- The goal of Nebraska’s BlendEd Initiative is to implement instructional and content technologies to enhance teaching and learning to support all modes of blended instruction. blended education has been promoted by educational researchers as a one of the most promising recent innovations in education because it calls for making strategic choices about when face-to-face (synchronous) instruction is needed and when and how online (asynchronous) instruction can be best used to provide elements of student control over time, place, path and pace and provide more equity, efficiency and flexibility. Heather Staker and Michael B. Horn of the Innosight Institute offer this definition of Blended Learning-
“Blended learning is any time a student learns at least in part at a supervised brick-and-mortar location away from home and at least in part through online delivery with some element of student control over time, place, path, and/or pace.”- http://www.innosightinstitute.org
The Nebraska BlendEd eLearning System has the potential to revolutionize daily teaching and learning in Nebraska schools and will build upon Nebraska’s strong history and experience of offering video-based distance learning to K-12 students.
Professional Development Goals
It will establish a new paradigm of blended, technology-assisted/enhanced instruction for the traditional face-to-face classroom, allow teachers to better reach and serve their students within the video distance learning classrooms, and also allow the development of fully online courses and modules that can be utilized in the classroom or delivered synchronously and asynchronously to remote learners.
• Statewide, systematic PD
• Data informed collaborative process in partnership with NDE (Rule 84)
• Online Professional Development “platform”
Including PD content systems, LMS, etc.
Groundwork established by statewide collaboration on professional learning networks and content area cadres.
Nebraska Virtual Partnership efforts with NET
NET Virtual Library announcement is “phase I”
Phase II content sharing and collaboration
BlendEd Instructional Goals
• Organize existing projects around a common theme as the contribution to Nebraska Virtual Partnership and other statewide collaborative efforts.
• Structure professional development around Blended Education and technology integration for schools
• Promote school improvement through enhanced course offerings and student experiences
Infrastructure components of the project include:
- Learning Object Repository (LOR) Content Repository System - to support a statewide digital instructional content repository for existing and future collections of multimedia learning objects and course materials of all types (e.g. audio, video, graphical, textual) that are standards-aligned and meta-tagged (i.e. appropriately cataloged and classified).
- Learning management system (LMS) - to support a statewide learning management system that allows teachers to organize instructional content, support collaborative learning activities, and deliver instruction to students both in and out of the classroom;
- Federated Directory Services system (LDAP) - to support a statewide directory service that facilitates single sign-on access for every teacher and learner;
- Statewide Professional Development (PD) System: A comprehensive system of professional development for the implementation of BlendEd incorporating LOR, LMS, & LDAP for a singular PD system to provide technology-assisted instructional design training, embedded professional development and PD content shared between and among the NDE, ESUCC and higher education; and
- Evaluative System: A persistent system of assessment, analytics, and interventions that allows the State to diagnose and remedy areas of specific curriculum or teacher shortages (e.g. science, technology, engineering, mathematics, English language learners, advanced placement, etc..).
The Nebraska BlendED Initiative will truly be a 'blend' of various modes of instruction, multiple content providers and OER resources. It will be a blend of efforts by partners from education, business, state government and charitable foundations working together to advance learning outcomes to produce career and college ready graduates.