Virtual School Meanderings

July 21, 2017

Summer Reading: Blended Learning Results

From K12, Inc. yesterday…

Personalized Learning for K -12
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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
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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

May 15, 2017

Cathy Cavanaugh uploaded “Barriers to Online Education in a Developing Country: The Case of Nepal. In Clark, T. & Barbour, M., Eds., Online and Distance Education in Schools: Global Perspectives on Policy and Practice. Stylus.” and 7 other papers

Many of these open access items are K-12 distance, online, and blended learning related.

Hi Michael,

Cathy Cavanaugh uploaded papers on

Barriers to Online Education in a Developing Country: The Case of Nepal. In Clark, T. & Barbour, M., Eds., Online and Distance Education in Schools: Global Perspectives on Policy and Practice. Stylus.

by Cathy Cavanaugh

In many nations, e-learning for elementary and secondary students is seen as a solution to several educational problems, including crowded schools, shortages of secondary courses needed by remedial or accelerated students, lack of access to qualified teachers in a local school, and students who n…

Mobile Learning Transformation in a National Higher Education System

by Cathy Cavanaugh

This education transformation research synthesis focuses on the year encompassing planning and initial implementation of a mobile learning ecosystem throughout a country’s higher education system, examined through the lens of organizational congruence as the theory underpinning digital transforma…

Blended Education for Elementary and Secondary Students

by Cathy Cavanaugh

Every teacher constructs a unique learning environment for students. Cathy Cavanaugh explores how today’s teachers are successfully blending physical and virtual spaces in ways never before possible.

Research into K-12 Online & Blended Learning

by Cathy Cavanaugh

To truly understand K-12 online and blended learning research, you have to dig deeper into the components that make up K-12 online and blended learning. In other words, there are so many variations in design, instruction, facilitation, purpose, and content, no single study will answer everything …

K-12 Mobile Learning

by Cathy Cavanaugh

Mobile devices have been the focus of a push in many nations and internationally as part of efforts to achieve greater literacy and numeracy among students. Research has shown a strong link between Internet usage, the spread of broadband in a country, and its GDP. Those countries that are the hig…

Participation in the Virtual Environment of Blended College Courses: An Activity Study of Student Performance

by Cathy Cavanaugh

This paper describes a study of success factors in the introductory semester of liberal studies blended courses offered at the Bachelor of Science level. The influence of student participation in the online course environment was examined, as measured by the number of times students logged into t…

A Call to Action for Research in Digital Learning: Learning Without Limits of Time, Place, Path, Pace…or Evidence

by Cathy Cavanaugh

This essay is a call for rethinking our approach to research in digital learning. It plots a path founded in social trends and advances in education. A brief review of these trends and advances is followed by discussion of what flattened research might look like at scale. Scaling research in digi…

KILIMANJARO: ADVENTURE AND SERVICE LEARNING ABROAD Kilimanjaro: A Case of Meaningful Adventure and Service Learning Abroad

by Cathy Cavanaugh

This qualitative evaluation explored how female undergraduate students developed an understanding of themselves and the broader world as a result of an adventure and service learning experience in Tanzania, Africa. The project built upon theoretical frameworks regarding meaningful learning—active…

The Team

P.S. A study recently published in PLOS ONE found that papers uploaded to receive a 69% boost in citations over 5 years. See the study and data here., 251 Kearny St., Suite 520, San Francisco, CA, 94108

May 6, 2017

TLA Update: A Growing Movement

From yesterday’s inbox…

Logo JPG
Spring Update
May 2017
Dear Friends,
A few weeks ago, TLA joined the Highlander Institute and Clayton Christensen Institute in hosting the Blended and Personalized Learning Conference in Providence, Rhode Island. More than one thousand educators and leaders joined from across the country, and we explored topics ranging from the nitty-gritty of in-the-classroom strategy to broader areas like equity, adult cultures, and learning science.

As I listened to and learned from these practitioners leaders, I was struck by the sector’s enormous progress since TLA launched our work. No longer are we stuck in the theoretical. We’ve moved beyond ideation to in-the-trenches implementation, integration, and adaptation. Surely, there are many questions to be answered, ideas to be shared, and collective barriers to overcome. But we have more energy available than ever to realize the vision of highly personalized, data-rich, mastery-based learning for every student in every school.
I hope you’ll join us next year.

Recent Activities
TLA Selected for New Profit Personalized Learning Initiative
TLA is thrilled to be one of seven organizations
recently selected by New Profit, a venture philanthropy organization, to receive a one million dollar, four-year grant for our work in personalized learning. The initiative is supported by a collaboration between the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. We will be joined by the Highlander Institute, imBlaze (Big Picture Learning), iNACOL, PowerMyLearning,
The Teachers Guild Personalized Learning Design Journey
TLA will be teaming up this fall with The Teachers Guild, a non-profit incubated by IDEO’s Design for Learning Studio, to run a 10-week design journey on personalized learning. To kick-off this collaboration, we invite your educator networks to participate in a “sprint” on personalized learning. Share a favorite artifact – whether it’s a lesson, unit, or general resource – used to personalize learning for students. Find out more here.

Networking Learning Through TLA ThinkTanks
With generous funding from the Overdeck Family Foundation, we’ve launched the TLA ThinkTank project to understand and network regional and national supports for blended and personalized learning. We’re convening diverse groups of education leaders in eight geographic regions across the U.S. By identifying shared problems of practice and common challenges, and deeply mapping local needs and assets, TLA will build and openly share a comprehensive analysis of blended and personalized learning ecosystems and progress, as well as connect leaders to accelerate the scale of high-quality blended learning. We plan to disseminate results of the first phase of this initiative in fall 2017.
Communications Planning for Innovation in Education
TLA partnered with Education Elements to update and expand our popular communications planning guide for districts shifting to blended and personalized learning. The new guide provides a streamlined planning process, as well as real-world examples from school districts across the country, and offers up-to-date resources and artifacts.
TLA Impact Stories
TLA recently released a series of Impact Stories that illustrate how TLA works to create solutions to the barriers which prevent blended and personalized learning from reaching scale. The initial stories address our work with Internet Connectivity, Open Education Resources, and Human Capital.
TLA in the News
“Beyond Technology: Blended Learning Conference Debates Equity, Cultural Inclusion” –  EdSurge: An in-depth review of the sold-out 6th annual Blended and Personalized Learning Conference in Rhode Island.
“Solving the Problem of ‘Teaching to the Middle'” – ASCD Express: TLA Partner Juliana Finegan writes about how to personalize learning to reach all students, based on real teachers and real experiences.
“Tech’s Favorite School Faces Its Biggest Test: the Real World” – Wired: TLA CEO Beth Rabbitt is quoted in this overview of the current challenges and successes of personalized learning.
“3 ways to keep education innovation alive at your school” – eSchool News: Thomas Arnett, with the Christensen Institute, highlights TLA Partner Saro Mohammed’s Measurement Agenda as a noteworthy effort to ensure that blended learning continue to make progress in producing improved student outcomes.
“What student choice and agency actually looks like” – eSchool News: TLA Partner Daniel Owens highlights specific strategies from six schools profiled in TLA’s Blended & Personalized Learning Practices At Work site.
“Schools Shift to Free, Public-Domain Curricula” – Wall Street Journal (paywall): This national story gives an overview of the OER landscape and features the work of Open Up Resources, an early TLA incubation project.
“New Profit Dishes Out $1M to 7 Organizations in Personalized Learning Initiative” – EdSurge: A news story that reports TLA’s receipt of a major grant from New Profit to be part of its Personalized Learning Initiative.
Thank you for your support!
Beth Rabbitt, CEO
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