Happy National Teacher Appreciation Day! What better way to celebrate here than to talk about blended learning? I saw a few of you scratch your heads out there. But the national Digital Learning Now (DLN) group has blessed us with a new report titled Improving Conditions and Careers: How Blended Learning Can Improve the Teaching Profession.
The authors argue that the smart use of digital technology to redefine instructional and school design models can have benefits for teachers, including the following:
- Expand the reach of effective teachers to reach more students directly with instruction
- Promote a focus on deeper student learning to maximize results with students
- Enhance teacher entrepreneurship and enhance earning potential
- Extend the boundaries of collaboration with other professional teachers
- Offer greater flexibility in schedules and teaching environments
- Provide more pathways to leadership roles for educators
The DLN report plays off the dismal findings of a new national teacher survey, which contrast with the positive marks Douglas County teachers broadly give their school working environments. Still, one has to explore the possibilities for using blended learning models as successful force multipliers as part of a broader school-level strategy.
A couple other notes of local interest from the DLN report: Page 12 features a brief discussion of Colorado’s use of technology by BloomBoard to promote prompt, effective feedback to teachers on their performance. Then, my hopes rose as I thought they were citing the cutting-edge blended learning work of Denver’s Rocky Mountain Prep. Turns out it was Rocky Mount Prep in North Carolina.
Oh, well. That ought to teach me not to try to read so quickly. But maybe the adoption of smart, cost-effective blended learning strategies will end up helping more students learn how to read quickly AND accurately by giving more opportunities to great teaches. Wouldn’t that be a fabulous idea? And maybe even great for teachers, too — a cause not just for appreciation but also for celebration!