Aspire Public Schools, a 37-school charter network with schools in California and Tennessee, has been progressively expanding its blended learning implementations for several years with rockstar leadership from Liz Arney, Director of Innovative Learning.
Margaret Ramirez recently published a piece in The Atlantic – When Computers are Co-Teachers – that features Aspire Titan Academy (whose building was once home to a sock factory, we learn). It’s a balanced look at Aspire’s approach to integrating technology its instructional model, with some references to other models across the country.
If you’re interested in taking a closer look at Aspire’s approach to implementing blended learning, it’s worth taking a look at Aspire’s Blended Learning Handbook which is full of practical guidance from Arney and practitioners.
Liz Arney from Aspire Public Schools published a “Blended Learning Handbook” for her network. Rather than keeping it under lock and key, they are sharing this broadly in hopes that others find it useful. This is a great resource for any school or system that is considering blended learning implementation.
I recently spent two days in the Bay Area touring blended schools and meeting with providers along with a group of organizations focused on city-based innovation that CEE-Trust sponsored. Since Terry Ryan of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute penned this nice write up on the visit, I will just refer to it. A few of his many insightful takeaways are below:
The blended learning sector is still very much in its infancy
The Common Core offers the hope of scaling out rapidly and across many jurisdictions new products and blended learning models
Blended learning changes the nature of teaching
“Teaching is moving towards tutoring here”
School leaders and teachers worry most about “tech dramas and nightmares.”
The kids like the freedom and flexibility of blended learning.