Making the Blended Learning Choice

Contributor: 
Jerry Brodsky

When making a decision to implement or expand a blended learning program, it is easy to become overwhelmed with the vast amount of information available. The number of vendors offering online curriculum and instructional services grows every year. So, how do you make a decision on which one to use? How do you sift through all the material on your desk and finally make a choice?

Just Do It

Here are some steps to help you cut through the clutter when selecting a blended learning provider:

Step 1: Decide Your Focus

What do you hope to accomplish through implementing blended learning in your school or district? Write down your goals...

Pivoting to Blended Education with Remarkable Success

Contributor: 
Katherine Anderson

Pivot Charter School Tampa (PCS) is a 6–12 grade site-based charter school in Tampa, FL, with an enrollment of 300 students. The school employs a blended learning model, combining one-to-one teaching with a traditional education environment.

The Hillsborough County Public Schools in Tampa, the 8th largest school district in the United States, sponsored Pivot Charter School because it wanted a blended learning option located within the district, where students could work at their own pace and take elective courses not offered at their traditional middle or senior high schools.

PCS opened in August 2011, and later began using Fuel Education curriculum in January 2014. This transition ignited measurements of success for the school. From June 2014 to August 2014, PCS’s retention rate was 78 percent, which improved to 81 percent from June 2015 to August 2015. PCS’s graduation rate increased from 61 percent in 2013 to 80 percent in 2015. PCS also bested state averages across the board in the 2015 Math assessments.

The Impact of Pikes Peak Early College

Contributor: 
Fuel Education

A semester has passed, and life at the newly established Pikes Peak Early College has settled into a routine. This unique blended learning, early college program is having a profound impact on staff, administrators, and especially students as they reach new academic heights and grow personally.

Reaching these new heights takes support from all those around. The tight-knit PPEC community is like a family that permeates all aspects of the educational experience and has emerged as a key aspect that impacts all. The unique rapport between students, teachers, counselors, and administrators creates an atmosphere where everyone flourishes, both personally and professionally.

California Adult Blended Program Sparks Student Success

Contributor: 
Katherine Anderson

Returning to school can be challenging for many students—and it becomes more difficult as they grow older. Often times, traditional brick-and-mortar programs fail to meet the needs of adults who have family and job responsibilities. Districts also find it challenging to offer both the range of courses needed and the qualified instructors required at a reasonable cost. Online instruction offers a cost-effective solution: flexible, personalized learning with an expansive array of courses taught by subject matter experts.

Career Credentials: Helping Students Go for the Gold at Every Distance

Contributor: 
Fuel Education

The new paradigm of career and technical education (CTE) is that every student can benefit from it, whether they're chasing a well-paying career right out of high school or pursuing a postsecondary degree. Even the federal government's Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) signed into law a year ago recognizes that new reality. The Act adds CTE to the definition of a well-rounded education, bringing it into the spotlight previously reserved for traditional subjects like English and math.

Administering Pikes Peak Early College

Contributor: 
Fuel Education

Leading a revolutionary new early college program takes tact and vision. Dave Knoche, executive principal, finds the perfect balance of both in the administration of PPEC. What he finds most important is connecting with his staff, fostering their visions through feedback and strong encouragement. Mr. Knoche also enables PPEC students to connect with him and their teachers with a policy of acceptance and care.

Because of the rigorous nature of PPEC, and the high achievement expected of its students, Mr. Knoche's time is not devoted to dealing with disciplinary related issues. Rather, he focuses on managing the school's high achievement through direct and open relationships with his staff and their students.

Hear how PPEC flourishes under the direction of Mr. Knoche firsthand...

3 Tips for Teaching Hot Topics in an Online Setting

Contributor: 
Fuel Education

As a civics educator in an online setting, I often have to navigate some tricky waters. In my case, I teach in the state of Florida, which has a hotly divided population. If you’ve watched the news at all, you’re aware there are things going on in our country and world that are viewed from very different perspectives—party politics, terrorism, immigration, gun violence, gun rights, women’s reproductive rights, rights of the unborn, police brutality, civil liberties, and on and on. As much as I’d love to bury my head in the sand and avoid all of these discussions, it’s my responsibility as a civics educator to discuss the issues that help individuals form and shape their political ideologies and affiliations. Students have to know political party platforms, and the types of issues that may lead a person to identify with one party over the other.

Inspiring Daring Dreams of the Future at Pikes Peak Early College

Contributor: 
Fuel Education

Join the year long journey as students, faculty, and staff reach for new heights at Pikes Peak Early College (PPEC) in Peyton, Colorado. This newly established grades 9 through 12+2 school uniquely prepares students from diverse backgrounds for college and career through flexible and individualized blended learning, combined with free early college options. Tune in to view our Year One Video Blog and see firsthand how the program works from the perspective of students, staff, and administrators. See the successes and challenges that arise during a remarkable first year. 


Dreams are powerful visions of the future that motivate us in the present. PPEC is compelling students to envision daring dreams of the future and allowing teachers and staff to inspire PPEC's students to reach for them. By forging unique memorandums of understanding with colleges and crafting a program of study individualized for each student, PPEC allows students to reach for higher educational dreams with the promise of a free associate's degree and the support of expert staff to assist the 9–12 plus 2 year (12+2) journey...

 

Staying on Their Mind: Six Ways to Engage Students Online

Contributor: 
Kelli Hicks

This past year, I went on a trip to London. My four-year-old, Katie, helped me pack for the trip. As I packed, she disappeared for a few minutes and came back with a heart she had decorated. She put it in the suitcase and said, "Mommy, take this heart so you will remember I love you." The heart stayed on the nightstand at the hotel. It was the last thing I saw each night before I turned off the lights, and the first thing I saw in the morning.

Follow a New Blended Learning School through its First Year

Contributor: 
Fuel Education

This is your chance to experience the launch of an innovative blended school.

Join the year-long journey as students, faculty, and staff reach for new heights at Pikes Peak Early College (PPEC) in Peyton, Colorado.  This newly established school for grades 9 through 12+2 uniquely prepares students from diverse backgrounds for college and career through flexible and individualized blended learning, combined with free early college options. PPEC's goal is to increase completion of college courses, associate's degrees, and certifications, while reducing high school remediation rates. PPEC's faculty and staff members empower students to seamlessly transition from high school to college by facilitating personalized, flexible blended online and traditional pathways emphasizing self-directed learning. They accomplish this using Fuel Education's broad catalog of online curriculum and their award-winning, open technology platform, PEAK.

Tune in to view our Year One Video Blog and see firsthand how the program works from the perspective of students, staff, and administrators. See the successes and challenges that arise during a remarkable first year.

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