Blending Teaching and Technology: Simple Strategies for Improved Student Learning, a freely downloadable guide from Future Ready Schools, offers school district leaders a collection of strategies aligned to the Future Ready Framework for implementing an instructional approach supported by blended learning. The guidebook demystifies the definition of blended learning while explaining its various research-based structural models. The guide is framed around the experience of a school district in California, which uses blended learning to support its performance-based system of progression, an approach in which students move through instructional content at their own pace, advancing only after they have mastered all of the standards from the previous content level.
There has been no greater impact on differentiation and student achievement in recent years than the effective integration of technology in the classroom. Traditionally, literacy educators spent long hours gathering resources, developing tasks and extensions, and reading and analyzing assessments to determine if the instruction was meeting the needs of students. Now imagine doing this same routine three or four times over to cover all Lexile levels in one classroom—exhausting.
In 2016, when I visited Silicon Valley classrooms, schools, and districts, many educators told me they were personalizing learning. But I was puzzled by what I saw. When asked what educators meant by “personalized learning” I heard different definitions of the policy.