Project Tomorrow has teamed up with Fuel Education to bring you a case study on Poudre School District (PSD) Global Academy in Fort Collins, Colorado. This innovative online/hybrid school for students in K–12 grade is ranked among the highest in the state of Colorado for student growth across all grades for the 2013–2014 school year. This achievement marks the first time an innovative school using blended and online learning has ranked in the top 95 percent of all Colorado schools – including traditional brick and mortar schools, charter schools, and other online schools.
In this document, we outline:
- Proof of Program Results – The school’s desired student outcomes, Northwest Evaluaion Association’s Measures of Academic Porogress (MAP®) assessment results, Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS) assessements, and Transitional Colorado Assessment Program (TCAP) results.
- The PSD Global Academy Approach – The five unique approaches that the school believes is intetral to their positive results.
- Lessons Learned – The three takeaways for education leaders who want to implment successful blended learing programs.
Download a PDF of the case study: Online, Virtual, and Blended Learning in Action
To read a summary of a recent District Administration webinar featuring PSD Global Academy, click here.
Fuel Education’s mission is to partner with schools and districts to personalize and transform the education experience inside and outside the classroom by leveraging the power of technology-enabled learning. Unlike legacy publishers and other online providers, Fuel Education offers a comprehensive, integrated approach to online learning based on their experience partnering with more than 2,000 school districts in all 50 states and D.C. To learn more about Fuel Education, visit http://www.getfueled.com/.
Happy #ThrowbackThursday! Each week we’ll feature past Project Tomorrow news, events, Speak Up data, and more. This week we’re focusing on last week’s Twitter chat, Blended Learning Benefits. Click here to read the #SUchat, or click on the image below:
Julie Evans will be hosting her third Twitter chat TOMORROW (Thursday, November 6th)! Join her at 8pm ET to discuss the benefits of blended learning. Check out some information below:
Blended Learning Benefits
Time: Thursday, November 6th at 8PM ET/7PM CT/5PM PT
Julie will be hosting her third Twitter chat on the benefits of blended learning while she is at the 2014 iNACOL Blended Learning Symposium. During this discussion she will include topics mentioned at the symposium, as well as data from past Project Tomorrow reports, such as our report, “2013 Trends In Online Learning Virtual, Blended And Flipped Classrooms”with Blackboard K-12.
Additionally, the following questions will be discussed during the chat:
- Why blended? What are the advantages of implementing a blended learning classroom?
- What are the barriers or obstacles to implementing blended learning – in a classroom or schoolwide?
- What is your best advice for educators who are new to blended learning? What really works?
If participating, be sure to use the hashtag #SUchatin your Tweets! Click here to sign up to receive a reminder for tomorrow’s #SUchat.
While most non-educators find the use of educational technology appealing, several teachers – new and veterans – are hesitant to welcome the new tools into their classrooms. This may come as surprising to some, as blended learning was created to enable personalized instruction and to fix several frustrating aspects of school. However, out of the many common concerns that teachers have, researcher Thomas Arnett found three worth addressing:
- Several teachers find technology to be a distraction from the real work and real challenges of teaching. Arnett notes this is legitimate and important concern, and also notes that schools and districts often purchase technology in hopes that something great will happen once the devices reach teachers’ hands. Instead technology complicates class time, as schools often fail to provide technology training for teachers. It is suggested that schools should rethink their instructional models by addressing specific educational goals and then finding ways to use technology to meet those goals.
- Teachers are also concerned that they will be replaced by technology. With apps such as iTunes U and websites such as Khan Academy that provide individualized learning and free tutoring, it’s no surprise that this is a common concern. It also does not help that technology is seen as a low-cost substitute for teachers. However, Arnett suggests teachers should note that their roles are going to change – for example, teachers in blended learning schools will focus more on mentoring students, working with small groups, and managing projects.
- The last common concern is that online learning will undermine teachers’ professional judgment – meaning, teachers fear that their work will only consist of grading assignments as students spend all their time with online curriculum. While this may be true for low-quality blending learning programs, this is not the case for high-quality programs. In the latter, teachers’ professional judgment will actually expand as they will need to provide more coaching and mentorship, and will need to create a classroom culture in which students realize the real-world relevance to what they are learning.
Arnett notes that as more schools accept technology within their classrooms, “the nature of teaching is going to change.” However, with proper instruction and high-quality programs, blended learning can provide teachers with new opportunities that can benefit the classroom.
To read the original article, “Addressing teachers’ concerns about online learning” by Thomas Arnett from the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation, click here
. What do you think about the use of educational technology in classrooms? Do you agree with these concerns and how Arnett addressed them? Let us know!
About Thomas Arnett: Thomas’ research focuses on the changing roles of teachers in blended learning environments and other innovative educational models. He also examines how teacher education and professional development are shifting to support the evolving needs of teachers and school systems.
About the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation: The Clayton Christensen Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank dedicated to improving the world through disruptive innovation. Founded on the theories of Harvard professor Clayton M. Christensen, the Institute offers a unique framework for understanding many of society’s most pressing problems. Their mission is ambitious but clear: work to shape and elevate the conversation surrounding these issues through rigorous research and public outreach.