The Special Education student eagerly awaits modern educational approaches, as their cognitive skills weaknesses can be improved to make them functioning students. They can become even highly capable learners, and soon. Now, we can move forward without hesitation.
For years, the typical solution was in-classroom or pull out tutorial assistance of daily assignments. Teachers, not knowing how to implement advanced instructional strategies, remained instructing within this inefficient model. In many cases, teachers feared additional, cumbersome work in learning and implementing new methodologies.
In-class time remains at a premium. Tight budgets prevent ordering instructional materials. Although grant and State monies pave the way, test scores stagnated, especially for those needing special assistance.
Years of often poor and limited instructional content and video production on CDs-DVDs, hindered streamlined, high impact education. High tech-quality instruction will now make a difference for both the teacher and the “now Screenager” student to achieve quality education meeting State policy Common Core Standards.
Now, the internet booms with educational innovation, paving its way into the emerging high-tech classroom. Teachers will no longer have to learn new methodologies, because Blended e-Learning will do it for them. Interactivity between the student and online lab will be key. Various forms of student engagement practice exist to interface with virtual learning.
A recent article (January 2011) by Horn and Staker of Innosight Institute, reviewed the current six available classroom Blended e-Learning models to relieve the teacher by offering new insights, and recharge all students to higher academic performance levels: http://www.innosightinstitute.org/media-room/publications/education-publications/the-rise-of-k-12-blended-learning/
Model 1: Face-to-Face Driver; Supplemental Assistance
The physical teacher deploys online learning on a case-by-case basis to supplement or remediate, often in the back of the classroom in a study carrel, or in a technology lab.
Model 2: Student Rotation on a Fixed Schedule; Remote and Onsite – Teacher in Charge
Students rotate on a fixed schedule between online self-paced learning and sitting in a classroom with a traditional face-to-face teacher. The classroom teacher usually oversees the online work.
Model 3: Flex, as Needed, for Dropout - and Credit Recovery Programs
Flex model programs feature an online platform that delivers most of the curricula. Teachers provide on-site support on a flexible and adaptive as-needed basis through in-person tutoring sessions and small group sessions.
Model 4: Online Learning Lab Delivers the Entire Course in the Classroom
The online-lab model characterizes programs that rely on an online platform to deliver the entire course but in a brick-and-mortar lab environment. Usually these programs provide online teachers. Paraprofessionals supervise, but offer little content expertise. Often students that participate in an online-lab program also take traditional courses and have typical block schedules.
Model 5: Self-Blend; High School Students Enroll in Online Courses
Blended learning among American high schools is the self-blend model, which supplements their traditional school’s catalog. The online learning is always remote, which distinguishes it from the online-lab model, but the traditional learning is in a brick-and-mortar school. All supplemental online schools that offer a la carte courses to individual students facilitate self-blending.
Model 6: Online Driver Platform and Remote Teacher; Home Schooling Option
The online-driver model involves an online platform and teacher that deliver all curricula. Students work remotely for the most part. Face-to-face check-ins is sometimes optional and other times required. Some of these programs offer brick and-mortar components as well, such as extracurricular activities.
These models have the potential to revolutionize education as we know it, offer excitement and learning nuances to the classroom, while additionally solving the budget crunches and raising student achievement performance scores.
Innosight’s 2011 white papers on Blended e-learning: http://www.innosightinstitute.org/innosight/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/The-Rise-of-K-12-Blended-Learning.pdf
Horn, M. B, & Staker, H. (January 2011) The Rise of K-12 Blended Learning. Innosight Institute, Philadelphia, PA.
Clayton M. Christensen, Michael B. Horn, and Curtis W. Johnson, Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2008).
About the Author:
Program Content Developer of The Bridge To Achievement, Educational Consultant, at Mem-ExSpan, Inc.; Received a Masters Degree in Special Education - Learning Disabilities from the University of Kansas. Attended the University of Texas, the University of Iowa, and graduated with B.S. degree in Education from Drake University, majoring in Education, English, and Speech-Drama. Taught grades K-8 in seven Midwestern public school districts. In 1980, formed the non-profit 501 C3 Educational Media Therapy Consultants, Inc., later changed to Innovative Learning Stratagems, Inc. (ILS) a national consulting group offering teacher and parent informative workshops and student scholarships for cognitive skills and sensory integration retraining. http://www.memspan.com/ils.pdf Additionally, formed Mem-ExSpan, Inc. to research and develop educational cognitive skills retraining content for individuals ages 9 to adult. Established thirteen national training-test sites, and published and documented research from six experimental quantitative studies over five generational developmental levels. Five published longitudinal reports appeared in The Journal of Accelerated Learning and Teaching (JALT) http://www.memspan.com/jalt.html with several demographic groups. Website: http://www.memspan.com and http://www.memspan.com/parents.html