Brenda Lillie has been an educator for 12 years, and she has used Fuel Education’s blended learning solutions for the past three years as a teacher in the Evergreen School District in Vancouver, WA. Brenda teaches sixth, seventh, and eighth grade language arts, math, science, and social studies in a blended classroom. Brenda also teaches two elective courses – Spanish and robotics.
Brenda enjoys teaching in the blended environment because it is “more relaxed and personalized.” She loves the fact that her students “want to be at school, want to learn, and can do most of their learning at home. They come into the school building to complete collaborative projects.” According to Brenda, “The blended learning environment is terrific. I wish all schools could be this good and this cool.”
PEAK is FuelEd’s Personalized Learning Platform, which enables districts to personalize, integrate, and manage their online learning programs. Brenda has been using FuelEd’s new middle school curriculum through PEAK since September. FuelEd’s Melissa Davis talked with Brenda about how she uses PEAK to manage her classroom effectively and to help her students learn.
Melissa Davis: How do you use PEAK in your classroom?
Brenda Lillie: I use PEAK as the curriculum delivery system for my students. They use PEAK to access their coursework and submit their assignments. I also grade my students’ assignments in PEAK. For example, I can grade a student’s assignment, return it to them to correct, have the student re-submit the assignment, and then I can apply a final grade–all in PEAK.
MD: What do you like about PEAK?
BL: PEAK’s set-up and layout are simple to use. It’s easy to explain to others how to use PEAK. Students do not have to access another tool to communicate. They can do everything in PEAK. They can communicate with me or with one another.
MD: How does PEAK make your life easier?
BL: I am teaching 12 courses, and they are all captured in PEAK. There is no way I could manage all the classes I am teaching without PEAK.
MD: What would you tell another teacher about PEAK?
BL: PEAK is a fantastic program! You can make PEAK what you want and need it to be. Anything you can think of, you can do with PEAK.
MD: What are the benefits you are seeing for your students?
BL: Students like the curriculum, layout, and ease of access. Parents like the views on the homepage that allow them to check their children’s grades immediately. Students are taking ownership of their learning. Their attitudes are improving because they are getting good grades on their own.
MD: Why does PEAK work for your students?
BL: PEAK is so individually driven that each student knows they need to be in charge of their education. They do that by setting their own pace and showing that they are learning instead of just trying to do enough to get through the curriculum.
Melissa C. Davis is Fuel Education’s senior manager of Client Communications.