Colorado Releases Roadmap to Boost Blended Learning
A Colorado state-funded program recently released a guide to help district leaders, educators, policymakers and others implement blended learning in K–12 schools.
Many education stakeholders believe blended learning — or the combination of technology and face-to-face instruction with teachers — can enhance student achievement and prepare graduates for postsecondary workforce readiness. To help expand the model, the “Colorado Blended Learning Roadmap” identifies three priority areas at the local and statewide levels:
- Human Capital: Ensuring the skills, support and sustainability among teachers, school leaders and community members through coaching and mentorship;
- Policy and Funding: Providing funding and supportive state and local policies; and
- Technology and Digital Resources: Offering equitable access to quality tools.
Based on outreach meetings and online survey results from 56 districts and BOCES offices, “stakeholders across Colorado emphasized the importance of addressing human capital issues — especially educator training and professional development followed by leadership support — as the top priority for the roadmap,” according to the guide.
In addition, the resource offers up several case studies of Colorado schools and districts that have already demonstrated how blended learning can improve student achievement. The Denver Public Schools' Grant Beacon Middle School, for instance, started using blended learning to provided targeted instruction for academically struggling students. Now, “students work individually at computers to complete research-based, online programs or varying levels of teacher-created online activities; and the school utilizes project-based activities,” according to the guide.
Students at Grant Beacon Middle School (Denver, CO) are being taught using a blended learning model.
The roadmap was created through the Colorado Empowered Learning state-funded initiative, which launched earlier in the year after the Colorado General Assembly and Governor’s Office commissioned the idea for a statewide blended learning roadmap through House Bill 16-1222. The state-supported program seeks to spread equity and access in K–12 through blended learning.
Further information can be found on the Colorado Empowered Learning site.