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Organizations Seek Blended Learning Successes in Traditional Schools

By guest blogger Michelle R. Davis

If you have a blended learning program and hard evidence of its success, the Evergreen Education Group and the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation want to hear from you.

The two organizations, both known for a focus on blended learning and studying the use of technology in education, are looking for school and district examples of success for a project that aims to help provide best practices and models for traditional schools and districts, said John Watson, the founder of the Evergreen Education Group, which produces the annual "Keeping Pace with K-12 Online and Blended Learning" report.

"There are so many examples of success from charter schools, which is great, but we do hear administrators and education leaders within traditional schools saying we'd like to see some examples that look like us," Watson said.

Programs should have data confirming that blended learning has had a positive impact on student achievement, Watson said, not just, for example, that student engagement is up. This could mean test scores comparing the progress of blended learning students to a previous year, which did not use blended learning, or assessments of students within blended learning classes compared to students at the same school or in the same district doing more traditional coursework.

To apply to be one of the case study programs, fill out a short survey. Applications will be taken until Oct. 26. The coordinators of the case study project are looking for geographic diversity among programs, urban and rural districts, and schools and districts of different sizes with different student-body makeups.

Schools or districts that Evergreen and the Christensen Institute select will be highlighted beginning early in 2015 through publicized case studies. They will also be asked to present at the 2015 iNACOL Blended and Online Learning Symposium, Watson said.  

"For blended learning to go from early adopters and innovators to scale, we need examples to show the skeptics and the people in control of schools and budgets, who are properly saying they want to see results from other blended programs before they do any implementation," he said. "That's at the heart of this project."

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