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Blending Learning Pilots Take Off with Citizen Schools and MIND Research Institute

This blog was originally published on the Citizen Schools inspirED blog and reposted with permission from Citizen Schools.

Meeting every student’s academic needs in the classroom can be challenging but is essential to their success. Many of the public middle schools Citizen Schools partners with are reaching students who are academically all over the map, with many falling below grade level.

In order to provide customized support to the highest-need students, we began “blended learning” pilots this year focused on core math instruction. Blended learning, which pairs computer-aided instruction with face-to-face classroom methods, enables Citizen Schools’ staff in four pilot programs across the country to offer more personalized and more efficient academic support during the expanded learning day.

st-math-photo-3-300x300Partnered with Cisco Foundation and MIND Research Institute, the blending learning math program utilizes Spatial-Temporal (ST) Math instructional software to focus on improving students’ math skills, with the aim of increasing student proficiency for long-term success.

Launched this September, over 350 students are utilizing the ST Math instructional software at four schools across the country. And after 3 months of implementing the pilots, the initial feedback and support from our school partners is positive.

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Next Generation Video-over-IP Solutions Change How Trainers Train

As educators increasingly take advantage of networked video technology to move their traditional classrooms online, there is a growing need for both instructors capable of engaging students in these next generation online classrooms, and skilled networking professionals with the knowledge to meet the growing demand to deploy, support and maintain networked video solutions.

In 2011, Learning@Cisco introduced a Leading Virtual Classroom Instructor course that teaches participants how to prepare and manage a virtual classroom, effectively deliver material online, and use video and collaboration tools to maximize student participation and comprehension.

As the paradigm of education continues to evolve to meet new institutional and business requirements, developing instructional strategies for new virtual education environments based on networked video is becoming key to improving student results. The Virtual Classroom Instruction Specialist training and certification help ensure that instructors have the most comprehensive understanding of the latest video technologies and effective classroom collaboration strategies.

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The Year Ahead in the Classroom – Wherever the Classroom May Be…

After a well deserved break and perhaps a bit of indulgence over the holidays, we are now back to the books and looking ahead at what 2013 has in store for education.

Last year we watched as school districts embraced mobile learning and universities relied more on collaborative technologies. Those that took the leap and accepted new tools and educational models were rewarded with improved student performance, accelerated partnerships and more.

With a landmark year for education technology behind us, now is the time to harness the momentum and drive innovation forward in 2013. So as we slither into the year of the snake, here are four high impact trends worth watching:

  • Perfecting the Flipped Classroom:  As more teachers do the flip, they will reconsider how to empower students and hone in on the most effective ways to use class time. In 2013, we’ll be sure to see more innovation around this technology-enabled classroom model.
  • Transition to hybrid learning: With online courses on the rise, educators will experiment how to best integrate them with traditional teaching methods. This year schools and universities will hone in on the most effective formats for learning in the digital age.
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