It has been over seven months since eTech Ohio awarded New Albany High School an $80,000 grant for the development of new blended learning programs. The school received an additional $50,000 for fiscal year 2013 for the continuation of successful projects. The work on the grant has advanced and we offer this update to the community. The funding has provided the opportunity to introduce an innovative blended program to extend learning opportunities for students in New Albany High School.
New Albany High School was one of just seven Ohio schools to receive a development grant, which were awarded to individual school buildings without an existing model of blended learning. Funds were awarded to selected schools through a competitive application process open to all Ohio public schools and consortia.
“Our focus continues to be innovation and creating educational opportunities of the future and blended learning models are a critical component of this future,” said Superintendent April Domine. “The Blended Learning Grant is right on track to accomplish our goal to fund the research, development and staff training necessary to create new models for learning. Through this grant we are creating learning structures of the future and enabling our teachers to design this type of coursework.”
Blended learning combines online and face-to-face instruction to maximize learning outcomes for students. Plans submitted by participating schools utilize one of six blended learning models, ranging from online supplements to instruction in a traditional brick-and-mortar setting to instruction that is primarily online with face-to-face check-ins as needed.
The planning and design of these blended learning courses has been deliberative and well thought out by NAPLS staff to include an assessment of student need regarding technology to ensure that the necessary equipment is available to any student participating in the blended learning courses.
Blended Learning courses that will be implemented next semester and again in 2013-2014 include the following:
- AP Physics – Greg Morris
- English 10 – Donaree Banton-Edmonds and Niki Cray
- AP English 11 – Ann Trotter
- Algebra II Connections – Mike Covey (with Jill Tuttle)
- Government, Politics & Economics – Kirk Hilbrands
- Music Theory and History – Darren Falk
- Introduction to Photoshop & Digital Photography – Leslie Shea
- Advanced Ceramics & Sculpture – Patty Banas
- Senior Seminar – Lori Cheney
One section of each of these courses will use the Blended Learning approach next semester. For example, in English 10, only Mrs. Banton-Edmonds’ 2nd period class will use a blended learning approach. All other sections of English 10 will continue with traditional instructional methods during second semester.
In and Out of the Classroom – the Teacher Perspective
We asked several of the teachers working on these courses to share their experiences on the blended learning approach.
“Blended learning is the best of both worlds! I am excited to use online resources to implement the writing process and conduct student conferences. It is exciting to know that we are in a position to offer more for our students.” – Niki Cray, English 10
“We’re really in a bit of a paradigm shift. First, we are finding the best-possible methods of teaching and then we are making sure we do everything to create an environment of integrity and rigor in our classes. In the music theory course, this means introducing skills through a mix of personally-developed online lectures and assignments, as well as using the web-based edition of our current theory text.” – Darren Falk, Music Theory and History
“I am looking at everything through the lens of creating a better teaching and learning foundation.” – Kirk Hilbrands, Government, Politics and Economics.
“The blended learning environment offers the best of both worlds. During our face-to-face time, we will focus on whole-class discussions and writing workshops. The online work will entail reading essays, watching content-specific videos, posting on online discussions, and collaborating in groups. Online assessments will be formative, with quick checks for understanding or reading comprehension. The blended days also will allow for one-on-one writing conferences with specific, targeted feedback for each of my students. I’m excited about this endeavor!” – Ann Trotter, AP English 11
If you are interested in learning more about the blended learning program at NAHS, contact email@example.com. If you would like your student to have the opportunity to participate in a blended learning course, look for information on registration for courses for Fall 2013 in January.
New Albany-Plain Local Schools has a long history of innovation in technology for learning. In the late 1990’s, technology was one of the driving catalysts for change and development in the district. The eTech Ohio Blended Learning Grant provides the district with the funds for implementing another innovative program.
Calendar of future “blended learning” events:
- January 18 – Superintendent and/or Dr. Troyer, and Blended Learning faculty meet with students to discuss blended learning during HOUSE.
- January 24 – Parent and student meeting to discuss blended learning – HS gymnasium (6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.)
- Curriculum Week – January 28th – all faculty begin discussing high school curricular options/courses in preparation for scheduling
- February 4-9 – Juniors schedule courses (during HOUSE)
- Feb. 11-16 – Sophomores schedule courses (during HOUSE)
- Feb. 25- March 2 – Freshman schedule courses (during HOUSE)