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November 2014 

Blended: Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools

Authors Michael Horn and Heather Staker examine the status of blended learning in the country in their new book released this month. In an excerpt, cited here, the authors caution school districts not to jump into blended learning by buying computers and technology. Instead, they advise "the most successful blended-learning programs are much more deliberate and generally share a common starting point: They begin by identifying the problem to solve or goal to achieve. Then they start with a clear rallying cry."

Read more

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Enjoy our monthly newsletter on blended learning!

You are receiving this newsletter as a member of the Ohio Blended Learning Network, and our goal is to help you learn more about blended learning by highlighting best practices, sharing insights, and advancing opportunities. Let us know how we are doing, and send along your own best pratices, updates and insights! (For back issues of The Blender, follow this link.)

OBLN presents at          Oct. 21st learning lab on blended learning

OBLN joined Battelle for Kids on Oct. 21st to provide more than 50 Ohio educators an overview of blended learning and how it can help teachers use technology to extend their reach and personalize learning for students. Andrew Benson (above), Executive Director of Smarter Schools, gave an overview of the Network, and Mentor Superintendent Matt Miller, chair of the Network, and Hilliard Superintendent John Marschhausen joined a panel to talk about their success with blended learning. Battelle for Kids and OBLN are planning to jointly advance blended learning in Ohio over the next year.
Register now for Nov. 17th OBLN blended learning workshop

The Ohio Blended Learning Network is hosting an interactive workshop on blended learning for superintendens, principals and teachers to take a deeper dive into blended learning strategies. Attendees will rethink classroom design, instructional strategies, selecting and using digital content, and effectively using data. Experts from Mentor Public Schools and Stepstone Academy will guide attendees through fast-paced interactive sessions. The session is from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Ohio Union on the Ohio State University Campus and is part of SOAR Learning Lab Conference hosted by Battelle for Kids. The event is free of charge. To register, follow the link below.

Register here

Spotlight on OBLN members

Reynoldsburg City Schools was cited by Getting Smart as one of the 100 schools worth visiting. Read all about it.
(OBLN members: Tell us your story about progress in blended learning!)
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Ten posts we've been reading on blended learning

Keeping Pace with K-12 Digital Learning released by Evergreen

Evergreen Education Group released its 11th Keeping Pace report on the state of digital learning across the country. The report highlights trends across the nation in digital learning and details what states are doing around policy and practice. (November 2014)

A conversation with authors of new book, "Blended"

Getting Smart founder Tom Vander Ark interviews Michael Horn and Heather Staker of the Christensen Institute on their book, "Blended: Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools" ahead of its relesase Nov. 3. (September 2014)

Personalized learning may be "fix" for ADHD kids | NYT op-ed

A clinical pschology professor asserts in a New York Times op-ed that ADHD can be more effectively addressed by creating environments that build on the strengths of ADHD students. He makes the case for personalized learning. (November 2014)

Power of technology can elevate all children

A policy coordinator for the Foundation for Excellence in Education observes that technology tools like iPads and other tablets are making a difference in the lives of special needs students, like those with Down Syndrome. (October 2014)

Where's the person in personalized learning?

Blogger and researcher Julie Freeland asks that as the edtech industry continues to innovate and create new digital tools to advance learning that it continuously focuses on who students are and what they care about. (October 2014)

International study in competency education: Postcards from abroad

CompetencyWorks releases its report on competency education in international practice in order to inform U.S. policymakers and decisionmakers seeking to implement high-quality competency education. (October 2014)

Any difference between competency-based, mastery-based learning?

A sennior research fellow at the Christensen Institute examines competency-based education and mastery-based learning to reveal connections between them. (November 2014)

New resources help blended learning teachers

A blog post for the Christensen Institute highlights two tools that help outine for teachers what good blended learning instruction looks like. Turns out, it looks a lot like what good teaching in general looks like. (October 2014)

Inspiring stories from Next Generation Schools

Getting Smart released a review of schools innovating with Next Generation Learning Challenge grants. Among those profiled is Lakewood City Schools near Cleveland.(November 2014)

Getting Smart's list of 100 schools worth visiting

Staffers drew from thousands of school visits to highlight the top schools that achieve extraordinary results, create powerful learning experiences, and have created innovative technology blends. (November 2014)

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The Number: 2

The number of Ohio schools cited on Getting Smart's "100 schools worth visiting." Reynoldsburg City Schools and the Metro School were the two schools on the list, although four other charter school networks - Nexus Academies, KIPP, Carpe Diem, and New Tech Network - were on       the list and have schools in the state (with two being OBLN members).

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Last Word

"We should do everything we can to help young people with ADHD select situations - whether schools now or professions later on - that are a better fit for their novelty-seeking behavior."

- Professor Richard A. Friedman, Weill Cornell Medical College, in a recent op-ed.

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