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A Blended Learning Roadtrip

By: Ray Rozcyki on October 15th, 2014

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A Blended Learning Roadtrip

Personalized Learning  |  Blended Learning  |  School Districts  |  Curriculum Strategy & Adoption

My Education Elements’ journeys this past month were quite enjoyable!  Not only did I get to meet some amazing teachers and school leaders, but I got the opportunity to visit some new places across the country.  What strikes me the most is that despite where my travels have taken me, the educators that I meet continue to reinforce the fact that the passion for learning and teaching in the K-12 space has never been greater than it is today.  

My journeys took me first to Horry County Schools in South Carolina and from there I was fortunate enough to visit Wayne, Pennsylvania to collaborate with the Agora Cyber Charter School.  I continued my road trip (literally - no flights for these two visits) to Columbus, Ohio to meet with some pretty progressive folks at the Buckeye Association of School Administrators and the Ohio Blended Learning Network.  I finished up my month’s travels with an amazing trip to Idaho to conduct some Personalized Learning Tours with Idahoans in Boise and Moscow! A huge thank you to NNU and the University of ID for hosting and bringing together a great group of leaders to learn about personalized learning!  (Want a PL Tour in your district?  Email info@edelements.com!)  

Some Magic in the South

Let’s talk about Horry County for a minute….Wow!  What an amazing job that they have done implementing their vision for blending learning!  Huge district, focused implementation, excellent change management, great staff buy-in….and incredible results!!!  These folks are doing it right at all grade levels and for all levels of learners.  I am so glad that I had the opportunity to visittheir Academy for the Arts, Science and Technology, amazing building, amazing people and amazing students!  I want this school in the community where I live! #coipride  

The Academy for the Arts, Science and Technology in Horry County Schools

Riddle time:

What do you get when you mix a proud community of learners and teachers with a new progressive Liaison Officer who puts student learning first and then throw in a heavy dose of a Board of Directors dedicated to focusing their spending on improving instruction, student services and performance?

....well not much of a riddle really....

You get Agora Cyber Charter School!   Never have I witnessed a more dedicated, involved and student-centered Board of Directors!  Pair this passion and ownership up with their new mission driven school leader and you get recipe for success!  ....  If I had a child in a different Cyber Charter in PA, I guarantee you that I would be re-examining my options ASAP.

I spent the second half of days over the last month listening, conversing, teaching and learning with dedicated staff and administrators that all shared one focus....to better meet the individual needs of the learners for whom they are accountable.  Every conversation was thoughtful; every conversation included technological components, but never in isolation...they all involved pedagogical components as well!  Conversations on how to make sure the technology works, how to use the technology present to drive results, how to consolidate data collected from disparate sources, how to present this data in meaningful ways to teachers, how to train teachers on how to utilize this data, how to determine readiness and barriers to learning, how to pull student interests into their planning, how to.....well, you get the point! There was no talk of just throwing technology into the classroom and sitting back to see what happens, there was no one who thought technology itself and by itself was the answer and would impact results....but I couldn't shake a stick at all of the quality discussion that I witnessed about driving outcomes by blending....blending technology, systems, methodologies, learning preferences, student interests, learning environments......which makes me so excited about the field - about where it is going and how we are helping to shape it!  I wish everyone had the chance to go to all these places and have all these conversations but since everyone can’t, I will keep reporting on them here.  ‘Till next time.
 
on the road - blended learning journey

About Ray Rozcyki

Ray Rozycki is the CEO of Spider Learning and a former educator. Spider Learning is a curriculum provider focused on the blended learning classroom. Their mission is to empower the art of teaching, by applying the science of learning. Learn more at spiderlearning.com or reach out to info@spiderlearning.com.

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