Educational Technology

November 6, 2013

Should Pennsylvania invest in sustaining or disruptive classrooms?

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:30 am

by Heather Staker, Christensen Institute

Meanwhile, as sustaining, hybrid models of blended learning bring changes to traditional classrooms, a more fundamental transformation is taking place as the result of disruptive models of blended learning. These models, which include the Flex, A La Carte, and Enriched Virtual models, are replacing traditional classrooms with something entirely different. In many cases schools are literally tearing down walls to create wide open learning spaces. Online learning is the backbone of student learning, and the teacher role shifts to that of a guide and mentor. One rule of thumb is that if you can’t figure out where the front of the classroom is, it’s probably a disruptive model. Disruptive models tend to arise among students whose alternative is nothing. They are the credit recovery labs, dropout centers, and A La Carte online courses in high school e-learning lounges that students are experiencing across Pennsylvania. One example of a disruptive implementation that is getting broad recognition is the Quakertown Community School District, which opened the Infinity Cyber Academy to offer A La Carte online courses. The district is in the process of rebuilding its high school with a large, open, cyber café to facilitate online coursework. The model is not a hybrid, as evidenced by the fact that it has very little in common with the traditional classroom.

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