I have worked extensively with online and blended learning at the K-12 level for many years in a range of capacities from designing individual courses to starting a blended high school to strategy and policy.
At a national level, I served on the Board of Directors for the International Association of K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) from 2009-2013, as well as serving on the research committee and program committee for iNACOL’s annual Blended and Online Learning Symposium.
I was also part of the team that helped to launch VOISE Academy, the first blended learning (non-charter) high school in Chicago Public Schools, and served on its’ Advisory Local School Council for many years. The fantastic leadership and teachers at VOISE Academy deserve the lion’s share of the credit for the success of VOISE Academy. This video provides a snapshot of the unique learning environment that VOISE Academy provided and the kind of impact it had on the students there.
At Northwestern, I served as an adviser to the Center for Talent Development’s Gifted Learning Links program, helping them to improve the quality of their online honors and AP course offerings for middle and high school students.
Unfortunately, many online courses that simply copy classroom-based approaches and thus miss out on the true potential of online learning. I invite you to read some of my papers and postings on this site for more in depth commentary on K-12 education and online learning.
Questions to ask about your online and blended program:
- Design reviews. Are your current courses as engaging and effective as they could be? Or do they simply copy classroom approaches?
- Professional development. Are your teachers up to speed on teaching with the latest technologies?
- Design workshops. Is your staff preprared to design and develop engaging and effective online courses.
- Technology strategy. Is your technology platform moving you forward or holding you back? Are you taking advantage of new tools to enhance learning?