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Insider’s View: Blended Learning Adoptions at the School or District Level

EducationWeek’s newly released special report, “Blended Learning: Breaking Down Barriers” explores how K-12 schools are grappling with blended learning – from districts providing wifi for students’ homes to a review of meaningful research about technology’s impact on learning.

In the special issue, reporter Benjamin Herold takes a deep dive into two very different approaches to adopting MIND Research Institute’s ST Math: a centralized, district-level procurement versus a school-based decision.

 

 

Should districts control all educational software buying? Which adoption method have you seen work? Share your experience in the comment section!

Posted by MIND Research Institute on Friday, April 17, 2015

 

In the nation’s capital, District of Columbia Public Schools leaders adopted ST Math several years ago, with help from philanthropic partners like Hyundai Motor America. The district used what Education Week calls a “hybrid” approach, encouraging schools to adopt ST Math, but without mandating it. But with noteworthy improvements on test scores at the schools using the program, as well as some gentle encouragement from the district and support from MIND Research Institute, the number of DCPS schools using the program is steadily increasing.

"If I had told all 70 schools three years ago they had to do it, I have no idea where we would be now," DCPS’s John Rice told Education Week. "This way, schools are banging on my door to get [ST Math.] It will probably happen in every school soon, but it won't be forced."

The district-wide approach is not for everyone, though. The supplement highlights Colorado Springs Academy School District 20, where Pioneer Elementary is the only school in a 24,000-student district using ST Math. Pioneer’s principal, who has more than 16 years of school leadership experience, selected ST Math and implemented it at her school this year.

The special report highlights the advantages and challenges of both school and district-led blended learning adoptions, offering insight on how to successfully accomplish either. It’s a fine balance: “I think we can have the best of both worlds,” said Steven Hodas, of the Center on Reinventing Public Education, a research and policy-advocacy center at the University of Washington,  “which is somewhere between ‘everyone do what the superintendent says’ and ‘every 3rd grade teacher is on her own.’”

 

Which adoption method have you seen work? Share your experiences with MIND Research Institute via social media.

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