During the past few weeks, I have been promoting the importance of blended learning throughout our school. In fact, beginning in the fall, blended learning will be the focus of our principal, faculty, and the target of our professional development.
Recently, I have built a plan to implement blended learning in the foreign language program at Prince of Peace. It will be the first formal program of its type in our school. Following a trend analysis and a great deal of research, including the analysis of student performance in Spanish over two years, our leadership team agrees it’s time to make a change. Students and parents have reported being dissatisfied that the school offers only one foreign language in middle school, and a disproportionate number of students are not achieving average or better grades in the class.
Many factors may be influencing this outcome, and are fueling the poor attitudes students show about learning Spanish. My suggestion to split the foreign language program to include a blended classroom with introduction to multiple languages is currently under review as a recommendation to improve student learning, engagement and outcomes. If approved, the plan may be implemented as early as the 2016-2017 school year.
At this time, several online curriculum options are being researched and several students have already been selected to trial the program in the fall. If approved, more students will be invited into the trial at the start of the school year. Our leadership team recognizes the need to change how we deliver foreign language instruction and remain optimistic about the blended classroom concept.
To further my knowledge and understanding of the implementation of blended learning in schools, including Catholic schools, I am reading or plan to read from the list below:
- Influencer, by Grenny, Patterson, et. al.
- The Blended Learning Book, by Josh Bersin
- Moonshots in Education, by Lance Izumi
- Googling GOD, by Mike Hayes
- Flipped Learning, by Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams
And if you would like to see how we’re getting our school excited about IT, please take a look at a fun promotional video.
Below is an overview of why schools need to change how they educate and the benefit of blended learning and its purpose in foreign language learning. Click the white box to begin the presentation.