymakers and community leaders on the power of disruptive innovation in the K-12 and higher education spheres through its research. His team aimed to transform monolithic, factory-model education systems into student-centric designs that educate every student successfully and enable each to realize his or her fullest potential. Currently, Michael serves as the Chief Strategy Officer for Entangled Ventures, an education technology studio, and as a principal consultant for Entangled Solutions, which offers innovation services to higher education institutions.

Michael published the groundbreaking book “Blended: Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools” (John Wiley & Sons, November 2014), with co-author Heather Staker,  that serves as a practical field guide and eye-opener for the builders and influencers of the next generation of K-12 learning environments. Most recently, Horn and Staker published the companion book, “The Blended Workbook” (John Wiley & Sons, August 2017).

In 2008, he co-authored the award-winning “Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns with Harvard Business School Professor Clayton M. Christensen and Curtis W. Johnson. Newsweek cited the book 14th on its list of “Fifty Books for Our Times.” Michael has written several white papers about blended learning and is co-editor, with Frederick Hess, of the book “Private Enterprise and Public Education.” He has also written articles for numerous publications including Forbes, The Washington Post, The Economist, The Huffington Post, and Education Week.

He testifies regularly at state legislative sessions and is a frequent keynote speaker at education conferences and planning sessions around the U.S. Tech&Learning magazine named him to its list of the 100 most important people in the creation and advancement of the use of technology in education. Michael was also selected as a 2014 Eisenhower Fellow to study innovation in education in Vietnam and Korea.

In addition, he serves on the board and advisory boards of a range of education organizations, including the Clayton Christensen Institute, the Robin Hood Learning+Tech Fund, and the LearnLaunch Institute. He also serves as an executive editor at Education Next and is a venture partner at NextGen Venture Partners.

Michael holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Yale University and a master’s from the Harvard Business School.

Michael Horn is available for paid speaking engagements including keynote addresses, speeches, panels, conference talks, and advisory/consulting services through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.

Videos

Books & Research

The Blended Workbook: Learning to Design the Schools of our Future

(John Wiley & Sons, August 2017)

Augmented Management Intelligence: Can Robots Bring Humanity Back to the Workplace?

(CorpU, June 2017)

The Future of Student Aid: Advancing New Models to Expand Access, Improve Quality, and Spur Innovation in Education

(Entangled Solutions, May 2017)

A Blueprint for Breakthroughs: Federally Funded Education Research in 2016 and Beyond

(The Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation, May 2016)

Disrupting Law School: How Disruptive Innovation Will Revolutionize The Legal World

(The Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation, March 2016)

Schools as Community Hubs: Integrating Support Services to Drive Educational Outcomes

(The Brookings Institute, September 2015)

Policy Brief: Moving Beyond College: Rethinking Higher Education Regulation for an Unbundled World

(American Enterprise Institute, August 2015)

The Educator's Dilemma: When and How Schools Should Embrace Poverty Relief

(The Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation, June 2015)

Blended: Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools

(John Wiley & Sons, November 2014)

Disrupting Class, Expanded Edition: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns

(McGraw-Hill, August 2010)

Private Enterprise and Public Education

(Teachers College Press, August 2013)

Is K–12 Blended Learning Disruptive? An Introduction of the Theory of Hybrids

(The Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation, May 2013)

Disrupting College: How Disruptive Innovation Can Deliver Quality and Affordability to Postsecondary Education

(Innosight Institute, February 2011)

The Rise of K-12 Blended Learning

(Innosight Institute, January 2011)

Rethinking Student Motivation: Why Understanding the 'Job' is Crucial for Improving Education

(Innosight Institute, September 2010)

Policy Brief: Virtual Schooling: Disrupting the Status Quo

(The James Madison Institute, May 2010)

Articles

Clayton Christensen Institute logo

Michael Horn's Blog for the Clayton Christensen Institute

Forbes logo

Michael Horn's Blog for Forbes

Michael Horn's Blog for EducationNext

Michael Horn's Column for EdSurge

Backers of an Audit Model for Judging Education Quality Invite Feedback

June 26, 2017

Inside Higher Ed logo

For-Profit Universities 2.0

June 15, 2017

evolllution logo

The Case for Income-Share Agreements

June 12, 2017

Management and the Singularity

June, 2017

De-risking Innovation

May 17, 2017

Innovation and the Jobs to Be Done in Higher Education (Audio)

April 12, 2017

The Impact of Betsy DeVos

April 5, 2017

The Job of Innovation

Spring 2017

A New Architecture for the University Campus of the Future

March 22, 2017

evolllution logo

Unbundling and Rebundling: The Lasting Impact of Alternative Credentialing on Higher Ed

September 23, 2016

The Atlantic logo

The Failing Grade for Tests

September 4, 2016

The Atlantic logo

What If Schools Abolished Grade Levels?

September 3, 2016

Beyond Disrupting Class

August 17, 2016

Enabling Better Studies of Virtual Charter Schools

August 17, 2016

New York Times logo

Law Schools Are Going Online to Reach New Students

June 22, 2016

Reinventing Research

May 12, 2016

Now That It's an Awful Time to be a New Lawyer, Law Schools Need to Prove Their Worth

March 15, 2016

Clayton Christensen Institute logo

Bullish on Blended-Learning Clusters

January 13, 2016

district administration logo

Broader Response Needed to Close Achievement Gaps

January 2016

Regulatory Noise Stifles, Slows Rise of Competency-Based Learning

October 27, 2015

The End of the Master’s Degree?

August 26, 2015

evolllution logo

Improved Analytics Critical to the Personalization of Online Learning

July 31, 2015

How Blended Learning Increases Teacher Job Satisfaction & Retention

July 14, 2015

Children Should Advance in School According to Skill, Not Age

June 20, 2015

How to Maximize Blended Learning in the Classroom

May 12, 2015

Interview with Michael Horn, Author of the Book “Blended: Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools”

March 30, 2015

Huffington Post logo

Unprecedented Opportunities: Online Learning Explosion Empowers GenDIY

February 9, 2015

Designing a Blended Learning Program

January 28, 2015

Obama, Free Community College May Not Work

January 21, 2015

Biography

Michael Horn is a co-founder of and a distinguished fellow at the Clayton Christensen Institute (CCI) and the former executive director of its education program. At the CCI, he led a team that educates policymakers and community leaders on the power of disruptive innovation in the K-12 and higher education spheres through its research. His team aimed to transform monolithic, factory-model education systems into student-centric designs that educate every student successfully and enable each to realize his or her fullest potential. Currently, Michael serves as the Chief Strategy Officer for Entangled Ventures, an education technology studio, and as a principal consultant for Entangled Solutions, which offers innovation services to higher education institutions.

Michael published the groundbreaking book “Blended: Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools” (John Wiley & Sons, November 2014), with co-author Heather Staker,  that serves as a practical field guide and eye-opener for the builders and influencers of the next generation of K-12 learning environments. Most recently, Horn and Staker published the companion book, “The Blended Workbook” (John Wiley & Sons, August 2017).

In 2008, he co-authored the award-winning “Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns with Harvard Business School Professor Clayton M. Christensen and Curtis W. Johnson. Newsweek cited the book 14th on its list of “Fifty Books for Our Times.” Michael has written several white papers about blended learning and is co-editor, with Frederick Hess, of the book “Private Enterprise and Public Education.” He has also written articles for numerous publications including Forbes, The Washington Post, The Economist, The Huffington Post, and Education Week.

He testifies regularly at state legislative sessions and is a frequent keynote speaker at education conferences and planning sessions around the U.S. Tech&Learning magazine named him to its list of the 100 most important people in the creation and advancement of the use of technology in education. Michael was also selected as a 2014 Eisenhower Fellow to study innovation in education in Vietnam and Korea.

In addition, he serves on the board and advisory boards of a range of education organizations, including the Clayton Christensen Institute, the Robin Hood Learning+Tech Fund, and the LearnLaunch Institute. He also serves as an executive editor at Education Next and is a venture partner at NextGen Venture Partners.

Michael holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Yale University and a master’s from the Harvard Business School.

Michael Horn is available for paid speaking engagements including keynote addresses, speeches, panels, conference talks, and advisory/consulting services through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.

Speech Topics

5 Futures of Higher Education

Disruptive innovation and unbundling is already happening in higher education, but they will have varying impacts on different institutions. In this presentation, Horn uses the theories of disruptive innovation to shed light on the coming evolution of higher education. Some colleges and universities will seize the opportunity to excel, others will continue to operate but perhaps lose some of their shine, and a few will face a grave risks. From a student perspective, most will face a changing, unbundled future. Horn will help you understand how your institution can act today to prepare for the future.

The Future of K-12 Schools

Disruptive innovation is already shaking up K-12 education, in preparation for a complete transformation. Schools will always remain, but in many places we may see a redefinition of the classroom as we know it. What other transformations lie ahead? How should educators prepare? In this presentation, Michael Horn uses the theories of disruptive innovation to reveal the future of K-12 schooling and advice for acting now to design a future that benefits all students.

Blended Learning: Education for 21st Century Learners

The Industrial Revolution of the 19th century greatly impacted K-12 education: multiple grades were taught in one classroom and prepared students for factory work by teaching the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic. In the 20th century, educators became more specialized, we experienced separation of grade levels, and expanded students’ knowledge of specific subjects. For more than 100 years, all students were taught the same material in the same way, without a thought to the differences in their personal learning styles. And still, the introduction of computers into schools over the last 30 years hasn’t changed or improved the way students learn. Today’s learners use more than laptops; they’re using applications. Everything about their lives is digital – smartphones, tablets and now virtual reality systems – woven through the very fabric of their being. Now that we’re in the midst of the Digital Revolution and as the nature of our work continues to change, so too must the method in which we educate future workers. Michael Horn illustrates how blended learning – online learning in conjunction with traditional instruction – is emerging within schools to create more personalized learning models for students. Horn showcases the different ways blended learning is growing and evolving, and describes how it can realize its exciting potential to transform the education into a student-centric one.

Disrupting Class: Changing the Way the World Learns through Innovation

What does it take to lead schools and education systems to help all students develop the competencies they will need in the 21st century? Using the theories of disruptive innovation, Michael Horn paints a vision for the transformation and future of education. As one example, online learning has the potential to create a student-centered education system that effectively educates all students by personalizing learning. Horn discusses not only how this plays out – in the U.S. and abroad from Korea to Vietnam and Brazil – but also what educators, policymakers and others must do to ensure this disruptive innovation realizes its promise. He also dissects the successes of countries already doing this well, what lessons we should (or should not) draw, and what the implications may be if we do.

Horn can also speak more generally about the globalization of learning, and the need for facilitating better, richer understanding of cultural/country contexts for innovation in education. After all, education is not solely about curriculum; it is about giving students knowledge and skills to help them engage with the world, encouraging them to explore how knowledge is product, distributed and utilized globally.

The Growth Mindset: Transforming Learning with Competency-Based Education

Higher education is facing an identity crisis: Does its model still make sense in the 21st century? Do colleges equip students for success in the contemporary economy? Is college worth it? As colleges and universities address these questions and make their case that a college education is, indeed, still relevant and essential, they must also account for the significant ways in which their students are changing. The classic, faculty-led, one-size-fits-all approach to learning has not significantly changed in hundreds of years. Is it time to embrace a different, more customized, student-centered model?

Michael Horn says yes. He delves deep into competency-based education (CBE), what it means, how it’s structured and why it will help transform the future of education. Among the dimensions of CBE he will discuss: affordability, aligning to outcomes, ensuring students’ mastery of specific knowledge and skills, and tapping the hidden (and uncredentialed) talents of learners – all of which combine to expose students to new ways of thinking about the world, and instilling in them the abilities to communicate, collaborate, and adapt to the challenges they will face in their careers and lives.

Horn can also speak on competency-based learning in K–12 schools and the vast potential for educators to use it to instill key 21st-century skills of grit, perseverance, curiosity, and agency in all learners.

The Future of Education Policy: Moving from Inputs to Outputs to Outcomes

It seems the policies that create access to online learning are outpacing policies that transform the system and focus on learning outcomes, says Michael Horn. Policymakers must take action to realize the promise. He discusses why the focus on outcomes is a positive trend – it makes sense to pay providers not just for serving students but also for student performance. But we must also eliminate the input-focused rules that dictate how school leaders accomplish these goals; Horn explores how. He also dissects other policies that need to be struck down – from those dictating student-to-teacher ratios, teacher-certification requirements, or rules governing seat time. “We need to give them [school operators] autonomy, so long as they are held accountable,” Horn believes. That we need innovation to better educate America’s youth is not in doubt; to get there, however, it’s time to start following the fundamental rules of innovation. And, as Horn explains, making the substantial shift from micromanaging inputs to focusing policy on creating the context for the great outcomes we all want realized.

Beyond Good & Evil: The Role of For-Profit Providers in 21st Century Education

Many educators and observers fiercely contend that for-profit businesses should stay out of education, an argument often stemming from fear that a focus on maximizing profits will bring impure motives to the crucial processes of teaching and learning. These concerns often spring from misunderstandings of the factors at play – and for-profits typically don’t think very seriously or in-depth about their unique advantages, nor their very real drawbacks. Michael Horn talks about why this is – and why it must change.

Horn dissects the productive and valuable role for-profit educators play in American education. But, he stresses, it’s a role that must be earned. He explores how they can make the case for themselves, including by embracing quality-sensitive policies, policing their own ranks, supporting research that documents the value they deliver, and engaging in the public square. However, the difference in whether for-profit dynamism plays a constructive role or a less productive one lies less with for-profits than with the policy landscape they inhabit – and the way educators and other officials choose to utilize and scrutinize them. “On that score, we need a better understanding of for-profits, including their strengths, flaws, and what kinds of conditions bring out their best results.”

Articles

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Books & Research

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Recommendations

“Michael is a pro when it comes to how technology is shaping the future of PK-12 education. As a speaker, he does his homework, he is easy to work with, he manages technology with ease and he responds to audience questions thoughtfully. He was well received as both a keynote speaker and webinar thought leader. We look forward to working with him again in the future.”

Jeffrey Shields, President and CEO, NBOA

“The attendance at the 2015 Niswonger Foundation School Success Symposium was the largest ever. Comments from our teachers and administrators have let us know they are talking and making plans to use personalized learning in their classrooms. Michael opened the door to new thinking and answered many questions. It was amazing for our educators to hear the local, state, and national views on personalizing learning for our students.”

–Vivian Franklin, Executive Director i3 Grant,
Niswonger Foundation

Praise for “BLENDED”

“There is a lot of hope and misunderstanding around online learning and its relation to in-person learning. ‘Blended’ clearly shows that it isn’t an either-or proposition, but rather that the most likely future is one in which online experiences enrich the physical ones and vice versa. Even more, the book gives concrete examples of how educators, parents, and learners can move us all to a world where technology makes the classroom more human, not less.”

Salman Khan, Founder, Khan Academy

“The authors’ real genius is in using research and theory to take the guesswork out of moving our schools forward into the twenty-first century.”

Jim Hunt, Foundation Chair, The Hunt Institute; Former Governor, North Carolina

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A-Z Name

Horn, Michael

Intro Video

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MAPLE Consortium Launch: Michael Horn