The rise of K-12 blended learning

Blended learning —  adult-supervised online education, often mixed with classroom instruction — can personalize K-12 education, concludes an Innosight Institute report by Michael Horn and Heather Staker.

Online learning has the potential to be a disruptive force that will transform the factory-like, monolithic structure that has dominated America’s schools into a new model that is student-centric, highly personalized for each learner, and more productive, as it delivers dramatically better results at the same or lower cost.

The report looks at six blended learning models and profiles  that Rocketship‘s very successful San Jose charter school and the Carpe Diem charter school in Yuma, Arizona.

Horn and Staker translate the Digital Learning Now! campaign into policy proposals to “maximize the transformational potential of blending learning,” writes Bennet Ratcliff on edReformer.

Proposals include:

• Moving to a system where students progress based on their mastery of academic standards or competencies as opposed to seat time or the traditional school calendar;

• Lifting the rules around certification and licensure to let schools slot paraprofessionals or capable but non-state-certified teachers into appropriate assistive or instructional roles and enable schools to extend the reach of great teachers across multiple, geographically disparate locations;

• Creating funding models that allow fractional per-pupil funds to follow students down to the individual course, not just the full-time program;

• Tying a portion of the per-pupil funds to individual student mastery, whereby states pay bonuses when students achieve mastery at an advanced academic level or students realize the biggest gains between pre- and post-assessment (so as to incentivize programs to serve students who have historically struggled the most).

Letting students progress based on mastery rather than seat time really would be transformational.

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  1. Tim-10-ber says:

    I love the idea of mastery determining when a student can advance vs seat time. This is long over due. I have been pushing for this for a while. The educative say it will be too confusing. I say to heck with that it is time to abolish the factory model. It no longer works…hasn’t worked for decades. Let’s find a new way to meet the needs of the students while they finally get a quality education. We can do this! Yes it means those students that need more time to master the subject will be held back. Means eligibility for athletes will be at risk due to age requires that should not change. Hopefully will make them better students. Will stop social promotion. Let’s do the right the for the students not the adults. Thanks!