New York State Issues Recommendations To Support Blended and Online Learning
Online and blended learning programs can increase course options for
students in rural areas and have the potential to transform face-to-face
instruction, as long as state-level supports are in place, including
professional development opportunities for teachers and related training for
pre-service teachers, according to a new
report from the New York State Online Learning Advisory Council.
The council was formed in 2014 and tasked with the responsibility of
"developing recommendations regarding the statewide delivery of online and
blended learning services in school districts," according to a news release.
The council consists of 11 members "whose backgrounds include a wide variety of
expertise in online and blended learning."
Based on extensive communications with key education stakeholder
organizations in the state, the council developed a list of recommendations to
support the further development and expansion of online learning opportunities
The council's recommendations include:
- Implementing professional development programs to expand instructional
- Providing certain waivers of regulations that will reduce the risk for
teachers and schools as they implement new online learning programs;
- Establishing a team of leaders at the New York State Education Department specifically dedicated to online education and educational technology;
- Incorporating online and blended learning training within pre-service
"Online and blended learning systems provide school districts,
teachers and students with innovative and cutting-edge approaches to
education," said Senator Catharine Young, chair of the Legislative Commission
on Rural Resources, in a prepared statement. "There are tremendous
opportunities for schools to utilize these teaching methods and dramatically
enhance the educational experience for students."
The full report, "New York State Online Learning Advisory Council's
Report to New York's Governor, Legislature and Commissioner of
Education: Final Report — Findings and Recommendations," is available as a
downloadable PDF from the New
York State Senate's site.
Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.