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Blended learning helps advance students onward to higher education.

Posted on Aug 6, 2012

CMS’ third goal for online learning was made with an eye to the horizon. Before long, advanced placement and collegiate level courses were added for students ready for study at the next level. I feel that this is important because unlike a traditional school setting, blended learning promotes an environment where students can work at their own pace and own path with no cap or limit to how far they can advance on their own. This goal uses blended learning as the tool it has the potential to be – a limitless innovation.

  • Goal Three: Increase college readiness/awareness and earn college credit while still in high school.
  • Result: Collegiate level courses were made available to students ready for the next level of schooling.

When asked her thoughts on how to promote awareness and foster discussion about online learning, Hope provided her own experience with the matter. “Once I began to see the power of this resource, I began to tell a lot of people. Additionally there was a demand in our district-so it was really that I promoted it and then schools, parents, and students began to demand access.” I think this is a good take on how blended learning should be supported. The more we talk about our own experience with blended learning, the more people without access to it will be encouraged to examine and demand it. If we don’t speak up, some may never even know it’s a path worthy of consideration for their school.

One of the concluding thoughts Hope left ruminating in my mind regarding approaches to promoting online learning was that “the main driver, however, will have to be quality opportunities as well as insightful and innovative implementation. When students succeed it speaks for and promotes use.” Embracing online learning only as a tool meant for advancement from remediation would stunt its growth. Implementing it only in the high school setting would follow in suit. As capable and alluring as online learning might be, the amount it can live up to our expectations still depends on the amount that we embrace it and the care we put into implementing it. We need to utilize it in ways that encourage growth rather than confinement. I think back to the only Greek proverb I know: “ society grows when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit beneath.” CMS has shown us that we can have our shade and enjoy it too.

Kyle Vineyard is a senior majoring in English at the University of Kansas. He has a passion for the written word and a soft spot for rural America.

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