“When Computers Are Co-Teachers” – The Atlantic on Aspire Public Schools

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.

NGLC Releases Profiles of Grantees (Breakthrough Models in K-12 & Higher Ed)

The Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) just released a rich set of profiles of its grantees that includes 20 K-12 schools and 10 college models. Alongside the blogging site BlendMyLearning.com, NGLC is really stepping up its efforts to capture and share knowledge about its growing portfolio of innovative models.

Terry Ryan (Fordham) Reflects on a Bay Area Blended Learning Tour

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.
  • Blended learning can be a teacher-driven reform.

Check out Terry’s post – Peering into the future of blended learning – for more.