Lawrence Public Schools

USD 497

Let's Blend: Engaging Students Through Personalized Learning

Middle school students

An effective blended environment combines the best of traditional instruction with online and digital media to deliver personalized learning. This environment is tailored for individual student strengths, needs, and interests, including student voice and choice in the path, pace, and place of learning. Personalized learning empowers students to take ownership of their educational goals (student agency) and supports them within and beyond the traditional classroom environment.

Background
In the Spring of 2013, the district selected eight teachers to field test the blended learning instructional strategy in kindergarten, grades 4-7, and one high school math class.  The experiences of these teachers, students and parents provided us with great feedback as we sought to answer two key questions:
 
1. Can we increase student engagement?
2. Can we provide a resource that maximizes teachers' time with students?
 
The answers: yes and yes!
 
Improving student engagement and motivation and extending the reach of effective teachers drives our blended learning expansion. In 2013-14, the district expanded its support for blended learning to 40 additional teachers with two blended classrooms in each of our schools.  In addition, schools added another 32 blended classrooms due to teachers requesting to blend.  With increased student engagement and teacher efficacy, and positive feedback from students, teachers and parents, the district supported 150 blended learning classrooms in 2014-15, and 260 classrooms in 2015-16.
 
Follow this link  to hear what students, parents and teachers are saying, and to watch videos that answer some of the most commonly asked questions, about blended learning.
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