January 30, 2014 – Mentor Schools is proud to announce that Superintendent Matthew Miller has been chosen to lead a new association, the Ohio Blended Learning Network, launched to encourage the development of high quality blended learning instruction not only in Mentor, but statewide.
A blended learning environment provides teachers with a number of tools, including technology, to conduct small group instruction in their classrooms effectively and efficiently. For example in a blended learning classroom, a math teacher may do only a few minutes of large group of instruction in a period to go over a concept before splitting into small groups. Devices equipped with high quality educational content or project-based assignments keep students engaged while the teacher delivers targeted instruction to a small group to better meet the needs of each individual learner.
“We definitely see the value in blended educational opportunities for our students and students across Ohio,” Mr. Miller said. “I appreciate the opportunity to work with other superintendents and school districts to use blended learning to collectively reshape what teaching and learning looks like in Ohio.”
Mentor Schools is teaming up with other districts for this initiative, including:
Hilliard City Schools
Lancaster City Schools
Lorain City Schools
Middletown City Schools
Milford Exempted Village Schools
Pickerington Local Schools
Nordonia Hills Local Schools
Northwest Local Schools
Reynoldsburg City Schools
Valley View Local Schools
The focus of the Ohio Blended Learning Network will be to encourage the development of blended learning in Ohio classrooms as a way to effectively integrate technology to extend the reach of educators and increase student engagement.
The network plans to facilitate the development of standards for high quality blended learning in the state as a way to ensure that educators have a model to use as a guide for how they can use technology effectively as a tool to enhance teaching and learning. The Network also plans to help the state create a blended learning credential for educators who learn to use blended learning effectively in their classrooms.
And the network will pursue a Straight A Fund consortium grant this year to increase capacity in the state to train more educators to implement high quality blended learning approaches in classroom.
The Ohio Blended Learning Network will be staffed by Smarter Schools, a nonprofit education consulting organization based in Cincinnati, and will receive technical support from Education Elements and California-based education consulting firm that has worked with more than 100 schools across the nation.
“We believe that schools and districts can help define and support high quality blended learning and, with partners, can provide training to educators that will build capacity to create more blended learning classrooms in the state,” said Andrew Benson, Executive Director of Smarter Schools. “Already, Mentor Public Schools is creating the capacity to train educations to use blended learning, and other districts, Education Service Centers, and nonprofit partners are ready to create the capacity as well.”