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Blended and Online Learning

Blended and Online Learning

What is blended learning and how might it be valuable for students in New Mexico?

The Innosight Institute defines blended learning as: a formal education program in which a student learns at least in part through online delivery of content and instruction with some element of student control over time, place, path, and/or pace and at least in part at a supervised brick-and-mortar location away from home.

There are many examples of blended learning: Rotation, Flex, Self-Blend, and Enriched Virtual. You might find some schools using software programs such as Dreambox, Apex or Plato to supplement classroom work or even as initial introduction to a topic. Some schools are flipping the classroom where students watch videos that introduce a topic first and then work with teachers in the classroom to make sure they understand and can apply it. Some teachers are putting some or all of their curriculum online so students can work at their own pace. Some students might take an online course that isn’t available in their school. In some cases students enroll in virtual schools to take all of their classes online. This can be helpful for students with health issues, children of migrant workers or other jobs with high mobility, and students with a strong preference for online learning.

Examples of Blended Learning:

Discussion:  In what ways do you think blended learning can be helpful for improving achievement, especially for our most underserved students? What are your fears and concerns about blended learning?

Achievement and Equity

  • How many students currently take courses that are either blended or online in NM?
  • How many teachers in schools have put part of their courses online so that students can work at their own pace or catch-up if they missed school?
  • What makes high quality blended and online learning? What are characteristics of poor quality blended and online learning?

Asset-Based: Good Stuff Happening in New Mexico

  • IDEAL NM offers an infrastructure for teachers to put some or all of their curriculum online.
  • eCademy Albuquerque Public School provides students blended learning opportunities.

Respectful: Engage, Inquire, and Explore

Below are just a few types of questions we need to consider in expanded blended learning. What other issues do we need to take into account to ensure blended and online learning produce higher achievement for underserved students?

  • Tribal Sovereignty: How can blended and online learning support tribal sovereignty as it relates to the education of Native American students? How can blended and online learning support learning Native American languages?
  • Children and Families: Many teens have substantial responsibilities in their households. How can blended learning support students that are trying to balance school and work? Are there ways to structure blended learning so that families are engaged?
  • Educators: What are the benefits to teachers of blended and online learning? What support do teachers need to implement blended learning?
  • Districts and Schools: What are the costs and benefits of blended and online learning to districts and schools as they work to improve achievement? What are examples of strategic policies for blended and online learning?

World View:  Multilingual, Global Education

  • How can blended learning be implemented to support bilingualism?
  • How can blended learning be implemented to support students building a global perspective?

Holistic: Design around Our Children and Their Lives

  • How can blended and learning support students that are balancing school, work, community and families?
  • How can blended learning support student-centered approaches in which students have choices about the context and method of their learning?

Urgency: Design for Systemic Improvements

  • What are examples of  state and district policies to support blended learning?
  • What other policies need to be in place to fully benefit from the innovations of blended learning?