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STAR Goals: The Importance of Personalized Student Goals

Monday, September 17, 2018 by Francesca Varga

Rocket Fuel - Higher-Powered Learning

As we mentioned in this post, one of the most powerful ways our teachers increase student engagement and learning is to help students set individual goals for their learning. Of course, setting goals for student learning is not something that only happens in blended classrooms, but we have found that it is especially crucial to the success of blended classrooms because learning is so much more individualized. Therefore, we generated four of our own criteria for successful student learning goals, and we want to share those with you today.

"Ohana" Means Family

Tuesday, September 04, 2018 by Francesca Varga

Ohana Means Family Higher-Powered Learning Blended Learning

The Higher-Powered Learning team is growing, and we are excited to introduce you to our newest member, Francesca Varga! Francesca was a teacher and instructional leader for nine years before joining us at ACE this summer. She has extensive experience with blended and personalized learning at the middle and high school levels. Below is Francesca’s first contribution to our blog–but certainly not her last!


We often preface the concept of blended learning by citing the need to fill students’ learning gaps through data-informed instruction. However, in my nine years of teaching, I have found that culture and building community and strong relationships with students is essential to the success of blended learning, and of learning more broadly. Here is a quick glimpse into my inspiration for implementing blended learning in my classroom and the students who made it possible...

UDL & Blended Learning: The WHY of Learning

Monday, August 20, 2018 by Elizabeth Anthony

UDL & Blended Learning: the WHY of Learning

Many proponents of blended learning lament standardized, one-size-fits-all approaches to education, and with good reason. But you don’t have to be a blended-learning fangirl like me to believe that classrooms should be flexible and adapted to meet the individual needs of each student. Customizing assessments, teaching methods, and materials to match students’ learning preferences, prerequisite skills, goals, and more are not strategies specific to blended learning – it is simply good teaching.

Should Data Really Drive Your Instruction?

Monday, August 06, 2018 by Elizabeth Anthony

Should Data Really Drive Your Instruction?

I’d like to start this post with a direct quote from a teacher at a professional development session I led recently: “Elizabeth LOVES data.” To be honest, she’s not wrong! I’ve written before about the importance of data in blended-learning classrooms and how data from adaptive software programs can enable teachers to deliver targeted instruction when and where students need it most. It’s safe to say that I am a HUGE fan of student performance data, but I also recognize its shortcomings.

Lift Off in the Twin Cities!

Monday, July 09, 2018 by Elizabeth Anthony

Higher Powered Learning Program Take Off

June 18 marked a momentous occasion for our team – the official launch of the Higher-Powered Learning Program (HPLP) in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis! After months of anticipation and careful preparation, our cohort of 30 leaders and teacher-leaders from five schools joined forces to begin our three-year journey together.

The "Why" Behind Your Blended-Learning Program

Monday, June 25, 2018 by Elizabeth Anthony

Higher-Powered Learning - The Why

Do you remember the post we wrote about protecting purpose in the blended classroom? We explained that one of the most common mistakes teachers make in blended classrooms is planning activities without having a learning goal in mind for them. Teachers should resist the urge to plan activities simply so that they can increase the number of “stations” or “centers” in their classroom and focus instead on planning activities that will help students reach the learning goal for that lesson.

Blended Learning 2.0: What's Next?

Monday, June 11, 2018 by Elizabeth Anthony

Blended Learning 2.0: What's next?

I just returned from three very full days of professional development with our Blended Learning Advancement and Strategy Teams from the Notre Dame ACE Academies in Indianapolis, and I am feeling so many things: grateful for the amazing group of teachers and leaders and their incessant hard work; proud of how far we have come in just one year; and hopeful for the future of the students in these innovative schools.

The Real Power of Blended Learning: Formative Assessment

Monday, May 28, 2018 by Elizabeth Anthony

Higher-Powered Learning Blended Learning Formative Assessment

Raising the topic of assessment at a dinner party or an education conference is generally a pretty sure way to end up alone. Assessment is often an emotionally charged topic for students, parents, teachers, leaders, policy makers, and philanthropists alike, as many have strong but differing opinions about the purpose of assessments, how often they should be given, and their impact (or lack thereof) on student learning.

Blended Learning and Guided Reading

Monday, May 14, 2018 by Elizabeth Anthony

Blended Learning and Guided Reading

We often say that the greatest benefit of blended learning is that teachers are able to work with students in small groups rather than with the whole class at the same time. There is an assumed benefit when teachers work with small groups of students at different times rather than with the whole class at the same time, but the truth is that teachers must use their small-group time very strategically in order to ensure it actually has a positive impact on their students.

Three Foundational Principles for Personalized Learning

Monday, April 30, 2018 by Elizabeth Anthony

John Reyes Higher-Powered Learning

Would you believe me if I told you that the director of instructional technology for the nation’s largest archdiocese presented at our Blended Learning in Catholic Schools Symposium and hardly ever mentioned technology?

That’s right, folks. Even directors of instructional technology are looking beyond technology itself to identify the student and teacher practices that allow technology to have a transformative impact on learning.

To build on our last post about personalizing learning without technology, today we are sharing three foundational principles for personalized learning that Dr. John Reyes, the director of educational technology for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, shared at the Symposium in March.

4 Steps You Can Take TODAY to Personalize Learning for Your Students

Monday, April 16, 2018 by Elizabeth Anthony

Higher-Powered Learning - 4 Steps You Can Take TODAY to Personalize Learning for Your Students

If you have followed our work for a while, you have probably noticed a recurring theme: outstanding blended-learning programs are about so much more than just technology.

Driven by this belief, we encourage teachers new to blended learning to spend a few months transforming their classroom without introducing a fully blended model. Teachers can harness the power of student data and personalize their instruction in a multitude of ways without using adaptive online learning programs, and we prefer that teachers master those practices first to avoid becoming overly reliant on technology.

Francisco Castillo-Fierro: Culturally Responsive Tech

Monday, April 02, 2018 by Elizabeth Anthony

Francisco Castillo-Fierro

The United States’ education system has been fraught with issues of inequity for longer than any of us can remember. Many of these issues were created in our previously segregated school system and have persisted even long after schools integrated, resulting in unequal educational opportunities, and ultimately attainment, for students from minority populations or impoverished backgrounds.

Blended Learning in Catholic Schools Symposium: Exceeding Expectations

Monday, March 19, 2018 by Elizabeth Anthony

BLiCSS

This past week, we welcomed 40 outstanding individuals to the Blended Learning in Catholic Schools Symposium (BLiCSS), a unique gathering of blended-learning thought leaders to further innovation in K-12 Catholic schools. We hoped that this event would be an opportunity for leaders in Catholic education to form a unified mission and vision for blended learning in Catholic schools, to share best practices, and to identify ​research opportunities from across our schools – and it is safe to say that BLiCSS exceeded our expectations!

Ruth Hurrle: Driving Student Success with Blended Learning

Friday, March 02, 2018 by Elizabeth Anthony

Ruth Hurrle Central Catholic

If you have been following the Higher-Powered Learning blog for some time now, you know that we really value the leaders of our blended-learning schools. In our last post, we explained why we believe that school leaders drive student success, and how we have witnessed that in our Notre Dame ACE Academies implementing blended learning. So today, we want to share a bit more about one of the school leaders who is making us look good as she helps her teachers implement blended learning.

Technology Isn't the Key to Blended Learning Success (At Least Not In Our Classrooms)

Monday, February 19, 2018 by Elizabeth Anthony

Higher-Powered Learning Blog Selection Criteria

In the same way that many people mistakenly confuse one-to-one technology programs with blended-learning programs, many people also assume that technology is the key to blended learning’s success – but it’s not, at least not in our classrooms.

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