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What we know now...Our blended pilot experience

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Hannah Sobol

on 2 October 2014

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Transcript of What we know now...Our blended pilot experience

What we know now...Our blended pilot experience
OESIS East, October 2013

Steps in Our Process
Pilot Design 2012 - 2013
21 students took the majority of their courses in the blended format (33 in 2013 - 2014).
Students in pilot were required to complete an independent project involving either community service, academic research, our weCreate Center, an internship, or some combination of those.

Initial Pilot Results
Initial EE Ford Grant and
invitation to apply further

Invitations to speak at conferences

Visits from schools looking to consult with us
Individualized Instruction
Developing Passions
21st Century Skills Development
2011 - 2012
2012 - 2013
2014 - 2015
2013 - 2014
2010 - 2011
2009 - 2010
2011 - 2012

Slight increase in course offerings
10 courses taught by 10 teachers
Doubled enrollment to 80
No admission criteria
2012 - 2013
Year of our blended pilot!
Expanded to 30+ courses taught by 30+ teachers
Pushed general blended enrollment to 225 students
Made parent statement that blended courses were part of core experience...
and were not optional...
2013 - 2014
Second year of our pilot, with 33 students involved
Slight increase in course offerings to 40
Pushed general student enrollment further to 289 students with at least one blended class
Analyzing results of 2012 - 2013 pilot
2008 - 2010
Added a Director of Technology Integration to our faculty
Began testing Moodle as a possible course management system
all courses went online on moodle in 2009 - 2010
Offered first round of online courses for summer enrollment only for three summers:
Arts and religion credits
Online supplemental ESL instruction
Supplemental, differentiated writing course
Began installing SmartBoards in classrooms in 2008
Began installing cameras and Panopto in classrooms in 2009
2010 - 2011
SmartBoards, projectors, cameras, and Panopto in all classrooms.
First year offering core academic courses in blended model
6 early adopters
6 courses across the disciplines
focused on 10th graders to create a cohort
about 40 students enrolled
Surveyed our whole school at the end of the year.
2008 - 2009

External Feedback
Moving Forward
"My sense is that what you are trying to teach kids is not just something about history, something about math, but that it's
an overall, total learning experience
, and so they are
learning something about life
, and they are learning something about the practicalities of possibly their future career, and
I think that makes them better overall
True College Preparation
Hannah Sobol, Blended Pilot Coordinator
Courtney Cavellier, Director of Studies

Who we are
Co-ed boarding/day school in Faribault, Minnesota
Founded in 1858
444 students, grades 6 - PG
39 states, 31 countries
Highly developed Center of Excellence model in athletics, the arts, and academic areas
Highly committed to our students' pursuit of their passions
Our initial problems...
Our Center of Excellence model frequently pulled students away from the classroom.
How could we keep teachers and the students "left behind" moving ahead while other students missed school?
We wanted time in the schedule for mentoring of student initiated independent projects - outside of the classroom!
...led us to an broader, more meaningful
educational initiative.
GPA comparison
"We think that he was happy with his experience in the blended program.... it
kept him engaged
for the year. His
connection to his teachers
was different also. He was able to get individual assistance, but also to look forward and get input from them on college information and personal interests.... it was a great way to practice additional
independence in a supportive environment

From a student: "I tried my best to use my
self-learning ability.
Not to pursue my next
success, but to pursue the first failure.
Just like
high jump, you will not stop until you fail. Then
you know where your limit is, and it will become
the next start."
"At this time, my decision frightens my parents. Although they are ... parents who support the child to be a pioneer, they thought I went too far or maybe too fast. They were worried that this may reduce my SAT and GPA score and it is really out of my safe zone, but I think that I have to hold this more important key. However, to be successful in the 21st-century, students must learn to analyze and solve problems, collaborate, persevere, take calculated risks and learn from failure. In fact, 60% of my time and 80% of energy in 11th grade is put in independent study, interdisciplinary explore and innovative experience which I consider as the treasure of American education and needs of our future."
Early results show that our blended students perform as well as or better than our non-blended students.

We believe that the blended program enhances the overall educational experience.

The blended pilot students have access to different opportunities, which we, and they, believe are critical pieces of a strong and relevant independent school education.
Our blended course design...
Classes have required meeting times on Tuesday and Thursday.
Teachers develop online tools to teach the curriculum.
Students, teachers, and rooms are "unscheduled" during the same block of time on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Teachers follow same school calendar and issue common final exams when sharing teaching a course available in a non-blended format.
Are our students performing as well as their peers in non-blended classes?
Are they satisfied? Are they happy?
100% of our pilot students said the blended model worked for them and that they would do it again.
100% believe they have improved time management skills and an improved ability to prioritize.
100% believe they received the same or better quality of education as their peers who did not participate in the pilot.
70% of the teachers in our survey were in their FIRST year in our blended program
80% were excited to join the program, even if they had concerns about the model.
at the end of the year, only 1 of 30 teachers identified herself as very skeptical.

96% percent felt positive about the model at the end of the year
evenly distributed
direction education is going!
good, but needs improvement
good, but won't work for all
Full transcript