Blended Learning – Pt. II

My district is in the early stages of examining virtual learning. The primary objective, at the moment, seems to be to create our own virtual school in order to “bring back” students who have left the district to enroll in cyber charter schools. While that is fine (assuming we hold the mirror up and ask the question – Why are they leaving?), the creation of our own virtual school doesn’t necessarily benefit our current students. The variations of blended learning shared in an earlier post provide some traction to the question – What can we do better than simply create our own virtual school?

In this post I want to share some of the resources I’ve discovered over the past few days. The ideas shared here will likely find their way into our conversations. What other resources would you suggest as we research the topic of blended/virtual learning.

7 Things You Should Know About First Generation Learning Analytics – The latest in the 7 Things You Should Know About... series from Educause sheds light on an important component of effective online learning. Learning analytics are in their infancy, but it is exciting to think about how they will improve in the near future and what that improvement will mean for the teaching and learning process. Learning analytics will need to become more sophisticated if online learning is to reach its full potential. I have no doubt we will get there.

The Rise of K-12 Online Blended Learning – Almost a year old, this report outlines in more detail the models of blended learning explained in the Education Elements video shared in the Blended Learning Pt. I post.

A Closer Look at Cyber Charter Schools – In this TEDx video, Ali Carr-Chelman asks good questions about cyber charter schools. Her talk helps point us in the direction that whatever solution we arrive at must be greater than simply a cyber school of our own. That would be too much for the good of the organization and not necessarily the good of our current brick and mortar students. This doesn’t have to be an either/or. Whatever solution we arrive at – and it may be a two-pronged solution – virtual and blended/hybrid – must be driven by the need to improve and grow what we currently do.

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