What is it?
Blended learning uses online technology to individualize and accelerate student learning. Travis Heights has been a leader in media rich instruction. We have piloted purposeful integration of technology into the Science curriculum with our 3rd-5th grade students the past 3 years. We will extend this practice with blended learning. Blended learning is any time a student learns at least in part at a supervised brick- and-mortar location away from home and at least in part through online delivery with some element of student control over time, place, path, and/or pace.” (Innosight Institute, 2011)
Why are we doing it?
Travis Heights will use the Rotation model. The Rotation model differs from the traditional centers in that the students use online curriculum that is individualized to the specific needs, tracks their progress and is monitored and adjusted by the teacher. THES was fortunate to meet Pamela Barrier. Ms. Barrier, was the Director for a private school and was recognized for work in blended learning in 2007. She currently is a consultant for Learn Forward and will help us develop and implement our blended learning pilot with first grade and kindergarten classrooms.
To learn more, this video shows blended learning in one elementary school.
What will this mean for my child?
Every child will work with technology daily in classroom settings or in the lab. Every student will work on their keyboarding technique as this is a necessary skill for efficiency. The use of a media rich program will help students learn how to be effective communicators and collaborators of their learning. In addition, blended learning will allow teachers to have real time data and to differentiate instruction for multiple levels in a focused manner that we have not ben able to do before.
How can I help?
We have been fortunate to have the assistance from Austin’s Instructional Technology department to find used hardware for our campus. Cost for software continues to be an additional component for our campus. The $5 charge for school supplies is one effort to address this issue. Also, working with young students as they are learning to use the technology is like working with children in a garden. An extra pair of hands is helpful in the younger grades when student go to the lab. Check with your child’s teacher for the times she /he could use help.