Blended Learning, Cost of Education, Domestic, Education Quality, Elementary / Primary / Junior, Flipped Classrooms, High school / Secondary 2, Opinion, Private education, Public education, Required, School teachers, Students - Written by on Wednesday, February 15, 2012 11:00 - 0 Comments

Opinion: 10 Things School Leaders Should Do To Boost Blended Learning

10 Things School Leaders Should Do to Boost Blended Learning” by Tom Vander Ark was originally published on Getting Smart.

During a couple breakout sessions at a Rhode Island conference on Innovation Powered by Technology (#iptrideconf) I spent time with teachers and principals thinking about next steps as they prepare for the shift to personal digital learning.  We discussed 10 next steps:

1. Start the conversation. Ask a planning team to start by readingThe Rise of Blended Learning and Getting Smart: How Digital Learning is Changing the World.

2. Encourage classroom pilots using Edmodo because it’s easy to use across multiple screens/devices, it’s easy share content/lessons with other teachers.

3. Visit schools that are 1:1 (and/or high access) and getting results.

4. Expand options.  In high school, make available online all AP, world language, and advanced STEM courses.  In K-8, add a couple weekly computer math sessions featuring a personalized product like ST MathDreambox, or Reasoning Mind.

5. Stop buying print and look for a couple other budget categories where you can save a little money.

6. Lots of PD.  Support lots of learning experiences for staff but focus on just-in-time online support on a platform like Formative Learning. 

7.Pick a partner and a platform. You’ll need some advice and support.  Here’s 1o questions forChoosing the Right Platform.

8. Build a three year plan. You need six coordinated plans considering content and instruction, assessment and data, devices and broadband, staffing and professional development, fiscal impact, and communications.

9. Make the case to parent groups, community groups, and the school board.  Show how an upfront investment will result in improved achievement and a sustainable school model.

10. Listen hard and communicate clearly with state and community members about the intent, the goals, and the process.


This post drew from a related September post, 10 Things I’d Do Right Now as a Superintendent.  For more, see:

Edmodo and Formative Learning are portfolio companies of Learn Capital where Tom is a partner 

About The Author

Tom Vander Ark


Tom is author of Getting Smart: How Digital Learning is Changing the World and founder of Tom is also CEO of Open Education Solutions and a partner in Learn Capital, a venture capital firm investing in learning content, platforms, and services with the goal of transforming educational engagement, access, and effectiveness.

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