In the year ahead we will see more public schools adopt blended learning, meaning online learning in physical schools. Blended learning is no longer entirely new or untried, and school leaders are hungry for a way to do more with less. Below are 10 predictions for blended learning in 2013.
1. More Rotation Models at the Elementary School Level
Station rotations have existed in elementary classrooms for decades, so incorporating an online station is a natural fit. Early proof-point schools, such as KIPP Empower and Rocketship Education, have run successful Rotation models for enough years now to offer helpful blueprints.
2. More Self-Blending at the High School Level
Millions of students already take at least one online course to supplement their traditional courses. Next year we expect to see even more self-blending as states implement policies to require online coursework (Alabama, Idaho, Florida, Michigan and Virginia) or to fund course-level choice (Florida, Utah, Louisiana and others).
3. More Flex-Model Prototypes
Transitioning from a traditional program to a Flex model involves significant restructuring of human resources and operations. Many districts and charter-school networks are starting to feel the need to at least get their feet wet. Expect to see many prototype schools emerge next year.
4. Growth in Enriched-Virtual Models Among Full-Time Virtual Schools
Many virtual schools appear to be finding that their models generate lackluster results among at-risk students. Expect them to take a page from the “no excuses” charter schools by integrating backward and doing more of what families used to do to help those students succeed. To do this, more full-time virtual schools will offer brick-and-mortar components to shore up results among that population.