Three organizations have been approved to open 19 charter schools here that combine online technology and face-to-face instruction. The strategy allows schools to save money by employing fewer teachers, yet also can produce impressive student results.
And because lower-cost blended schools need no ongoing philanthropic support, they can be replicated rapidly_about three times more quickly than charter schools in Indianapolis have been so far.
"We're finally seeing the long-awaited arrival of technology that actually transforms instruction," said David Dresslar, a former public school superintendent who is now director of the Center for Excellence in Leadership of Learning at the University of Indianapolis.
If the blended schools in Indianapolis, which hope to enroll nearly 11,000 students, are as successful as blended schools in Arizona and California have been, Dresslar added, that will force traditional public schools here to adopt the concept, too.
Blended learning, also called hybrid learning, sends students to a computer lab to learn basic skills in math and literature_such as multiplication tables or parts of speech. Teachers then can focus on higher-level concepts such as story problems or composition writing during face-to-face instruction.
The software programs used in blended learning send streams of data to teachers, who can see what concepts students are grasping and what they are struggling to learn. The result, blended-learning proponents say, is that teachers are able to customize instruction_even though the ratio of students to teachers is higher in blended schools.
"It does provide a wonderful customized education for kids," said Rick Ogston, head of Arizona-based Carpe Diem Schools, which switched to a blended model nearly a decade ago. At Carpe Diem's high school last year, 87 percent of students passed the state math test and 93 percent passed the state reading test.
Source: New England Cable News
Read more: http://www.necn.com/06/04/12/Blended-school-concept-could-change-Indy/landing_scitech.html
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