Blended learning is more than just technology–enhanced education. It is a distinct model of instruction, and one that is growing in importance, thanks to some phenomenal successes at K 12 schools across the country. Go Blended! presents the lessons learned and best practices discovered as a result of one such success story. Aspire Public Schools is one of the highest performing public school systems in the United States, thanks in part to its innovative blended learning initiatives. In this book, Aspire′s Director of Innovative Learning, Liz Arney, shares a framework for getting started with blended learning so that K 12 schools everywhere can begin their journeys on sure footing.
With this book, educators and leaders can achieve the necessary enthusiasm by learning to plan, build teams, and make strategic decisions that will form the foundation for success in implementing blended learning.
By its nature, blended learning involves technologies that will inevitably change and become outmoded by newer advances. Truly blended schools need to be adaptable, so that teachers, staff, and administrators can seamlessly deliver rigorous, individualized education, even as our world continues to change. Go Blended! is a practical manual that outlines the steps in the process of launching a blended learning plan that′s ready for the future.
Praise for GO BLENDED!
"Go Blended! isn′t a book about hype, selling something, or the shiny idea of the moment. Instead, it′s a thoughtful book about how schools should think about using technology and blended learning to better serve students. Informed by the experience of Aspire Public Schools and other innovative schools, this book unpacks the hard work of making technology really work in the classroom."
Andrew J. Rotherham, cofounder and partner, Bellwether Education Partners
"If you are an educator or a parent and want to know how schools should use technology to boost student achievement, read Liz Arney′s blended learning handbook, Go Blended! Arney learned with and from the best thinkers in the sector and distilled lessons in a readable and useful format."
Tom Vander Ark, author of Getting Smart
"Liz Arney ventures out into the wild frontier of blended learning and strikes gold with this guide on how to put students at the center of school."
Alex Hernandez, partner, Charter School Growth Fund
About the Author xv
About the Contributors xvii
PART 1 STARTING THE PROCESS: THE FUNDAMENTAL DECISIONS 17
1 Identifying the Focus and Piloting 19
2 Determining School Readiness 32
3 Building the Team and Creating Buy–in 47
4 Recognizing and Planning for the Learning Curve 66
PART 2 PLANNING FOR IMPLEMENTATION: STRATEGIC DECISIONS AND CONSIDERATIONS 77
5 Choosing Your Model and Crafting Your Pilots 79
6 Finding the Right Software and Hardware 85
7 Making Use of Student Data 107
8 Setting Up the Space 127
9 Getting Your Network Up to Speed 134
PART 3 LAUNCHING BLENDED: HELPING TEACHERS AND STUDENTS BE SUCCESSFUL 147
10 Training Teachers and Other Leaders 149
11 Teacher Readiness and Classroom Readiness 158
12 Teaching Lessons to Support Blended Learning 170
13 Setting Up Your Classroom and Students for Success 181
14 Making Mistakes and Iterating to Improve the Work 205
A Blended Learning Analyst Job Description 223
B Blended Learning Teaching Assistant Job Description 227
C Director of Innovative Learning Job Description 230
D Sample Blended Learning Pilot Agreement 234
E Sample Project Plan 237
F Rocketship Curriculum Evaluation Rubric 245
G Teacher Self–Assessment: Blended Learning Readiness 250
H End–of–Year Teacher Survey Questions 252
I Sample Blended Newsletter 1 256
J Sample Blended Newsletter 2 257
K Sample Blended Learning Classroom Floor Plans 259
L Sample Common Core Weekly Schedule for
Grades K 2 Blended Learning Classrooms 261
M Sample Common Core Weekly Schedule for
Grades 3 5 Blended Learning Classrooms 265
N Twenty–One Lesson Plans for Implementing Blended Learning 269
LIZ ARNEY is the Director of Innovative Learning at Aspire Public Schools, where she is crafting and running blended learning implementations in close coordination with teachers, principals, IT teammates, and data and analysis teammates. Liz holds a master′s degree in education from Harvard University and a master′s degree in humanities from the University of Chicago.