Innovative Blended Learning Educator Wins EPA Award

Contributor: 
Katherine Anderson

How can you become an award-winning educator by incorporating online and blended learning into your curriculum? Ask Mona Cloys, an experienced alternative program coordinator, science teacher, and online instructor for the Lake County DOOR Program, and coordinator for the alternative high school diploma program offered at Lake County High School in Leadville, Colorado.

Cloys was one of 18 teachers recently honored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) with the Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators (PIAEE). The prestigious PIAEE award was established to recognize innovative educators who integrate environmental learning into their classrooms using hands-on, experiential approaches. Up to two teachers from each of EPA's 10 regions are selected to receive this award each year. Cloys and the other 2015/2016 PIAEE winners were recognized at a ceremony at the White House on August 16, 2016.

Bending the Rules of Time and Space

Contributor: 
Katherine Anderson

Education has, for the most part, been beholden to the rules and regulations of a factory-model classroom since the 19th century. This traditional educational model, premised on lawfulness and orderliness, set stringent standards on when, where, and how students were educated in public schools and beyond. 

With the advent of the computer age came a chance to break free from this limiting tradition. Digital resources and technologies have now ushered in innovative learning possibilities. Schools have begun to move away from the traditional factory-model classroom by altering the rules of time and space

You Can Do That Online? 5 Teaching Strategy Tips

Contributor: 
Kelli Hicks

One of the great myths of online education is that you can’t use the same teaching strategies you use in a traditional brick-and-mortar classroom. You can, and they are just as effective online as they are in the face-to-face setting! You just have to know how to adapt them. Here are a few tips you can use:

  1. Put it to song. When I was a high school student, my math teacher put the quadratic formula to the tune of “Pop Goes the Weasel” and I have never forgotten it. That one little song helped me pass that quarter of math because so much of the curriculum depended on that formula. In an online setting, you can give this type of trick an immortal status. Record yourself singing the song and post the digital file to your course. This could be posted as an announcement when the students reach that part of the curriculum. It can live permanently in your resources area of the course. You can even embed it in the unit so that it is part of the students' lesson.

The Wright Way: Students Achieve Success Online

Contributor: 
Katherine Anderson

Open since the fall of 2005, Wright City Academy provides online alternative education and credit recovery programs for at-risk high school students attending Wright City High School. The school, serving approximately 419 students in grades 9 through 12, is located in a rural setting near St. Louis, Missouri, and is part of the Wright City R-11 school district.

Wright City Academy is a unique online and blended learning program that is helping struggling students become independent and successful learners. It provides a full day, online alternative high school program for students who seek a different path or are unsuccessful in the regular high school. It also includes an online credit recovery program. Students in the credit recovery program take courses in computer labs managed by Wright City High School teachers, who provide one-to-one tutoring and assistance to each student.

Dropout Prevention: The Power of Blended and Online Credit Recovery

Contributor: 
Katherine Anderson

Did you know 2 out of every 10 students drop out of school? This stark reality is the combination of many factors, occurring over several years, which leads to a student's gradual disengagement from their academic journey until they fall behind and drop out.

October is National Dropout Prevention Month—an annual observance designed by the National Dropout Prevention Center/Network at Clemson® University.  The center's hope is that the month will provide a time to focus on increasing awareness of the long-term effects on students, the economy, and society when students drop out of school. While progress in reducing school dropout rates has been made, the need for greater awareness and better methods of remediation still exist.

The effects of dropping out of school are far-reaching. 

Show Your Appreciation to Your Blended Learning Principal

Contributor: 
Katherine Anderson

Many of us in the blended learning world know firsthand that the key to student success is a great school with innovative curriculum, but did you know that the key to a great school is a great principal?

In school-based factors affecting student achievement, leadership has been identified as critical to student success, second only to instruction, according to research conducted by the Wallace Foundation. These leading women and men set the tone and direction of a school, inspire teachers and staff's performance, touch the lives of students, and strengthen communities. They accomplish these remarkable results without requiring thanks or expecting recognition—often investing a great deal of themselves into their work.

Blended learning principals, in particular, are the unsung heroes of a current pedagogical revolution taking place. They are at the helm guiding the implementation of personalized learning, flexible schedules, and changing uses of educational spaces and resources. Without great principals leading the way, many blended learning programs might not have been implemented—and we would not be seeing the resulting sparks of success in our students' eyes.

October is National Principals Month. What better time to thank these phenomenal principals for all the great work they do, and recognize the essential role they play in making a school great?

You Should Care About CTE Pathways for Manufacturing

Contributor: 
Katherine Anderson

In this blog series, we delve into four important Career Clusters® that are in need of more educated and well-trained students to fill the higher-skill, higher-wage jobs open to them. These Career Clusters are health science, information technology, business management and administration, and manufacturing. In this post, we focus on the manufacturing industry.

There are many reasons why you, and your students, should care about the manufacturing industry! Manufacturing employs a remarkably large share of the labor force and produces materials required by consumers and sectors such as national infrastructure and defense. Modern manufacturing contributes to economic growth and raises both the technological stock and skills of a country. It is the backbone of our country and can be a strategic advantage for countries worldwide.

The Fascinating Four Forms of Blended Learning

Contributor: 
Katherine Anderson

What Is Blended Learning?

Blended learning is a rapidly growing instructional model that is redefining the educational landscape. Schools across the country are using blended learning programs to personalize learning. These programs have resulted in greater productivity for teachers and better outcomes for students because students receive the attention, support, and resources they need—and teachers can spend more time differentiating instruction.

As blended learning implementation continues to grow, it’s important to create a shared language with understandable definitions that enables educators to continue to revolutionize the K–12 sector. Knowing the possibilities of blended learning, and all of the options that come with it, is an important step to creating an innovative educational experience for students, teachers, and administrators. 

6 Tips to Jumpstart Blended Learning

Contributor: 
Katherine Anderson

Fuel Education recently asked educators from around the country to offer practical tips on blended learning that others could use in their schools. We narrowed their responses down to six tips to help you jumpstart blended learning in this new school year. Originally published in a convenient downloadable guidebook, Blended Learning Tips from Educators to Jumpstart Learning, we offer a shortened overview here.

Seven Ways to Celebrate National Online Learning Day

Contributor: 
Katherine Anderson

What Is National Online Learning Day?

National Online Learning Day, September 15, recognizes the advantages and potential of blended and online learning programs and the accomplishments of districts, schools, administrators, teachers, staff, and students who use them. The day seeks to cultivate awareness of, and support for, an ever-growing community of educators and learners who participate in blended and online education. No matter your role within blended and online learning, it is time to celebrate!

Evolving technology is making education more manageable and convenient for every generation. The power of online technology has knocked down barriers and built bridges in education. Every day, school administrators and teachers are helping students craft a personalized learning experience with blended and online learning. National Online Learning Day brings nationwide recognition to these trailblazing participants.

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