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Monday, November 27, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

ACE Teaching Fellows Learn to Leverage Technology and Boost Student Performance

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Higher-Powered Learning Blog Teaching Fellows

The Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) is perhaps best known for its Teaching Fellows program, which forms talented, faith-filled college graduates to renew and transform Catholic school classrooms. Each year, ACE selects over 90 of the most talented, faith-filled, community-oriented college graduates in the world to begin its two-year service-through-teaching Masters of Education. After two summers of rigorous academic courses and two school years of full-time teaching in a Catholic school as well as completing online coursework, ACE Teaching Fellows graduate as licensed teachers with a M.Ed. and a lifelong commitment to Catholic education. (Side note: Ian Corbett, Mary Kate Veselik, and Sean Wolohan are all graduated ACE Teaching Fellows who taught at Holy Angels this year!).

Moving Forward: 3 Lessons for Blended Learning Expansion

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

3 Lessons on Blended Learning Expansion

Two weeks ago, I mentioned that we are expanding blended learning to two additional Notre Dame ACE Academies in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis this year: Central Catholic School and St. Philip Neri Catholic School. And this should be no big deal since we’ll just repeat what we did at Holy Angels this year, right?

Year 1 of Blended Learning in the Books at Holy Angels

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Year 1 of Blended Learning in the Books at Holy Angels

Remember those feelings of nervous excitement I mentioned in our Mid-Year Check-In for Holy Angels? They returned–and stronger than ever–in May.

Using Data to Empower Students

Monday, June 05, 2017

Rachel Edelman Using Data to Empower Students

Almost every day, I explain blended learning and how it can be implemented to different teachers, leaders, and administrators. For some, it is extremely difficult to understand this innovative way of teaching and learning, and it takes a high level of support from me and others to make sure they fully understand the concept and integrate it into their classrooms. For others, blended learning is a total “no-brainer” that immediately makes sense and quickly becomes second nature to them. Rachel Edelman is, without a doubt, part of the latter group.

5 Questions to Ask About Blended Learning Resources

Monday, May 22, 2017

5 Blended Learning Resource Alliance for Catholic Education

If you spend any time in a classroom, you know that new education software seems to be emerging almost every day. The EdSurge Product Index – a comprehensive index of almost all education-related software programs – includes over 500 K–12 curriculum products and more than 1,500 other software programs designed to meet the needs of teachers, schools, and higher-ed institutions. I am thrilled by the number of programs that have been created in recent years. New products drive competition in the marketplace, and this competition ultimately leads the whole industry closer to achieving its common goal: to meet the needs of all students and teachers.

A Day in the Life of Holy Angels Students: Jaidyn and Jordyn

Monday, May 08, 2017

Higher-Powered Learning Blog Notre Dame ACE Academies

I receive quite a few questions about scheduling, particularly how we make time for 90-minute “blended” blocks and what a typical school day looks like. I hope this snapshot of a day in the life of two of our second-graders at Holy Angels provides some insight!

"Have you seen that fourth-grade classroom? The teacher is amazing!"

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Rose Oldenburg Blended Learning

This is the third post in our series highlighting teachers in blended-learning classrooms, and our first post about a teacher outside of a Notre Dame ACE Academy. Today’s post features Rose Oldenburg, an outstanding teacher at a Seton Education Partners blended-learning school, Nativity Jesuit in Milwaukee. Read on to learn about how Rose faced her technology fears, focused on classroom management, and got creative to make the school’s blended-learning program a success in her own classroom.


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