To Blend or Not to Blend? That’s Not the Question.

Ohio State of Opportunity

The Ohio Blended Learning Network, in partnership with two other organizations, conducted a survey of 211 schools in Ohio and found the following:

• Nearly 58% of the schools have some type of blended learning model.
• High schools are adopting blended learning at a faster rate- 71% of high schools have a blended learning model
• 73% of schools offering blended learning are doing so to offer personalization for students
• 54% of schools offering blended learning are doing so to improve student academic outcomes

Blended learning environments create opportunities and paths for students to engage with instructional materials in a manner that matches their learning style and respects their own pace.

The survey results were used as the foundation to create an overview of the status and direction of blended learning in the state of Ohio, identifying needs and challenges of blended learning, and recommending next steps to address these.

One of the challenges faced by Ohio districts that are looking at implementing or that have already implemented blended learning is the need for finding quality content for the online component of their programs. With the proliferation of free online learning resources over the past years, you would expect that finding good content to create or supplement classes would be a simple task. But it’s not. Finding reliable, teacher-evaluated, age-appropriate, subject-specific and standard-aligned content takes teachers’ time and effort.

The question then shifts away from whether or not you should blend, but when, how and how much will it cost your district. One point all districts need to consider is the cost of opportunity loss as blended learning environments have proven over and over again to far outweigh the cost of not blending.

We would love to hear what your school is doing to include blended learning into your classrooms. If you haven’t started, or if you are in the process, let us know. Whether you use our solutions or not, we are here to help you weigh the pros and cons and help guide you as you move into the blended learning environment.

For more information on the Ohio Blended Learning Network survey, click here.

What Attributes Are Important When Selecting Digital Resources?

Earlier this month, Knovation released the results of a National Survey on Digital Content & Curriculum that asked 141 educators and administrators across the country which attributes of a K-12 digital curriculum strategy are most important to them.

One of the key findings provides guidance on what to focus on when selecting digital resources—when asked about the importance of attributes related to the process of selecting digital resources to purchase, educators prioritized the ones that focus on the alignment of the resources to specific district needs. Educators want to purchase digital resources that directly align with district initiatives, district curriculum documents and state standards. Each district wants to purchase digital resources that are highly personalized to its own needs and that will help students be successful in the classroom.

The implications of these findings are that the selection of digital resources should be driven by a school district’s priorities. Districts should choose and implement solutions that match digital resources directly to their curriculum documents (specifically district pacing guides and curriculum maps), creating an embedded collection of resources that are customized specifically to match the district’s student achievement goals.

When selecting digital resources to purchase, districts should make sure the resources are aligned to Common Core and state standards. Districts that have aligned their curriculum to the Common Core should verify the alignment between the resources for English Language Arts and Mathematics and the Publishers’ Criteria for the Common Core. Districts should also choose solutions that align well with their primary district initiatives (e.g., 1:1 environment, blended learning, print-to-digital transition, data-driven instruction, etc.).

For more details, please download the full report.

National Digital Content & Curriculum Survey Findings

Summary of Results and Implications for School Districts Released

As districts are shifting from traditional textbooks to digital content to provide more relevant and more personalized learning experiences for their students, they are faced with revising their resource selection process. No longer can they look to a single publisher or content provider to deliver the wide range of instructional materials they need to address college- and career-ready standards and support their individual students’ learning needs.

To understand which attributes of a K-12 digital curriculum strategy are most important to educators and administrators as they embark upon the process of acquiring new digital content, Knovation conducted a National Digital Content & Curriculum survey this spring. The summary of results and key implications for school districts were announced in a press release today.

Key Areas of Digital Curriculum Strategy Addressed

The report reveals what is most important to educators across the U.S. as they implement their digital curriculum strategy and how school districts can leverage that information, in the following areas:

  • Selecting digital resources to purchase
  • Ensuring quality and rigor of digital resources
  • Organizing learning resources and aligning them to district curriculum
  • Prioritizing learning object attributes

Download the summary of results to read the key implications for school districts.

What other attributes are critical for you to consider as you plan your digital curriculum strategy and select digital content for your district?