10 Blended High School Models

Blended high schools incorporate multiple modes of learning to prepare students for college and careers.  Blended learning is a shift of instructional responsibility for at least a portion of the day to an online environment to boost learning, staffing, and or  facilities productivity.
Following are 10 blended high school models in operation or development:
1. Student blend: where students have the ability to choose online courses, about 1.5 million students are blending their own learning.  This model may not be intentional on a schools part (in fact, they may counsel against it especially if money follows the kid).
2. Credit Recovery blend: this part time blend is usually school initiated and lab conducted with server-based products (e.g., NovaNet, Plato) or online curriculum (e.g.,Apex, Aventa).
3. Dropout Recovery: full time individualized alternative placements for students that are 1-2 years behind (e.g., AdvancePath*, CIS PLC)
4.PBL blend: the New Tech Network is probably the best example of a project-based learning blend on a PBL platform, but the model is still pretty teacher intensive.
5. Subject blend: math and foreign language are the two easiest subjects to implement a competency-based model (i.e., individual progress).
6. Upper division blend: every high school should at least offer online upper division courses including AP, dual enrollment, and IB (when available) online; it’s a great way to expand choice, ensure consistent quality, and save money.
7. Flex-blend: K12 runs full time online schools where students study at their own pace and teachers are available on demand.  Yorktown is a private version in Dallas.
8. Check-in blend: where required, online operators provide one day a week check in (or drop-in) support.
9. Turnaround blend: Alverez & Marsal is working with Connections Academy on a blended turnaround school model.
10. Social blend: I’m most interested in combinations of individualized playlists (e.g., School of One) and PBL on a social learning platform like Edmodo.*
Let me know if I missed one and drop me a line if you want to discuss blended high schools ([email protected])
More blended learning on edReformer:

* Learn Capital portfolio company

Tom Vander Ark

Tom Vander Ark is the CEO of Getting Smart. He has written or co-authored more than 50 books and papers including Getting Smart, Smart Cities, Smart Parents, Better Together, The Power of Place and Difference Making. He served as a public school superintendent and the first Executive Director of Education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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