We also realized to truly transform our district, our curriculum and technology offices needed to work together to reimagine how our course design, curriculum cycle, and PL opportunities could be changed as we moved toward offering more blended-learning opportunities.

Here are the six steps we took to synthesize our ongoing curriculum evaluation and revision process.

1. Student-centered lesson design. PL connected to the University of Pennsylvania focused on the before, during, and after lesson-design structure and the model of engagement (©PLN)

2. Student-centered curriculum design. PL on and development of a current, researched-based, backwards-design model. As part of our five-year curriculum cycle, the Understanding by Design (UbD) 2.0 Curriculum Template, housed in our content management system (G Suite), guides our ongoing curriculum work.

3. Open education resource (OER) PL. PL focused on student-centered resource design that is connected directly to our UbD 2.0 curriculum templates. Topics include defining OER, copyright and fair use, attributions, Creative Commons and licensing, collecting, curating, and creating high-level OER—all facilitated with our partnership with Spider Learning.

4. Student-centered resource design. Collection, curation, and creation of OER-based curriculum resource modules specifically aligned to Garnet Valley student learning outcomes. All modules housed in G Suite.

How to improve your district's blended-learning program

5. Student-centered course design PL. PL centered around instructional design for traditional, blended, and online/virtual learning environment will focus on designing learning experiences, building interactions, and building content—all facilitated with our partnership with Global Online Academy.

6. Course digitization in our learning management system (LMS). Digitization from our G Suite into our LMS (Schoology) for traditional, blended, and online/virtual courses.

Online and blended learning is growing at a rapid pace and holds great promise as an instructional strategy to expand and customize learning opportunities for students. Some national experts predict that 50 percent of all high school classes in the U.S. in the next five years will be taught online or in a blended format. Most states now require students to take at least one online or blended course as part of their graduation requirement.

Having our curriculum and technology departments work together to create personalized learning experiences for our students and to build our teachers’ capacity for blended learning has proven very successful.

About the Author:

Samuel Mormando (@SamMormando) is the director of technology, innovation, and learning for the Garnet Valley School District in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania. Under his leadership, Garnet Valley has become recognized as a model for authentic and purposeful innovation focused on student achievement and student experiences. He is currently pursuing his doctorate in school leadership at Widener University.