Why ASU Prep Utilizes Blended Learning

Prep for College. Prep for Careers. Prep for Life.
In an effort to meet the needs of our changing global economy, ASU Preparatory Academy schools have made a shift to a blended model of instruction by combining the best parts of online instruction and teacher-led instruction. According to a report by the U.S. Department of Labor, 65% of today’s students will be employed in jobs that do not yet exist. Echoing the mission of our charter holder Arizona State University—a driving force in innovation and advancement—we are striving to prepare students to solve problems we’ve never seen before and find success in a rapidly evolving employment landscape. In order to ensure the success of every student, blended instruction will allow us to personalize learning to nurture each student’s social, emotional, and academic needs.

What is Blended Instruction?
Each student in our network will engage in blended learning in some way during the school year to allow greater personalization of content to meet individual student needs. In a blended learning environment, students have the opportunity to receive instruction through online resources as well as traditional teaching methods and small group instruction in order to promote student choice of when, where, and how they will demonstrate learning. Technology is not intended to take the place of teacher-led instruction but instead leverage opportunities to enhance personalization. By blending traditional instruction with virtual resources, blended learning can accomplish what no one teacher can do alone—a learning experience tailored to the needs of each and every student’s personal path to success.

What is going to happen in my child’s classroom?
The foundation of blended instruction is the teacher: to plan, to implement, and to refine the learning experience to incorporate face-to-face instruction with the help of digital tools. Elements of blended learning already exist in many classrooms throughout our network of ASU Preparatory Academy schools. While every classroom will incorporate at least one aspect of blended learning now, the full transition will occur over the next 3-5 year.

With access to a blended learning classroom, your child will develop key college readiness skills that promote:

  • Student Autonomy
  • Self-Advocacy
  • Decision-Making
  • Cooperative Learning
  • Digital Safety
  • Self-Motivated Learning

Click here to see Blended Learning in action.

How can parents support Blended Learning?

  • Promote healthy technology usage at home by reinforcing and modeling the use of devices (computers, laptops, smart phones, etc.) for the purpose of learning.
  • Track your child’s progress regularly to celebrate personal areas of growth and discuss where your child might need support.
  • Reach out to your child’s teacher to learn more about the Blended Learning strategies being implemented.
  • Take an active interest in the apps and programs your child is using at school by having them show you the ins and outs of a resource they use regularly.

What are the key tools you should know about as parents/guardians for blended and personalized learning at ASU Prep?
There are many great tools students and teachers are using at the ASU Prep Network to help support our blended and personalized learning goals. One of the big changes is using Canvas (6-12) or Google Classroom (K-5) instead of more static teacher websites.

Here are a list of tools you will want to be familiar with as parents/guardians:

Elementary Level K-5 Blended Learning Tools Secondary Level 6-12 Blended Learning Tools

Infinite Campus: This is our new Student Information System (SIS) for managing student data, contact info, grades, and attendance for on campus classes at ASU Prep.

Google Classroom: This is a Learning Management System (LMS) that allows teachers to share assignments, resources, grades, feedback, and peer-collaboration opportunities.

Mastery Connect: This is the tool for monitoring student progress towards standards mastery. It will allow teachers to give classroom-level and network-level assessments and provide great reports for students and parents. 

Dreambox: This math program uses data to assign students personalized topics to work on based on their learning needs.

DIBELS: This program is used on a regular basis (weekly to monthly, depending on a students’ level) to monitor students’ reading skills and give teachers specific information about what the student needs to work on next.

Infinite Campus (on campus classes): This is our new Student Information System (SIS) for managing student data, grades, and attendance for on campus classes at ASU Prep.

Maestro (ASU Prep digital classes): This is the Student Information System (SIS) for classes through ASU Prep Digital. It manages student grades and contact info, and it allows parents and students to launch their ASU Prep Digital courses to take a closer look at learning.

Canvas “Maroon Color”: This is a Learning Management System (LMS) that allows teachers to share assignments, resources, grades, feedback, and other lessons for on campus courses. Note: Anytime you see “maroon” it means the on campus course Canvas.

Canvas “Gray Color”: This is the same as the other Canvas explanation, but note that the “gray” color indicates it’s the ASU Prep Digital Canvas version for courses at ASU Prep Digital. You can launch this through Maestro.

Mastery Connect: This is the tool for monitoring student progress toward standards mastery. It will allow teachers to give classroom-level and network-level assessments and provide great reports for students and parents.

ALEKS: This math program uses adaptive questioning to quickly and accurately determine exactly what a student knows and doesn’t know in a course. ALEKS then instructs the student on the topics they are most ready to learn.

Together, we can enhance instruction with blended learning strategies to meet the needs of students exactly where they are and ensure their success in the greater world at large.

Sources:
World Economic Forum
Blended Learning Universe
Teach Thought
Edutopia