The following article was contributed by Jim Dachos, Director of Educational Partnerships at The Virtual High School (VHS, Inc.).
Schools all over the world are recognizing the strategic value in utilizing online and blended learning solutions. These programs allow school leadership to supplement their curriculum, enhance competitiveness, and meet learning objectives for all students. With careful planning and support, these programs often become an essential part of the program of study options available to students, while further preparing these students for the preponderance of online and blended learning courses that most colleges, universities, vocational/technical schools, and other post-secondary institutions are offering.
The National Association of Independent Schools’ (NAIS) is one of many respected organizations that has published information supporting online learning. In its “21st Century Curriculum/Technology Task force’s Online Learning Guide” NAIS states; “Since online learning provides a potentially powerful option to expand the strength and reach of schools, it will be important to leverage these new technologies and delivery mediums for the purpose of enhancing teaching methods and supporting student learning…”
The Hechinger Report which reports on how innovation can improve education and why it matters, earlier this spring reported, “After years of declining enrollment, a growing number of Catholic schools nationwide are placing their faith in blended learning, a teaching approach in which computers share the instructional load with teachers, and one that appeals to many parents disillusioned with traditional schools. Because blended learning software provides a steady and immediate flow of data on student performance, teachers can focus more closely on the individual needs of each child. Catholic educators say it has improved student performance and boosted enrollment at the schools that have embraced it.”
The Increase Academic Excellence and Enhance Enrollment Options Using Online and Blended Learning Programs interactive panel session will expand upon this theme with real world school leadership experiences from three notable Massachusetts’ Catholic high schools. These school leaders will provide insights into the criteria they used to select an online partner, explain the administrative aspects that make their programs successful, share lessons learned, describe how online and blended learning has enhanced their school’s competiveness, and present examples from online learning experiences that encouraged them to reevaluate traditional face-to-face teaching practices.
“I have had the pleasure of moderating online and blended learning panels at events and conferences across the country, including this year’s NCEA Convention and Expo in St. Louis. Don’t miss this opportunity to interact with Catholic school experts and learn from their online and blended learning experiences over the last 10+ years” says Jim Dachos, Director of Educational Partnerships at The Virtual High School and session moderator.
Be sure to attend Jim Dachos’s session, Increase Academic Excellence and Enhance Enrollment Options Using Online and Blended Learning Programs, at the 2017 NCEA Institute for Catholic School Leaders (ICSL).