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blended learning

When best practices are engaged in blended learning, authentic personalized learning can happen for all students. Understanding ten key trends happening in the blended learning space can help educators achieve optimal results for students and schools. This web seminar, originally broadcast on March 20, 2014, featured education experts who discussed these trends and how blended learning can be successfully implemented. In addition, a principal shared his school’s interpretation of blended learning and how it has resulted in improved student achievement.

Students need differentiated learning experiences to meet key goals and standards. Truly adaptive technology can give students an optimally personalized experience. This web seminar, originally broadcast on December 3, 2013, featured a blended learning and adaptive technology expert who shared data about the use of adaptive learning technology, defined what true adaptive technology looks like, explored the pedagogical implications of adaptive technology, and discussed how adaptive technology empowers students to authentically learn and deepen their understanding.

Individualized learning and flexible schedules are part of the philosophy at Falcon School District 49 (Colorado Springs, Colo.). After beginning as a fully virtual model and transitioning to a blended model, student outcomes have vastly improved at the district’s Falcon Virtual Academy. Its brick-and-mortar building facilitates collaboration and communication through open learning spaces, helping students to become more engaged and excited about learning.

More and more districts are pairing digital resources with classroom instruction. The variety and number of available curricula is also growing, which may leave administrators confused about how to evaluate their options for tools that help to meet Common Core and other standards, boost achievement, and more. This web seminar, originally broadcast on November 7, 2014, featured interactive, adaptive technology expert, Tim Hudson, and his tips for selecting the appropriate digital curricula for your district’s blended learning program.

Blended learning holds significant promise as a cost-effective and egalitarian means to help higher numbers of students accelerate their learning, graduate, and meet challenges in a competitive world. In this web seminar, orginially broadcast on September 18, 2013, education technology expert Tom Vander Ark shared the keys to making personalized learning work for the greatest number of students through adaptive digital instruction, particularly Intelligent Adaptive Learning.

Snow days are melting away as schools increasingly take advantage of online curriculum to keep students learning virtually during weather closures.

A blended learning approach to English Language Learner instruction has been demonstrated to produce better results, and more quickly than classroom instruction only. Thesys International has developed an Acquired English Proficiency program that utilizes blended learning to improve reading, speaking, and writing skills for ESL students. The program emphasizes academic English and better prepares them for mainstream courses in much shorter time than the national average.

Though just 19 percent of California’s elementary schools are using blended learning, another 20 percent are planning implementation.

Blended learning is becoming entrenched in California schools, but elementary schools and high schools are taking different approaches when integrating this learning technology.

Elementary schools are using the “station rotation” model, in which students in small groups may spend 20 minutes in a reading center, followed by 20 minutes at a computer using an online learning program, and an additional 20 minutes of small group instruction with the teacher.

Districts interested in implementing blended learning sometimes turn to teachers rather than outside providers to create online curriculum to integrate with in-class instruction. This method may save costs, but requires continuous professional development and access to devices for all students. Here are two districts just beginning to create blended learning solutions with teachers at the helm.

Students take control of learning

Students at Lewis and Clark High School in the Vancouver, Wash., work in small groups as part of their typical school day. 

School administrators overwhelmed by the idea of blended learning need not fear: many districts have successfully implemented one of four models now widely accepted in K12 education. Even more encouraging, some of these schools are seeing increased achievement, lower dropout rates, and other positive results.