Virtual School Meanderings

October 19, 2017


From Wednesday’s inbox…

Logo JPG
Find TLA at iNACOL
We are looking forward to seeing many of you next week in Orlando at the 2017 iNACOL Symposium Personalizing Learning: Equity, Access, Quality. The Learning Accelerator is pleased to be presenting on numerous important topics in blended and personalized learning, in many instances with partner organizations and school leaders. Please join us at the sessions detailed below and follow us on Twitter @LearningAccel where we will be actively sharing.
Effectively Communicating about Personalized Learning
Monday, Oct. 238 – 11 a.m.
Effective communication is a cornerstone of successful innovation in education. School districts that develop thoughtful communications plans build a culture of engagement, transparency and trust that is critical for innovation both to take hold in the classroom and to be scalable across many schools. This hands-on workshop from TLA and Education Elements will review the four phases of developing an effective communications plan, explore real-world examples and provide attendees with an opportunity to learn from peers and test out key messages and ideas.
K-12 Blended and Online Learning Research Community Meeting
MondayOct. 23, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
This day-long research community meeting hosted by TLA and the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute will foster a space for researchers, practitioners and other stakeholders to come together and discuss newly published research, provide opportunities for networking, find funding opportunities, and drum up collaborative prospects. We’ll provide a chance for everyone to gain and give practical, applicable insights into measuring K-12 blended learning initiatives. In addition, we will hear from practitioners engaged in developing measurement systems for their own personalized learning initiatives in an interactive, no-holds-barred, “Ask Us Anything” format, with in-person and virtual participants and panelists.
Sustaining a Breakthrough Model – Case Studies on How to Support Innovation that Lasts
TuesdayOct. 2410 – 11 a.m.
So often in education, we spend time, money and energy planning, developing and implementing new initiatives, pouring our hearts and souls into a new effort – only to see it dissipate as funding goes away, as barriers are encountered or as priorities change. How can you avoid seeing this happen to your blended and personalized learning initiatives? How can you make your innovation “stick” and create an environment conducive of scale? Join TLA, our friends at Afton, and other education experts and leaders to think about the long term.
Bridge Building: Engaging Regions Locally and in Context to Build a National Strategy to Support Blended and Personalized Learning Educators
TuesdayOct. 24, 2:15 – 3:15 p.m.

Supporting educators in implementing blended and personalized learning is an incredibly local task. Context influences the resources and solutions leaders turn to, as well as the role human capital providers can play. The Learning Accelerator is trying to bridge this gap by convening and deeply understanding learning networks, “ThinkTanks,” in eight regions across the U.S. This session will focus on key themes and lessons learned, as well as overall recommendations for local and national action.
Laboratories for Personalized Learning Innovation: How Top Public Charter Schools are Shaping the Future
TuesdayOct. 244 – 5 p.m.
The 74 Million and Rocketship will host an interactive discussion with top public charter school leaders, looking back, and into the future, of personalized learning. A recent RAND study found that public charter schools excel at implementing and scaling personalized learning programs. Participants will dig in to these findings, and discuss lessons learned and future plans for increasing student achievement and engagement through personalization.
Designing and Iterating Blended Learning Classroom Structures
Wednesday, Oct 25, 10 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Already on-board to start blended learning, but want some strategies on how to design your classroom? Join TLA and Rocketship in this collaborative workshop to gain key strategies and resources for planning, reflecting and iterating on blended learning classroom designs. We’ll share how we’ve approached blended learning across our schools and break into groups to discuss various strategies with building up quality systems and routines for blended and personalized learning.
There’s an Expert for That: Benefits, Challenges and Best Practices for Education Leaders in Engaging Consultants to Support Personalized Learning Initiatives
Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2:15 – 3:15 p.m.
Transforming schools is no easy task. Given this, education leaders are increasingly turning to external consultants to support their personalized learning (PL) initiatives. But how can leaders identify the right expert for a specific need? How can they set up projects for success? And who is building the PL expertise of consultants? We’ll tackle these questions in a dialogue between a seasoned PL district leader, two professional service providers and an entrepreneur helping connect them.
Beyond Minutes: Leveraging Your Blended Learning Data to Determine Efficacy
Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2:15 – 3:15 p.m.
Blended and personalized learning software programs provide the potential for incredibly granular analyses of how students are progressing through relevant content. However, making good on this opportunity often presents a challenge. With technology-facilitated audience participation, join TLA, Caliber SchoolsAspire Public Schools, and Distinctive Schools to discuss our successes and challenges in analyzing, visualizing and communicating blended learning data in our attempt to determine the efficacy of these software programs.
Other News…

Updated Blended & Personalized Learning At Work Website
We’ve refreshed our website and invite you to visit! Discover free, action-oriented strategies to implement blended and personalized learning, including how to:
  • Adopt specific teaching practices at the student level.
  • Create the conditions for success and scale at the school system level.
  • Build human capacity and support the people who are doing the work.
  • Measure progress to inform implementation and continuously improve.
Takeaways from the 2017 Blended and Personalized Learning Conference
Earlier this year, we co-hosted the 6th Annual Blended and Personalized Learning Conference with The Highlander Institute and the Christensen Institute. We brought together more than a thousand educators from around the country to share, discuss, and define educational practices. e are excited to share a new white paper, “From Maverick to Mainstream: Takeaways from the 2017 Blended and Personalized Learning Conference,” containing seven key tips that emerged from these discussions among leading innovators.

Thank you for your support!
Beth Rabbitt, CEO
 Follow us on Twitter Facebook View our profile on LinkedIn Find us on Pinterest
The Learning Accelerator, 10605 Farallone Drive, Cupertino,, CA 95014

August 30, 2017

Blended Learning Measurement Fellowship

Posting a reminder of this opportunity for a colleague…

Blended Learning Measurement Fellowship

The Learning Accelerator is pleased to pilot a one-year Fellowship with a diverse cohort of individuals who will be conducting research that advances our measurement agenda for blended learning. Through these fellowships, we will catalyze the measurement ecosystem (including future researchers, leaders and educators) to work together towards the mutual goal of all students receiving an outstanding education, enabling them to reach their full potential.


June 16, 2017: Application open
June 29, 2017Informational/Q&A Webinar (this recording has been edited)
August 18, 2017: Optional email statement of intent to Saro Mohammed: due (Interested applicants are encouraged to submit a email stating their intent to apply for this Fellowship. This email does not obligate either TLA nor the applicants in any way, but it provides useful information to TLA as the review process is planned.)
August 31, 2017: Application deadline
September 15, 2017: All applicants informed of decisions
Fall 2017: Initial 1:1 & cohort virtual meetings/calls
Winter 2018: Ongoing cohort virtual meetings/calls
April 5 – 7, 2018: Blended and Personalized Learning Conference, Providence, RI


The Learning Accelerator’s vision for blended learning is the strategic integration of in-person learning and technology to enable personalization, mastery-based progression and the use of real-time data. There is much still to be learned about if, how, and when blended learning is effectively implemented in K-12 settings. Implementing evidence-based practices requires multiple stakeholders to take coordinated action utilizing a breadth of knowledge and skills traditionally associated with very different roles and responsibilities.

Doing what’s best for students requires typical good research and measurement practice to be applied equitably in this sector. The goal of this work is to deeply understand what is and is not working, for whom, and under what conditions. We do not expect — indeed, we would be suspicious of — findings from these studies to be universally positive.


Knowing and implementing evidence-based practices increases our ability to meet each student’s instructional needs. Our Measurement Agenda for Blended Learning outlines the skills, knowledge, and activities necessary for stakeholders to build our evidence base and advance our collective understanding and implementation of effective blended learning practices. As with our Personalized and Blended Learning Practices at Work, our District Guide to Measurement, and the accompanying Blended Learning Measurement Framework, the objectives contained in this agenda are primarily focused on the teaching and learning happening, and the application and implementation of evidence, at the classroom or school level.

Similarly, advancing measurement of blended learning includes increasing evidence-gathering access to funds, people, and classrooms; and the broad sharing of findings and their implications. If we expect to build a knowledge base that is relevant and applied to a diverse student body, we must build an ecosystem that is reflective of that student body and diverse along several dimensions including ethnicity, socioeconomic status, first or native language, identity, and others. TLA is committed to facilitating diversity, equity, and inclusion through supporting individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences, and a demonstrated need for opportunities and support in doing this work. We aim to grow the next generation of measurement professionals by building a cadre of graduate students who are excited to begin this work, not necessarily those who are already expert.


To apply, please complete the form below by August 31, 2017. If you have any questions about applying for this Fellowship, please don’t hesitate to contact Saro Mohammed via email:


The Blended Learning Measurement Fellowship offers the following benefits to each of up to five (5) individuals:

  • $1,000 research start-up stipend
  • TLA resources, mentorship, expertise, and support (including participant recruitment) during the 2017 – 2018 school year to complete a blended learning research study
  • Virtual and face-to-face access to the Community of Practice formed by the cohort of 2017 Fellows (during the Fellowship and beyond)
  • Registration, travel, and attendance to the 2018 Blended and Personalized Learning Conference (BPLC18)
  • Connections to established researchers who are members of TLA’s Measurement Alliance
  • TLA-supported dissemination and memorializing of research findings
  • $250 completion bonus


This Fellowship is offered to degree-seeking students enrolled in any graduate program in the United States, who are intending to or conducting research on blended learning that is expected to be completed during the Spring of 2018.

Fellows must commit to attending regular virtual meetings and conference calls during the fall of 2017, winter 2018, and spring 2018; as well as in-person attendance at the Blended and Personalized Learning Conference 2018 in Rhode Island. In addition, Fellows must present their study findings at the BPLC18 Research Gala, and broadly disseminate these findings in a form that is open and freely accessible to the public.

Application at

July 21, 2017

Summer Reading: Blended Learning Results

From K12, Inc. yesterday…

Personalized Learning for K -12
View in browser
Blended Learning Student Stories and Academic Success
9 Schools with Positive Blended Learning Outcomes
Academic Outcomes of 9 Blended and Online Learning Programs White Paper
The Evergreen Education Group and Fuel Education have partnered over the last year to research and document best practices of successful online and blended learning programs. The programs vary from blended learning schools to credit recovery programs within a traditional school.

Download this paper to learn how these schools achieved strong academic outcomes, view typical student schedules for each program, understand key characteristics of successful programs, recognize how to measure academic performance of blended programs and more.

What Students are Saying About Blended Learning
What Students are Saying About Their Experience in Blended Learning Programs

Blended learning is a rapidly growing instructional model that is redefining the education landscape. Districts are creating blended schools, and schools are providing blended instruction, for a wide variety of reasons and in an assortment of ways. These innovative schools and caring teachers demonstrate pioneering practices that are helping students reach their aspirations.

Want to hear from the students? Download Fuel Education’s latest white paper that focuses on students in blended learning—schools brief accounts of their stories, why they chose a blended school and the unique ways in which the schools are serving their needs.

Download Here
This email was sent to

June 26, 2017

TLA Blended Learning Measurement Fellowship

I received this last week.


I’m very excited to let you know about TLA’s Blended Learning Measurement Fellowship, an initiative we’ll be piloting during the 2017-2018 school year.

TLA seeks to advance measurement in the field, focusing on the objectives outlined in our Measurement Agenda for Blended Learning. With this new Fellowship, we will support a diverse cadre of graduate students who are excited to conduct research on blended learning and who have a demonstrated need for opportunities and support in doing this work. We expect the research projects to be completed during the spring of 2018.

Please share this link: with candidates you feel are exceptionally good fits for such a Fellowship, and encourage them to apply. Applications will be accepted until August 31, 2017.

We will be hosting a virtual question and answer session this month, so look out for more details soon. If you have any questions about the Fellowship, eligibility, applying, or anything at all, please don’t hesitate to email Saro:, and please encourage prospective applicants with questions to do the same.

Thank you for your partnership and I look forward to receiving many great applications,

Sarojani S. Mohammed, Ph.D.

May 31, 2017

Modern Tools for a Modern Education | K-12 Blended Learning

From Monday’s inbox…

Modern Tools for Modern Education
K-12 Personalized Learning Strategies

THE Journal Whitepaper

Hi Michael,

Students are in need of a broader set of skills to be successful in today’s world. In order to provide these skills, the K-12 classroom is shifting to a blended approach to learning to create more authentic learning experiences.

In this complimentary whitepaper, find out how two school districts are currently making the transition by building a sustainable and scalable learning model, providing professional learning experience for teachers, and achieving a positive impact on student outcomes.

Modern Tools for a Modern Education Download your copy to see how K-12 districts are accomplishing their vision for education, including:

  • Help every kid reach their full potential
  • Changing the professional culture
  • “Go slow to go fast”
  • Develop a successful partnership
  • And more!

Download Today!

Sponsored by Dell and Microsoft

1105 Media, Inc., 9201 Oakdale Ave., Chatsworth, CA 91311

Next Page »

Blog at