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October 2014 
Thomas Arnett
Does blended learning work?

Researcher and blogger Thomas Arnett poses and then examines that question and comes to the conclusion: It depends. In a blog post for the Clayton Christensen Institute, Arnett spells out the conditions and circumstances under which blended learning does work and asks us to consider an analogy, Do machines with wings fly? Learn more about how Arnett frames the question and delivers the answer in this insightful commentary.

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 Reception 

Our Superintendents' Reception on   Sept. 29 produced lots of good conversation and insights into how districts that have already adopted blended learning strategies (below is Steve Dackin, formerly of Reynoldsburg City Schools) are finding success. Download the presentations from the event here (scroll down to the bottom of linked page under Resources.)
Register now for Oct. 21 blended learning lab co-hosted by Battelle for Kids

OBLN and Battelle for Kids are hosting a half-day learning lab for schools and districts interested in implementing blended learning. This event is designed for school leaders who are interested in pursuing support from Battelle for Kids to plan, design and then implement blended learning in classrooms over the next two years. Seats are limited so register now! The event is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Oct. 21 in Columbus (site to be determined soon.)

Register here

Spotlight on OBLN members

Hilliard City Schools has created an impressive  blended learning web page that outlines the seven characteristics of Hilliard's Blended Learning Environments.
(OBLN members: Tell us your story about progress in blended learning!)
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Ten posts we've been reading on blended learning

Calling all public blenders: Share your story of what's working

Evergreen Education Group and the Christensen Institute launched a project for blended learning teachers in public schools to share their story. Take the 10-minute survey by Oct. 19 (October 2014)

October is "Connected Educator Month." 5 things to focus on

Educators who have embraced social media can learn what comes next after mastering Twitter and Google+ as a way to share ideas. Here are five things to focus on once you've taken the plunge and decided to become a Connected Educator. (October 2014)

Blended Learning Teacher Competency Framework released

iNACOL and The Learning Accelerator release a new report that examines the characteristics of teachers in successful blended learning environments. The report is the culmination of a year-long exploration by experts across the country. (October 2014)

Education Elements outlines supports for blended learning teachers

Ed Elements releases white paper on what it has learned from working with over 2,000 teachers in blended learning. The paper shows pedagogical shifts and skills that blended learning requires, how leaders can support teachers in making these shifts, and how and why to align professional development. (October 2014)

What to consider to make sure innovative school models succeed

Anthony Kim reviews what his company, Education Elements, has learned about successful innovative models from working with over 100 schools on new approaches to integrating instruction and technology to achieve personalized learning. (June 2014)

Amidst edtech horror stories, some blended-learning schools shine

Author Michael Horn reviews good "edtech stories" and observes that they are getting it right by focusing on the problem they are trying to solve and designing an instructional model first. Then they add the technology to support that model. (October 2014)

Formative assessments: Progress, Barriers and Opportunity

Getting Smart blogger Tom Vander Ark makes the case for on-line and digital formative assessments, noting that they are often imbedded in learning experiences and provide continuous feedback. (October 2014)

11 online resources to improve teaching skills

Author outlines 11 on-line courses and resources teachers can use to improve their teaching skills (offered to acknowledge Connected Educators month.)  (October 2014)

In Rhode Island, rethinking the education experience of future generations

RI Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education Deborah Gist and The Learning Accelerator Partner Lisa Duty share in a Getting Smart blog the steps the state is taking to become a "blended-learning state." (October 2014)

Thoughts on a new accountability paradigm

iNACOL's Susan Patrick muses about a new accountability system that is aligned to student-centered learning.  (October 2014)

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The Number: 154

Percent growth in reading scores of students in 2013-14 in the schools that worked with Education Elements to implement blended learning in their classrooms as compared to national norms on NWEA.

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Last Word

"Politicans and school boards should embrace the fact that the greatest longer term wins in student outcomes are unlikely to come from new devices alone"

- Researcher Julia Freeland, in recent blogpost on Christensen Institute

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