Submitted by Greg Klein, Director of Blended Learning, Rogers Foundation
Note: The information in this profile represents SY2012-13 unless otherwise indicated.
Dr. Taylor didn’t have to sell blended learning to the students. Students realize they are at vastly different levels in different subjects that whole class instruction often wastes their time if they are behind or ahead of their classmates. Madison Middle School has worked closely with Education Elements on developing an innovative blended-learning instructional design.
Blended Learning Program
Program model: Individual Rotation
Madison teachers generally use a two-group in-class rotation model. Students on computers use personalized, adaptive digital content primarily to reinforce concepts learned with the teacher, though at times they receive direct instruction online.
Students are on campus 8-3pm, and school is also open with an after-school program. Students spend approximately 1/3 to 1/2 of their day learning with educational software.
Typically students spend half the class period working with online content and half the class period in a small group lesson with the teacher. Teachers organize students based on grade-level pacing guide, as well as data-driven re-teach and extension groups. Both mathematics and English Language Arts classes use SpringBoard curriculum.
In both online and offline spaces, teachers assign content and tasks, monitor progress and adjust small groups based on achievement data.
A series of AmeriCorps volunteers support in many of the blended classrooms monitoring students on computers, pulling data reports and doing one-on-one tutoring. Additionally, the site has grant-funded on-site Level I tech support for 3 hours per week.
Classes are traditionally age-based heterogenous cohorts, and then teachers create more meaningful small groups as needed within the traditional context.
This varies by teacher, but increasingly, teachers are “letting go” and allowing students to move through more and more of the content at their own pace. Currently, students move through online content at their own pace.
Traditional urban district school context, with 1/3 of teachers and classrooms currently piloting blended models.
Having just launched, there is little formal academic results to report at this time. Anecdotally, teachers reports having more success teaching more standards to mastery more efficiently.
Infusion of $150k of hardware, online content and PD, allowing for longer-term returns of creating teacher leaders to carry on the work, as well as refurbishing existing hardware for significant future cost-savings.
Ensuring a just-in-time PD model that helps teachers direct their own learning and get what they need as quickly as possible to push their own practice — particularly when learning specific online content programs.
This pilot is continually expanding at this site as more teachers come on board using web 2.0 tools, and adaptive online content. Oakland Unified School District is currently planning how it might expand access to Connected Learning infrastructure across the district, and in parallel Rogers Family Foundation is selecting for an additional cohort of Oakland schools to create similar pilots.