Online and Blended Learning: Trends and Innovations
Online and blended learning are growing and constantly evolving in new directions. This fast-paced presentation will feature six leading educators sharing the cutting-edge practices of their innovative programs, along with the authors of Disrupting Class and Keeping Pace who will share current trends and implications for the future.

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Notes from Marcel Kielkucki, Director of HS Completion Programs, Kirkwood Community College (
*Because this was lunch, I didn't get comments from all presenters.
Lunch Session—Keeping Pace 2010 Report
There has been a seismic shift since 1993 in online schools, since at that time there was not much of anything. In 17 years, there have been quite a change and in education, that’s a short period of time.
District programs are also transforming and are creating their own programs such as LAUSD, Clark County in Las Vegas, Mesa Public Schools, and others
To really understand the revolution on how online learning have changed education, you need to hear that from students as well as those in the field.
Started with a video shown from FLVS on their game-based courses—Conspiracy Code courses. Julie Young then discussed the development of the courses. Efficacy studies came back on the game courses. In reading achievement for 9th and 10th graders, those in the game course achieved higher results than regular courses. Comprehension, vocab, and strategies saw increases while the control group lost ground. FLVS has reading and Algebra I apps for the IPad, looking to move all content into mobile learning opportunities.
Todd Yarch—VOISE—Chicago Public Schools
-Started again with a video of the school.
-VOISE is a blended learning school with online curriculum, laptops on loan to each students at school, desktops at home.
-Students take computers from class to class with them during the day and use them in instruction—textbooks have been eliminated.

Others also presented during the lunch from Connections Academy, a blended program in Michigan, Rocketship Education—work with elementary schools in San Jose, CA, and New York City Schools—Schools of One.
Schools of One
Started with the traditional math class of one teacher, one classroom, one place, one curriculum, but totally varied student needs. The traditional scheduling structure doesn’t fit. Why shouldn’t a school schedule look more like a ski map, which is more personalized than traditional education.
First look at student needs/preferences, and then they schedule classes.
School of one is a middle school math program (not a school) that works with schools to put multiple learning modalities in the hands of students and teachers.
Students mix and match the learning setting depending on what they need for the day.
3 Schools are now using this concept in the NY Public Schools.
Allows students to stay on subjects they need to continue to work on—don’t have to just move on because the lesson plan says so.
There is daily assessment and since they are computer-based the students then have individualized education plans developed.
How is it done? Start with a diagnostic assessment to create a student “playlist.” Then students take lessons in different modalities. They take a quiz at the end of the day. The scheduling software then recommends the next best skill and modality of instruction for that skill. Students then get their schedule for the next day.
Initial results have shown those who work in this concept both during and after school do the best. Results show a promising start.
Michael Horn Wrap-Up
Technology changes/improves faster than our lives change. Online learning is improving in trends and aspirations as it continues to grow.
Online learning started more as distance learning, but now it’s no longer the case as blended learning takes a hold in the traditional setting.
Students and teachers are getting more connected in online and hybrid. It’s starting to redefine the role of the teacher, leading to students having different teachers based on the needs of the student.
Content is also changing—game-based courses, mobile learning, modularization of content, and using data not as punitive, but as a diagnostic tool to inform the next steps in learning, creating personalized education.
Mobile learning has the potential to be a huge game-changer, not only here but also worldwide.
The question is with the growth in online learning, will it be of quality and meet student needs? Asked panelists to identify the biggest policy roadblock and enabler.
Ideas shared were:
-content will be available widespread, but need to sift and sort through on quality—policy will focus on quality.
-parents will be the drivers but count on us for quality.
-policy barrier is seat time
-another barrier is the fear of teachers losing jobs, or that teachers aren’t involved in online learning
-enabler is the credit recovery because it brings people to the table—it leads to drive a discussion on expanding opportunities
-barrier is the locked in view of the role of the teacher—goes with seat time, etc.
-enabler is the tide of history—generational sea change is about to occur in regards to teachers leaving/coming into the profession
-barrier is lack of good data or programs that don’t do well. Hype is also a problem of blended learning, technology challenges/infrastructure, and PD problems
-enabler is the idea that low income students can learn—to be successful as a group we need to be tied to this idea from a political standpoint
-barrier is policies such as % of time spent in distance learning, etc---regulate results! If innovative approaches work, let them work
-sometimes the best policy is no policy—let innovation happen and then look at policy
-policies need to be best for students!

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