Offering students a personalized, blended learning environment is not without its challenges. And, making that same environment available to students across the district can seem daunting. So how does one go about implementing such a program that can be scaled across an entire district?
In our recent white paper, How to Successfully Scale Personalized Learning: Six Key Lessons from Effective Programs, authored in partnership with Getting Smart, administrators offer best practices for scalability based on a variety of district based programs.
One key take away is simplifying the teacher and student experience. Accessing coursework online with ease from various locations ensures that students can make their time online more efficient and effective. Schools can provide streamlined access through open, customizable platforms like FuelEd’s PEAK, which limits the need for tech assistance and minimizes barriers that could prevent the start of coursework. That’s particularly important to teachers helping students with course – more focus is on learning the content and not the logistics of navigating the system.
Teachers benefit, too, when the user experience in both blended and fully online programs encourages students to work independently. As teacher Steve Cassity of the Independence School District describes, “You can handle many more students in a FuelEd classroom because a lot of the learning is done independently. Every student isn’t calling me to his or her desk every day. They’re going through the information, taking notes, and completing assignments.”
According to Mr. Cassity, ensuring simplicity in teaching methods can also help students attain and maintain focus. He says, “Students can handle a lot more, too, because disruptions are minimized. They can study and take notes at home, and things like quizzes, exams, and passcodes are protected.”
Karen Weintraub, principal of Evergreen Flex Academy in Vancouver, Washington, agrees. She says, “The platform makes learning accessible and organized for these students. We are so grateful for it.”
In addition to the simplified student experience, teachers and administrators also benefit when it is easy to track their students’ progress, determine students’ strengths and needs, and chart appropriate times and places for assessment and instructional interventions.
Principal Weintraub describes the power that PEAK provides to Evergreen Flex Academy teachers: “They really know and understand what the kids are using. The platform organizes what the kids do and don’t do. We’re even more on top of what kids are doing now.”
In short, when the student and teacher experience is simple and effective, there is more time for instruction and support.