Krista Kafer talks about the growing trend of blended learning, how it can help students and teachers, and some models that are being used in Colorado. More classrooms and schools are making strategic use of technology to rethink how education is delivered and to expand the reach of effective teachers.
Education senior fellow Krista Kafer explains how blended learning helps students access the best of both digital technology and professional instruction. Her new issue paper highlights Colorado’s growing number of 21st century district and charter school innovations.
Online tools combined with face-to-face instruction create what is known as blended learning. Effective integration of technology can allow more efficient use of instructional time and save schools money. Colorado is well positioned to implement and test blended learning programs on a larger scale. Charter and district public schools have begun to implement blended learning models and have seen promising results.
Falcon School District 49 innovation zone leader Kim McClelland discusses the newly-approved statewide Colorado Prep Online Academy, a K-12 school. Authorized by the Colorado Digital BOCES, the first to focus solely on high-quality digital learning, CPOA will provide both online and face-to-face instruction, including opportunities for concurrent enrollment.
Chris Wright, vice president of the Falcon 49 school board, talks about the Digital BOCES proposal, his district’s latest innovative initiative to increase support for online and blended learning programs that are working to meet the needs of students across Colorado.
James Cryan, founder of Denver’s Rocky Mountain Prep charter school, talks about the innovative formula his school is using to serve a diverse and challenging population of young learners. Rocky Mountain Prep employs a blended learning model that rotates students between educational skills software and more personalized small group instruction of high-quality teachers.
A School Reform News story by Heritage Foundation education policy analyst highlighted the Education Policy Center’s new issue paper on modifying Colorado’s K-12 funding system to support more blended learning options. The report’s author was prominently quoted in the story:
“Different students have different goals and motivations, and excel or need extra help in different subjects,” [...]
Tune in to Devil’s Advocate as host Jon Caldara is joined by Colorado Department of Education Assistant Commissioner Amy Anderson and Independence Institute senior policy analyst Ben DeGrow to discuss policy changes Colorado needs to make so students can have greater access to quality online course options and other customized learning opportunities. A growing number of “blended learning” models bring the traditional classroom and digital technology together in productive ways.
Senior education policy analyst Ben DeGrow explains the themes and proposals in his new report Online Course-Level Funding. He and Education Policy Center director Pam Benigno discuss how Colorado’s current school finance system is a hindrance to customized student learning options made possible by digital technology, and what specific policy changes need to be made.
Many Colorado secondary students may benefit from greater opportunity to take a number of traditional face-to-face classes and digital courses simultaneously. Students’ ability to “self-blend” courses in this manner is hampered by school district control of per-pupil funding and course options. Following the national Digital Learning Council’s guidelines, Colorado should alter the K-12 education funding system to enable greater student access to effective online course options.