Middle 50 percent seem to do better in regular classrooms
I wrote yesterday about a big collection of articles on E-learning that has just been published by Education Week.
Now, I’d like to take a look at some interesting information in another one of the EdWeek articles, which talks about ‘Blended Learning.’
Blended Learning courses combine classical classroom activities with computer-based learning. This allows teachers more time with some students who need personal help, in essence creating a better ‘virtual ratio’ of students to teachers than can exist in purely classical classrooms. The process can also save a considerable amount of money.
For example EdWeek talks about the experience at the three campuses of Rocketship Education, a charter school operation in San Jose, California. At Rocketship’s campuses, students spend about half their time in regular classes and the other half in computer learning centers. Rocketship’s John Danner says that the classroom seems to work best for the middle 50 percent of his students, but the top and bottom quartiles actually make more progress in the learning labs.
So, one size does not fit all, but with virtual/E-learning, schools can efficiently offer more options to students.
Rocketship also says that they find it important to have a teacher in control of their process.
After all, as Mary Schlegelmilch, E-learning supervisor in the Omaha schools says:
“It’s all about opportunities for students.”
With E-learning, schools can offer more of those opportunities.