Blended 2.0 shifts learning in schools

[Blended learning continues to evolve. In this District Administration article schools are moving towards greater personalization of learning using technology resources and tools. I’ve always wondered how teachers can combine a personalized approach with deeper learning through projects. Summit Schools provides an excellent model and as this article indicates provides a free tool to help teachers / schools manage a more personalized approach.]

By Patricia Daddona

Photo by Norton Gusky CC BY 4.0

Photo by Norton Gusky CC BY 4.0

Third-grader studying the Spanish settlement of California found a virtual tour online and shared the trip with her classmates by slipping a smartphone into a Google Cardboard viewing device.

Such limitless online resources represent a big, blended leap beyond the essays students in Coalinga-Huron USD in Central California used to write. Blended learning for the district’s 4,400 students began three years ago, and in the past year has gravitated to blended 2.0, says Joe Casarez, associate superintendent for instructional services.

“If you define blended learning in the first iteration as a combination of technology and print,” Casarez says, “then what we are seeing when you marry 2.0 personalization with the Common Core standards are more authentic activities in the classroom.”

A survey of 1,381 students in the district showed nearly 74 percent were more engaged, and 89 percent agreed they could solve problems or create presentations by researching online, he adds.

Across the country in New York, all 7,300 students in the Middletown City School District engage in variations of blended 2.0. Students begin researching topics online at home and then get guidance from teachers in the classroom, says Superintendent Kenneth Eastwood.

“Kids go online, watch films and view PowerPoints in preparation for a deeper conversation in the classroom,” Eastwood says. “This flips the lecture piece to the outside of class. The class itself is for clarification and expansion of concepts.”

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