Blended Personalized Learning Resources

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The Rogers Family Foundation’s journey with Blended Personalized Learning (BPL) first began in the 2012-2013 school year, through a pilot program in which four OUSD schools were supported in implementing their own blended personalized learning models. Our work was guided by the belief that blended learning can improve and leverage four primary areas of teaching and learning in order to increase student achievement as well as teacher satisfaction and efficacy:

  1. Differentiated content and instruction
  2. Small group instruction
  3. Data-driven instruction
  4. Student ownership of their learning

The Blended Personalized Learning pilot was then expanded during the 2013-2014 school year to a second cohort that included two district-run middle schools and two local public charter schools.

Although Blended Personalized Learning is no longer a designated programmatic area for the Rogers Family Foundation, the Foundation recognizes its ongoing importance and relevance to our school partners, and has compiled this list of resources and case studies as a tool for those interested in learning more about BPL. 

Blended Personalized Learning Resources

What is Blended Learning?  This video from the Learning Accelerator strives to define what blended learning is, explores how blended learning is working in schools, and highlights local Oakland school Madison Park Academy.

Introduction to Blended Learning Tutorial Series is designed as a self-directed, blended learning experience, from Silicon Schools Fund and the Clayton Christensen Institute to provide an overview of how to deliver high-quality blended learning.

Blended: Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools is the practical field guide for implementing blended learning techniques in K-12 classrooms. A follow-up to the bestseller Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns by Clayton M. Christensen, Michael Horn, and Curtis Johnson, this hands-on guide expands upon the blended learning ideas presented in that book to provide practical implementation guidance for educators seeking to incorporate online learning with traditional classroom time.

Go Blended!: A Handbook for Blending Technology in School is a practical implementation guide for educators interested in getting blended learning off the ground. Author Liz Arney is a seasoned developer of blended learning programs at Aspire Public Schools, and she also closely collaborates with district and charter leaders from across the country on this work. Go Blended! offers boots-on-the-ground support for laying the foundation for a blended learning program in our schools and classrooms.

BlendedLearningNow Blog is an aggregator of the leading blogs, news, research, case studies, and videos about blended learning, with the most recent entries on the home page and entries organized by type under Resources. A project of Education Cities, BlendedLearningNow seeks to provide educators, philanthropists, civic leaders, and education reformers with the information they need to make sense of this rapidly emerging field.

BlendMyLearning Blog represents a community of blended learning schools and practitioners and offers a venue for these educators to innovate, transform, and share. There is an urgent need to connect peers and develop information within this relatively small and nascent blended school community. Over 40 knowledgeable bloggers contribute to the site.

MyWays Tools helps educators address the three big questions of Next-Gen Learning: (1) How well are we defining and articulating what success looks like for students attending our school? (2) How well does our design for learning and the organization of our school directly support students’ attainment of our richer, deeper definition of success? (3) How do we gauge students’ progress in developing those competencies?

Continued Progress: Promising Evidence on Personalized Learning, a report from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and RAND Corporation, found that students in schools using personalized learning strategies made greater academic progress, over the course of two years, than a comparison group of similar students. This long-term study, conducted by RAND, examines student achievement, school design, and student and teacher perceptions of schools using personalized learning strategies.

Our Work with Blended Learning 

Evaluation of the First Year of the Oakland Blended Learning Pilot, by SRI International, looks at the formative development of implementing blended learning at four school sites in Oakland: Madison Park Academy, Elmhurst Community Prep, EnCompass Academy, and Korematsu Discovery Academy. The report looks at key lessons learned in the areas of technology infrastructure, the selection and use of digital content, classroom management, tools/structures that can support personalized teaching and learning, and teacher and student satisfaction.

Oakland Unified School District Blended Learning Initiative Guide provides a brief history of the Blended Learning pilot, including the theory of change, model design, desired outcomes, and timeline. In addition, brief two-page documents provide a high-level summary of how the work took shape at each of the eight schools.

Case Studies from the Oakland Blended Learning Pilot. Beginning in the 2012-13 school year, the Rogers Family Foundation and partner foundations invested in four Oakland Unified School District schools to pilot blended-learning models. During the 2013-14 school year the Blended Learning Pilot expanded to a second cohort that included two district-run middle schools and two local public charter schools. The following Blended Learning Pilot Case Studies provide updates and learnings over the three-year implementation period:

Examples of Blended Learning in Oakland

Bret Harte Middle School Video – This short video from the Oakland Unified School District highlights how one math teacher at Bret Harte Middle School is implementing Blended Learning to increase student engagement and achievement.

The Michael and Susan Dell Foundation has funded a number of Blended Learning Case Studies on schools implementing blended learning as well as early-stage impact evaluations of each model.

Next Generation Learning Challenge

National Next Generation Learning Challenge (NGLC) Launch Grants strive to dramatically improve college readiness and completion, particularly for low-income young adults, by identifying promising technology solutions. Explore prior NGLC grant winners from around the country, including Oakland, and learn about the specific designs schools and educators are implementing to personalize learning for students and improve student-level outcomes.

Getting Smart On Regional Next-Gen School Design – The Regional Next-Gen School Design blog series seeks to illuminate best practices and share the stories of six regional hubs for innovation through Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) Regional Funds for Breakthrough Schools. The publication highlights each of the six regions individually and shows the unique ways they are approaching the work, including best practices and lessons learned in order to incubate and support next-gen learning.

What’s Possible With Personalized Learning? The goal of this report is to inform schools, families, and communities about the potential of personalized learning and empower them with ways to support the shift to student-centered learning.

Next Generation Learning Challenge and Personalized Learning in Oakland

Oakland Personalized Learning Journey: Reflections on a Year of Piloting, developed through a collaboration of the Oakland Unified School District, the Rogers Family Foundation, and Inspire Ed consulting, catalogs Oakland’s first year of work to pursue personalized learning.

NGLC in Oakland: Year 1 Evaluation highlights the collective progress of 12 Oakland schools after one year of implementation, as well as provides an overview of the status, outcomes, and challenges for each school.

NGLC in Oakland: Year 2 Evaluation provides an overview of cohort-level performance outcomes for the seven schools that were selected to implement their plans to deepen personalized learning across their schools, in addition to providing a school-by-school analysis on progress.

Personalized Learning Blogs

NGLC in Oakland: Launching New School Design Models – This blog post features a brief interview with our Senior Director of Innovation and Learning, Greg Klein, during which he explains how the Foundation approached NGLC in Oakland grants, in addition to an interview with Principal Cliff Hong describing Roosevelt Middle School’s experience during the pilot year NGLC in Oakland.

Meeting Needs for All Learners Through Personalized Learning: NGLC in Oakland Launch Update – In this piece Greg Klein, our Senior Director of Learning and Innovation, had a chance to connect with three members of the East Bay Innovation Academy (EBIA) special education team to learn how the school’s model of personalizing learning creates a supportive frame for their students qualifying for special education services to be well served in inclusive, general education classrooms.

Arts Integration and Expeditions with Personalized Learning: NGLC in Oakland Launch Update – Natalie Buster, our guest blog contributor, had a chance to connect with Morgan Alconcher, then-Principal of ASCEND, and Julie McMillan, a teacher at ASCEND, to discover how their Next Generation Learning Challenge (NGLC) in Oakland grant allowed the school to evolve into the vision they set forth years prior.