What is it?
“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) Blended learning uses online technology to individualize and accelerate student learning in conjunction with regular classroom instruction. To learn more, this video shows blended learning in one elementary school: Blended Learning Model
Blended Learning Graphic from Global English Website
Why are we doing it?
Blended Learning technology allows our teachers to have real-time data on areas of strengths/weaknesses for each student. Being able to provide immediate feedback and refined support through differentiated instruction enhances learning for all ability levels in a focused, efficient, and encouraging manner.
What will this mean for my child?
Each child has access to a Chromebook, or iPad in their classroom. Additionally, Travis Heights has a computer lab where classes can work as a group. These resources enable every child to work with technology daily in classroom settings or in the computer lab.
Travis Heights uses a Rotation model for Blended Learning. This model has students rotate in groups between time with the teacher, time on the computer, and time in other learning structures (e.g., small group projects, pencil-and-paper assignments, etc.) When on the computer, students use online curriculum that is individualized to their specific needs, tracks/rewards their progress and is monitored and adjusted by the teacher.
How can I help?
We have been fortunate to have the assistance from Austin ISD’s Instructional Technology department to find used hardware for our campus and a large portion of our TEA grant to start up as a charter school was used to purchase new Chromebooks for each classroom. 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 students go to the lab. Check with your child’s teacher for the times she/he could use help.