Posted by Alyssa
This month we partnered with District Administration magazine to host a web seminar on the topic of blended learning. Mr. Alan Rudi, Principal Solutions Strategist at Thesys, presented alongside Mr. Jack Loos and Ms. Carolyn Lucia. Mr. Loos is the Principal of CIS Academy in the Pasadena Unified School District, and he is working with Thesys to implement blending learning in his school, which is an alternative learning environment. Ms. Lucia is the Dean of Advanced Studies at Fairmont Preparatory Academy, and she is working with Thesys to implement blended learning in a college prep environment.
We loved talking with fellow educators and hearing how much interest and how many questions there are about blended learning. We wanted to share some key takeaways from the presentation with our blog community, so here are our Top 5 Keys to Success in Blended Learning:
- Embrace blended learning. Because in the words of Kennedy K. & Archambault L. in The Current State of Field Experiences in K-12 Online Learning Programs in the US: "This blended learning approach combines the best elements of online and face-to-face learning. It is likely to emerge as the predominant model of the future--and to become far more common than either one alone."
- Understand how blended learning provides a solution to education challenges. Blended programs help students be highly engaged through relevance, technology, teacher interaction, innovation, and choice, and they help teachers be highly engaged through more teaching than managing, teaching with technology, and professional development.
- Start with a plan. Decide which courses/classes to offer in a blended format. Decide where to start and how to build from there. Identify needs (technology, professional development, strategy, etc) and budget for them or budget to partner with a turnkey platform like Thesys.
- Identify a core group of innovators and leaders on campus. Bring them in on the plan to implement blending learning and incorporate their input. Then give them opportunities to mentor their peers and share some blended learning strategies.
- Analyze the results. Using test scores, surveys, student & teacher engagement levels, etc, assess where your school is before implementing blended learning so you have a benchmark. Then use the same data measures to assess where your school is after one semester, the first year, and so on. Use this data to gauge the effectiveness of the program and understand where you can improve. Education is constantly changing, and your program should be somewhat fluid to respond to new technology and best practices.