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Overcoming the Challenges of Taking 'Blended Learning' Home

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By guest blogger Erik Robelen:

The VOISE Academy High School in Chicago is getting creative in getting past barriers to ensure that blended learning takes place not just at school but also in the home. The school, featured in a new Education Week story, is just one example of educators coping with obstacles, such as a lack of access to the Web in many impoverished homes, that otherwise could create inequities for some students.

Officials at the high-poverty public school opened the facility to students on Saturdays, giving them access to a "safe, Web-connected hub where they could work on lessons that required technology," writes Amanda Fairbanks in the story, which is part of a new Education Week special report, "Sizing Up Blended Learning."

"The Chicago school's strategy is just one example of the creative and unconventional efforts being tried around the country" to extend the time students spend on blended learning, the story says.

Efforts by districts to bring blended learning home include not only this type of approach, but also supplying students with Wi-Fi connections on school buses and in other out-of-school locations, and asking educators to encourage their students to engage in tech-based study away from school, Fairbanks notes.

The story highlights examples of districts in several other states, including Alabama, Georgia, and Virginia, that are taking steps to ensure the use of technology for learning doesn't stop when the last bell rings.

Those interested in blended learning, which has huge potential for rethinking and extending the use of time (and place) for learning, are encouraged to check out the new Education Week report. It's got a ton of great examples of work going on around the country, key issues to consider, and up-to-date research findings.

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