Virtual learning can offer a variety of benefits to districts as well as students. Implementing virtual and online learning can help to ensure that students are ready for college and career, as well as compensate for teacher shortages in critical areas, help to meet the requirements of the Common Core and state standards, and get the most out of limited budget resources.
While administrators have access to more data than ever before, too often they are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information and are unable to use it strategically. But, the right tools can transform this challenge into an opportunity. Creating dashboards can give district leadership the ability to analyze enormous amounts of disparate data in a simple, visual way, resulting in more effective and informed decision-making throughout the school system.
The number and variety of courses that can be offered in a small rural district is often limited. That was not acceptable to Erik Belcher, superintendent of Fayette Local School District in northwest Ohio.
Computer adaptive tests (CAT) are really growing in
popularity. With an adaptive model, which technology
clearly facilitates, great efficiencies are gained.
One of the newest technologies being applied in K12 today is 3D printing, particularly in integrated STEM courses. This new technology also has potential application beyond engineering classes, providing creative ways to enhance the curriculum in a variety of other subjects.
While administrators have more student information available to them than ever before, the challenge is to use this data effectively and strategically to ensure that students are learning and achieving at high levels, and that district resources are allocated efficiently.
Harford County Public Schools (HCPS) in Maryland was challenged to increase student engagement and to use technology to facilitate learning. The DigitalHARFORD initiative was established two years ago to help infuse the right digital tools and content into newly created active learning environments to inspire all students in the district’s 54 schools. To fulfill that mission, the appropriate solutions had to be chosen and implemented successfully.
Technology should be one part of an overall blended solution that includes insights from educators and curriculum designers
At the Challenge to Excellence Charter School (C2E) in Parker, Colorado, educators are using tablets and Google tools in surprising ways to foster creativity, collaboration and content creation in grades K-3, while also establishing a foundation of knowledge-seeking skills that students will use in later grades. In this web seminar, educators from C2E discussed how the school is using Android tabletswith Google Play for Education both inside and outside the classroom for research, projects, field trips and more, how these tools have helped students take ownership of their learning, and the keys to a successful implementation at any school or district.
State legislation, local culture, industry thought leaders and other factors influence the approach a school district takes in defining evaluation frameworks for teachers, leaders and staff. These variables give rise to an ever-changing set of policies, standards and evaluation rubrics that add to the complexity of educator effectiveness programs.
Whether you have just begun your blended learning journey, or it is a path you have been traveling down for several years, it’s important to stay dynamic and reflective on your practice in order to ensure that your blended initiative is having a positive impact on student success.
Central Valley School District near Spokane, Washington, hadn’t passed a bond in 17 years. In February 2015, the district overcame its history of failed referendums, a vocal No campaign and a 60 percent voter approval requirement to pass its $121.9 million bond with nearly 70 percent approval.
The need for a secure and protected digital learning environment in districts is paramount, particularly when it comes to online testing. While conducting large-scale online testing requires advanced coordination that is both time-consuming and complex, using iPads can save time and simplify the process, so teachers, students and administrators can focus on teaching and learning, and on being better prepared for online exams.
In this web seminar, originally broadcast on April 14, 2015, educator Kevin Brookhouser discussed ways to empower students by providing them time to drive their own learning, using the simple concept of 20Time: giving students one day a week to work on a project of their choosing—one that serves a real audience and solves a real-world problem.
When administrators consider implementing blended learning, they tend to start with technology, evaluating what they have or what they need. But what happens after the technology—the operational side of things—is what can really make or break a blended learning initiative.