Go Blended! A Handbook for Blending Technology inSchools
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More About This Title Go Blended! A Handbook for Blending Technology inSchools


Craft a blended learning program tailor-made for your students

Go Blended! is a practical implementation guide for educators interested in getting blended learning off the ground. Author Liz Arney is a seasoned developer of blended learning programs at Aspire Public Schools, and she also closely collaborates with district and charter leaders from across the country on this work. Go Blended! offers boots-on-the-ground support for laying the foundation for a blended learning program in our schools and classrooms. Throughout the book teachers with blended learning experience share helpful tips and lesson plans to help educators make purposeful choices in using technology to fulfill students' needs without becoming an end in itself. This useful guide also offers key documents and timelines to support a blended learning implementation and provides step-by-step practical advice for avoiding mistakes. Readers will gain expert insight into both the broad and narrow of blended transition, from sweeping concepts like program goals to nitty-gritty details like teaching routines around technology use.

Technology is rapidly changing the landscape of education; teacher effectiveness and student achievement are both tied to the ability to adapt to new technology, and blended learning has become a hot topic in schools across the nation. Go Blended! helps school leaders and teachers take their first steps toward blended learning, putting them in a better position to continuously adapt as the world changes. You'll learn how to:

  • Investigate leadership and staff readiness to "go blended."
  • Learn how to evaluate and purchase the right educational software.
  • Keep the program's goals in mind throughout the development process.
  • Teach lessons that set students up for success when using classroom technology.
  • Tailor the program to the students, not the other way around.

Aspire's impressive track record of high performance, along with a growing body of evidence from blended schools across the nation, testifies to the reality that incorporating technology into the classroom can improve student outcomes. But improved student outcomes will only occur when teachers and administrators intentionally tailor technology and curricula to meet their goals. With Go Blended!, you can be confident that you're focused on the ultimate goal of blended learning: increasing student achievement.


LIZ ARNEY is the Director of Innovative Learning at Aspire Public Schools, where she is crafting and running blended learning implementations in close coordination with teachers, principals, IT teammates, and data and analysis teammates. Liz holds a master's degree in education from Harvard University and a master's degree in humanities from the University of Chicago.


Foreword xi

About the Author xv

About the Contributors xvii

Introduction 1


1 Identifying the Focus and Piloting 19

2 Determining School Readiness 32

3 Building the Team and Creating Buy-in 47

4 Recognizing and Planning for the Learning Curve 66


5 Choosing Your Model and Crafting Your Pilots 79

6 Finding the Right Software and Hardware 85

7 Making Use of Student Data 107

8 Setting Up the Space 127

9 Getting Your Network Up to Speed 134


10 Training Teachers and Other Leaders 149

11 Teacher Readiness and Classroom Readiness 158

12 Teaching Lessons to Support Blended Learning 170

13 Setting Up Your Classroom and Students for Success 181

14 Making Mistakes and Iterating to Improve the Work 205

Conclusion 215

Appendixes 222

A Blended Learning Analyst Job Description 223

B Blended Learning Teaching Assistant Job Description 227

C Director of Innovative Learning Job Description 230

D Sample Blended Learning Pilot Agreement 234

E Sample Project Plan 237

F Rocketship Curriculum Evaluation Rubric 245

G Teacher Self-Assessment: Blended Learning Readiness 250

H End-of-Year Teacher Survey Questions 252

I Sample Blended Newsletter 1 256

J Sample Blended Newsletter 2 257

K Sample Blended Learning Classroom Floor Plans 259

L Sample Common Core Weekly Schedule for

Grades K–2 Blended Learning Classrooms 261

M Sample Common Core Weekly Schedule for

Grades 3–5 Blended Learning Classrooms 265

N Twenty-One Lesson Plans for Implementing Blended Learning 269

Acknowledgments 293

Index 297