Report cites 40 diverse examples of blended learning

Pearson ruled the student information system (SIS) field, with 12 PowerSchool implementations and three implementations of other Pearson products.

The leading provider of both learning management systems (LMS) and digital gradebooks is Blackboard, with seven implementations, respectively. After the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA), Blackboard is also the second leading provider of online assessments.

The report also notes educators’ “wish lists” for blended learning technology and policy.

Regarding technology, blended-learning instructors would like to see better incorporation of research into content design, addressing such questions as: “Do kids have to scroll down? Does sound help? Video or flash animation?” asks Mark Kushner from Flex Public Schools.

Dr. Tom Ryan from eCADEMY would like adaptive technology for all grade levels, and Holly Brezycki from Capital Area Online Learning Association would like either a single content provider or a system that integrates all content so students have a single log-on.

Mickey Revenaugh from Connections Academy would like an improved data interface between online teachers and face-to-face teachers.

When it comes to policy, teachers wants relaxed federal policies surrounding the “highly qualified teacher” designation, which they say can hinder the provision of knowledgeable content experts in blended-learning environments.

Vendors and education leaders also gave their opinions on policy. For example, Matt Mervis from Diploma Plus wants to complete the transition to Common Core standards to eliminate the tension between those and state standards.

Kiley Whitaker and David Couch from the Kentucky Department of Education want to appoint a dynamic leader to bring together federal funding opportunities and private companies to extend connectivity to all parts of the state.

And Robert Sommers, former CEO of Cornerstone Charter Schools in Detroit, said: “Any policy about procedure, rather than performance, undermines the creation of a child-centered [education] system.”

“The operators raised a strong voice for reinventing education policy to make it output focused rather than input regulated,” said Staker.

Meris Stansbury

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