KPBSD sent 17 educators to the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) Symposium in California. Through the Digital Learning Initiative Grant that the KPBSD received we were able to send a team of district teachers and administrators to learn about “Blended Learning.” This conference focuses on showcasing districts, schools, and classroom teachers who are using new learning models considered blended learning. The intent is to “level the playing field for students through the creation of new learning models, and to ensure that students everywhere have access to a world-class education that prepares them for a lifetime of success, no matter their geographic location or economic situation.” -iNACOL
What is Blended learning? Blended learning is any time a student learns at least in part at a supervised brick-and-mortar location away from home and at least in part through online delivery with some element of student control over time, place, path, and/or pace; often used synonymously with
Hybrid Learning. (Horn and Staker, 2011)
KPBSD hopes that this 3 year Digital Learning grant will help us to build the capacity of our teachers to learn how to and begin to apply blended learning strategies throughout our district’s 43 schools. Over the next three years the grant will help fund professional development and learning opportunities for three cohorts of 15 teachers per year. The teacher cohorts will learn how to implement blended learning/teaching strategies within their classrooms and to share what they have learned with colleagues in their schools so that blended learning can be implemented in more and more classrooms.
Blended learning is all about personalizing the learning experience for each student focusing their individual learning at a time, place, path, and pace that meets their unique learning needs. By using digital learning tools within the classroom setting, teachers are able to leverage these tools and skills to provide higher quality immediate feedback to their students about their learning and growth. Some teachers in our district already employ blended learning strategies in their classrooms and we hope more and more of our classrooms will become blended in the near future.