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Why this school is thriving after implementing a 100% blended learning model

E-School News – John D. Butler, Ph.D., PE

“Located in downtown Providence, Rhode Island, 225 students along with the faculty and staff of the Village Green Virtual Charter High School (VGV) have been pioneering the school of the future—advancing individualized education and family choice by maximizing technology, creating community, reshaping teaching, and redefining school. Opened in September 2013, VGV draws students statewide by a blind lottery. Since 2013, VGV has increased its urban student population from 75 to 85 percent and increased its “free and reduced lunch” population from 88 to 94 percent.”(more)

Tech-nically speaking, we can close the skills gap

Education Dive – Darin Early

“At a quick glance, the U.S. economy is slated to increase from 140 million to 165 million jobs by 2020. While job growth is a positive development, states across the country are being challenged to innovate how they develop and train a modern workforce to meet the new demands of a changing economy. By 2020, 65 percent of all jobs in the U.S. economy will require postsecondary education or credentials beyond high school, as the demand for traditional blue-collar workers continues to decline.”(more)

Light a Fuse: How One State’s Teachers Are Sparking Digital Innovation

KQED News Mind/Shift – Nichole Dobo

“All across Rhode Island, schools are experimenting with the ways technology can help teachers tailor-fit lessons to the unique needs of each student. It’s called personalized learning, and trying to understand how it unfolds in a classroom is not easy. It’s best understood by seeing it in person, and this model classroom provided that view. The technology was there, but students weren’t lined up in a row in front of computers. In fact, the computers almost seemed beside the point — as important and yet as invisible as pencil and paper. And none of the students were looking to a teacher for direction on what to do next.”(more)

Will Personalized Learning Become the New Normal? Inside Rhode Island’s Statewide Tech Initiative

The 74 Million – Tim Newcomb

“Over the past few years, Rhode Island has emerged as a national leader in the drive to put personalized-learning programs into actual classroom practice. Now education leaders in Providence, the state’s capital and most populous city, are looking to scale their early efforts statewide, pushing district leaders to think bigger about pilot programs and technological infrastructure, while also commissioning new research on how an understudied learning model could drive student performance.”(more)

R.I. education: Recess, please!

Providence Journal – Linda Borg

“Two grassroots groups are urging the state Department of Education to restore recess to what they say is its rightful place in the school day. Parents Across Rhode Island has a petition, signed by more than 800 people, that asks the education department to include 30 minutes of daily recess for elementary students as part of the school day…”Active play is so central to child development that it should be included in the very definition of childhood,” according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. “Play helps children develop creativity and imagination…contributes to healthy brain development…[and] is essential to developing social and emotional ties.””(more)

How an unconventional principal used blended learning to help turn around a struggling urban school

The Hechinger Report – Jennifer D. Jordan

“It’s Field Day at Pleasant View Elementary School and at the moment, there’s a crisis with the bouncy house. “No, no, it’s not supposed to go there,” says Principal Gara Field into her mobile phone as she rushes out the front door. “Hold on. I’m coming.” Field, 45, hustles back inside a few minutes later. She grabs a microphone and arrives just in time for the morning assembly in the cafeteria, where the school’s nearly 450 students are buzzing.”(more)