Last week, Edmentum traveled to Winston-Salem, North Carolina for a digital learning event with educators in the area. It was a great way to connect with educators, learn more about their experiences firsthand, and collaborate on ways we can all work together in the future to help make sure students are successful in the classroom.
The day kicked off with a blended learning presentation from our keynote speaker, Bruce Friend, president and co-founder of Ignite Learning Partners. He shared a great video that really helps you see blended learning in action.
http://vimeo.com/78871778 (embed video)
Some of the best advice Friend shared during his presentation was that to make blended learning happen, we need to be willing to let our minds forget what school is supposed to look or feel like, and we need to be open to evolving the experience students have in and outside of the classroom. To truly enable students to be academically successful, “going to school” needs to look different for different students. We need to figure out the ways in which students learn best, and then tailor our school concepts around those scenarios.
We also heard from two local schools that are having great success using technology in their classroom.
Dr. Angela Hinton and Jason Paddock from Spartanburg School District 2 shared the beginning of their journey to digital conversion. One of the key takeaways from their success story was that they established a digital conversion plan that included key aspects for success: clear goals to measure progress toward, innovative software and hardware technology, and a supportive culture with a steering committee and advisory groups.
Dr. Crystal Hill from Mooresville Graded School District discussed how schools in her district saw steady and significant improvement over the past five years by using data to create discussion around what is and isn’t working for students. "Data transparency is essential to building an instructional culture,” said Dr. Hill. Throughout her presentation, she emphasized the need for all teachers within a school to trust and support each other as they put student achievement first in everything they do.
Throughout the day, attendees had the opportunity to discuss several topics, such as differentiating instruction, data-driven instruction, and 1:1 initiatives, as well as to get a sneak peek at the upcoming enhancements to our Edmentum products. It was a great time for North Carolina educators to come together to learn about and discuss what’s working in their districts. As we are finishing up the 2013–2014 school year, we look forward to bringing more of these events to an area near you in the coming months.