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Blended Learning in Catholic Schools Symposium: Exceeding Expectations

Monday, March 19, 2018 by Elizabeth Anthony


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.

"Why is This Model of Learning Not Standard Across the Nation?"

Monday, February 05, 2018 by Elizabeth Anthony

Trustey STEM Teaching Fellows RISE Summit

I recently had the privilege of joining my colleagues from the Notre Dame Center for STEM Education for the third annual RISE Summit in Palo Alto, California. The RISE Summit is an opportunity for Trustey Family STEM Teaching Fellows–some of the nation’s most outstanding STEM teachers who take part in a multiyear professional development program through the Center–to gather, reflect, collaborate, and grow. As if a trip to California in January was not enough on its own, I was overjoyed by the enthusiasm, curiosity, and determination of the 56 Fellows. I learned so much from these outstanding teachers throughout our short workshop on blended learning, and I wanted to share one of the most important takeaways and one of the most interesting discussions from our session.

Blended Learning: "The Right Thing for Your Students"

Monday, January 22, 2018 by Elizabeth Anthony

ACE 23 Maggie Schmid Blended Learning The Right Thing for Your Students

It’s pretty common for teachers to assure us that they are doing blended learning, only for us to quickly discover that they are really just using technology in their classroom without actually changing the way students learn. It is far less common, however, for teachers to accidentally implement blended learning without doing so intentionally – but that is exactly what happened for the star of today’s post, Maggie Schmid.

Exciting News for the Higher-Powered Learning Team

Monday, January 08, 2018 by Elizabeth Anthony

Higher-Powered Learning to Minneapolis

Our blended-learning team is absolutely thrilled to announce our new partnership with the GHR Foundation to implement blended-learning programs in schools in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis! We have been contemplating expanding our work outside of the Notre Dame ACE Academies for some time now, and we could not resist the opportunity to work with the amazing GHR team (and in Fr. Nate’s hometown, no less!).

How to Measure Success Without Academic Achievement

Monday, December 11, 2017 by Elizabeth Anthony

This piece was originally published by EdSurge on November 22, 2017.

EdSurge How to Measure Success Without Academic Achievement

The question of how to measure success in life is one typically left to philosophy classes or late nights at the bar. It is a complex, perhaps unanswerable question. In the words of the cast of Rent, how do you measure a life?

A Personalized Path to Long-Term Learning Goals

Monday, November 27, 2017 by Elizabeth Anthony

Meaghan Crowley Sullivan Blended Learning

This blog tells the stories of many teachers who have taught in traditional classrooms for years (as many as 36!) before transitioning to the blended-learning model. This transition is often fraught with concerns and challenges that were not part of the classrooms of the past: how can all of my students be working on different things? Can first graders really learn on their own? And what will happen to my role as the teacher?

Alec Torigian: No More Tears

Tuesday, November 14, 2017 by Elizabeth Anthony

Alec Torigian Blended Learning

When I emailed ACE legend Alec Torigian to ask if I could feature him in a blog post, this was his response:

“I am so not a model of successful or smooth blending of learning at this point, but if you want the vantage point of a dude who randomly tried because he knew his kids deserved it and plans to get much better, then I'm in.”

If It Ain't Broke...Go Blended?

Tuesday, October 31, 2017 by Elizabeth Anthony

Melodie Wyttenbach Nativity

Most of us have heard the tales about Catholic schools with low enrollment and poor academic performance that adopt blended learning as a final effort to remain open and offer a high-quality education to more students. But we don’t often hear about schools that already have high-performing, full classrooms and challenge themselves to innovate. In fact, it is easy to understand why the leader of such a school might think, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Breaking the Blended Learning Rules

Monday, October 16, 2017 by Elizabeth Anthony

Breaking the Blended Learning Rules

When we design professional development sessions, trainings, or classes, we always toe the very delicate line between (1) making blended learning seem very simple by presenting a limited view, and (2) totally overwhelming the participants by presenting every possible iteration of the annoyingly broad term, “blended learning.” We try to help teachers adopt a specific approach to blended learning that we believe maximizes student learning and enhances the human dignity of both students and teachers without boxing the teachers into a single model.

4 Key Attributes of Leaders of Blended Schools

Monday, October 02, 2017 by Elizabeth Anthony

4 Key Attributes of Leaders of Blended SchoolsPhoto Credit: Seton Education Partners

The first time I saw blended learning in action was in 2012, when I visited one of the first two Catholic schools to implement a blended-learning model. The school was a diocesan Catholic school that partnered with a group called Seton Education Partners, which at the time consisted of the organization’s founder, Stephanie Saroki de Garcia, and the schools’ blended-learning coordinator, Jeff Kerscher (ACE 15, by the way).

Cindy Hayden: Sunshine at St. Philip Neri Catholic School

Thursday, September 14, 2017 by Elizabeth Anthony

Cindy Hayden Notre Dame ACE Academies

When I think of Cindy Hayden, a veteran teacher at St. Philip Neri Catholic School with 36 years of experience, I think of sunshine. Cindy exudes positivity, enthusiasm, and love in everything she does, especially when she interacts with her first-grade students. When I entered her classroom for the first time last year, I saw smiling students working hard on meaningful assignments–a sure sign of leadership by an outstanding teacher.

Protecting Purpose in the Blended Classroom

Tuesday, September 05, 2017 by Elizabeth Anthony

Protecting Purpose in a Blended Classroom

My colleague/mentor/fellow salad-eater Frankie Jones calls herself a CIP fangirl, and she has brainwashed me to be the same. Allow me to explain.

Our New Plan: Blended Learning Leadership Teams

Tuesday, August 22, 2017 by Elizabeth Anthony

Alliance for Catholic Education - ACE Blended Learning

In a previous post about Lessons Learned for Expansion, I mentioned that the implementation plan for blended learning at our next two Notre Dame ACE Academies – Central Catholic and St. Philip Neri –  looks different than it did at Holy Angels last year. From our pilot, we learned that we need to focus on school leadership, slow down the implementation timeline, and make a more deliberate effort to develop institutional capacity and expertise. Our new plan for implementation is centered on Blended Learning Leadership Teams.

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