NASBE and Hume Foundation Partner on Blended Learning Policy Development
Arlington, VA – The National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) is leading a one-year initiative to help state board of education members nationwide better understand the concepts and policymaking associated with blended learning. The work is supported with a grant from the Jaquelin Hume Foundation.
When computers were first introduced into classrooms, it was done with little more intent than to make sure they were there, perhaps utilized on occasion for educational purposes. Today, students use everything from desktop computers to handheld devices in classrooms, but developing policies that strike a balance between in-person instruction by educators and virtual learning is still a work in progress.
The initiative includes creating a resource hub on the NASBE web site for state board members and others in the education community, multiple electronic and print publications-including a discussion guide to aid state boards as they deliberate policy changes, and a live session about policy and blended learning at NASBE’s 2014 annual conference.
Blended Learning Presentations from NASBE’s 2013 Annual Conference by Hall Davidson, Sarah Hall, and Evan Marwell are available for download.
A full podcast of the conference session on blended learning may be heard here.
Upgrading the Internet Infrastructure of America’s Schools (NASBE Commentary) Evan Marwell, founder and CEO of the nonprofit EducationSuperHighway, explains the crucial role of bandwidth in successfully implementing blended learning and other digital education initiatives, and offers state boards of education recommendations for how they can ensure their state’s schools are ready for digital learning.
Online Learning: New Policies Needed for New Educational Environments (NASBE Policy Update) calls attention to six new policy issues education leaders need to consider as they develop comprehensive plans for digital learning in their states.
Born in Another Time: Ensuring Educational Technology Meets the Needs of Students Today – and Tomorrow This report from NASBE’s Study Group on the Role of Technology in Schools and Communities focuses on three major areas of concern around schools and technology: 1) addressing the voice and needs of today’s students; 2) ensuring educators can use technology in meeting the needs of today’s students; and 3) educational technology infrastructure—preparing for the technology of the future. The Study Group’s recommendations for state policymakers are included. (Executive Summary)
No Time to Wait: Creating Contemporary School Structures for All Students Today and Tomorrow The report from NASBE’s Study Group on “The Structure of Schools: Time and Technology in 21st Century Learning” concludes that, among other recommendations, education systems must 1) eliminate barriers for student learning based on the agrarian calendar, seat time, and fixed physical boundaries; 2) create an environment that actively promotes and supports innovation within and beyond the school walls (e.g., in the school community, students’ homes, and school building); and 3) Allow technology to facilitate student learning that transcends the traditional building and school day.
The Learning Accelerator is a nonprofit whose mission is to accelerate the implementation of high-quality blended learning in school districts across America. The organization is partnering with a select group of innovative school districts and assisting them with a full implementation of blended learning in their schools. Over time, these implementation strategies will be refined and scaled and made available to school districts nationwide.
International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) is a nonprofit organization that works to ensure all students have access to a world-class education and quality blended and online learning opportunities that prepare them for a lifetime of success. It focuses on research; developing policy for student-centered education to ensure equity and access; developing quality standards for emerging learning models using online, blended, and competency-based education; and supporting the ongoing professional development of classroom, school, district and state leaders for new learning models.
The Khan Academy provides a variety of online tutorials and support for teachers, parents, students, and others looking to master academic content. Learners are provided instantaneous feedback, progress is monitored through a rich data system, and learners receive badges that highlight their understanding of topic areas.
Project 24, an initiative of the Alliance for Excellent Education, is a one-stop shop of comprehensive district-level planning tools, expert advice, creative ideas, and tangible suggestions from experienced education experts and nonprofit education membership organizations.
New Tech Network (NTN) is a nonprofit organization that helps students gain the knowledge and deeper learning skills they need to succeed in life, college, and the careers of tomorrow. The organization works nationwide with schools, districts, and communities to provide services and support that enable schools to fundamentally re-imagine teaching and learning through strategies that emphasize project-based learning, technology integration, and a culture that promotes respect, trust and responsibility.
Project Tomorrow supports integrating technology into classrooms and annually conducts the Speak Up survey, which looks at student and teacher use and opinions about classroom technology.
Articles and Reports
Blended Learning Implementation Guide, ver. 2.0, co-authored by Digital Learning NOW, Getting Smart and The Learning Accelerator, is a comprehensive handbook designed to help leaders create the conditions for success in planning, implementing, and evaluating their blended learning efforts.
Classifying K-12 Blended Learning, by Heather Staker and Michael Horn, describes blended learning and classifies four different models through which it is implemented. Horn and Staker recently released an updated version of this paper, “Is K-12 Blended Learning Disruptive? An Introduction of the Theory of Hybrids.”
Keeping Pace with K-12 Online Learning: An Annual Review of Policy and Practice (2013) is the 10th in a series of annual reports that began in 2004 that examine the status of K-12 online education across the country. The report provides an overview of the latest policies, practices, and trends affecting online learning programs across all 50 states.
Social Media, Social Life: How Teens View Their Digital Lives This research report by Victoria Rideout (Common Sense Media, 2012) discusses the impact of social media use on teen’s social and emotional lives.
New York Times Coverage of Online Education – A series of pieces from the New York Times on how ineffective investments in technology could jeopardize student learning.