IDEA Public Schools is a high performing K-12 charter network with 30 schools with a current enrollment of over 15, 000 serving low income communities in the Rio Grande Valley, San Antonio, and Austin. Virtually all of their students graduate and go to college.


Middlebury Interactive, a joint venture between Middlebury College and K12 Inc., is a leader in world language instruction for K-12 students. The partnership will serve about 200,000 K-12 students this year in more than 1,200 traditional and virtual schools. The most frequent application is in a blended learning environment.


The Education Achievement Authority (EAA) is Michigan's school improvement district (like the LA RSD and TN ASD). It operates 12 schools in Detroit and has partnered with School Improvement Network to develop a student-centered competency-based school model.


When we launched the Blended Learning Implementation Guide with Digital Learning Now!'s John Bailey and The Learning Accelerator's Scott Ellis in February, we knew that it was just the first iteration of what would be an evolving document. What we didn't know is that version 1.0 of the Guide would need updated just six months later.


I'm spending a couple days with the most thoughtful folks in leadership development. We'll spend part of the time looking at new school models and asking what it means for preparing the next generation of school leaders.


It is easy for schools that serve high-challenge communities to be preoccupied with remediation. With the growth of double-blocked core subjects and managed instruction programs, one can assume that engaging projects and what might be called enrichment activities only happen in independent or suburban schools


Everything is changing... • Mobile devices and apps; adaptive instruction--teachers, parents, and kids flipping and blending their own learning. • Online learning and new tools are being blended into new school models that leverage great teaching with technology. • And just beginning to emerge: learner profiles, smart playlists, customized and competency-based pathways.


It is pretty easy to run a secondary school using open math content. There is Khan Academy, CK12, NROC, and more. But it seems to be harder to find open education resources (OER) in English language arts.


Startups get all the love on the blogs. With the slow demise of print, the big guys are negotiating the long uneven edu-version of the Innovator's Dilemma by cannibalizing existing revenue streams with converted or acquired digital product lines. In between, a handful of midsize companies are innovating and delivering value at scale.


The innovative Bay Area school network is a pioneer in blended and competency based learning. CEO Diane Tavenner launched Summit Prep, the organization's flagship school, a decade ago. With each new school, Diane and her talented team continue to innovate on the secondary school model. Here's the ingredients of the current blend:


The opinions expressed in Vander Ark on Innovation are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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