Transforming K-12 Rural Education through Blended Learning
New iNACOL publication addresses barriers and promising practices in Idaho
The need for effective blended learning environments – the best of face-to-face and online learning, coupled with tools driving continuous assessment of progress and personalization of content – is on the rise throughout the United States. While the growth of blended learning programs is prevalent in urban and suburban centers, the need is no less great in rural areas. Transforming K-12 Rural Education through Blended Learning: Barriers and Promising Practices, a new report published today by the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL), shares the findings of a joint research partnership between the Idaho Digital Learning Academy (IDLA) and Northwest Nazarene University. In particular, this review of the impact of blended learning on students and teachers throughout Idaho highlights three key points:
- The positive impact that blended learning has on those teachers who choose to incorporate emerging models of practice into their classroom environments
- A correlation between the opportunity for self-pacing and the quality of a student’s work and perseverance
- The importance of comprehensive teacher training for blended and online learning environments
Susan Patrick, President and CEO of iNACOL, said, “The promise of blended learning to provide a highly personalized experience for each student is not restricted by the geography in which a student lives. The emerging practices and real-world barriers found within this report offer a valuable look at transformation through blended learning in action and show the field both where we are and where we need to move.”
For this report, co-authors Eric Werth, Ph.D., Lori Werth, Ph.D. and Eric Kellerer, Ed.D. of Northwest Nazarene University’s Doceo Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning surveyed teachers working with students ranging from early childhood to 12th Grade, with a great majority of them (73.3 percent) teaching in Idaho’s rural school districts.
Dr. Cheryl Charlton, CEO for Idaho Digital Learning, said, “For more than a decade, IDLA has strived to provide students throughout Idaho with access to high-quality, highly flexible educational options. This research reflects lessons learned in designing effective blended learning models and deepens our commitment to the countless benefits that personalized learning brings students and teachers.”
Transforming K-12 Rural Education through Blended Learning: Barriers and Promising Practices is available at http://bit.ly/18aW6Fe.
To learn more about Idaho Digital Learning Academy, please visit http://idahodigitallearning.org.
The mission of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) is to ensure all students have access to a world-class education and quality blended and online learning opportunities that prepare them for a lifetime of success. iNACOL is a non-profit organization focusing on research, developing policy for student-centered education to ensure equity and access, developing quality standards for emerging learning models using online, blended, and competency-based education, and supporting the ongoing professional development of classroom, school, and district leaders for new learning models. To learn more about iNACOL, please visit http://inacol.org.