Thursday, December 11, 2014

Why Blended Schools Network Courses are the Best

Continuous improvement - this is the latest round of upgrades to the courses. This team never stops working to ensure our teachers have the best possibly online curriculum for their students!  Make sure your school is using K-12 online content from Blended Schools Network

2014 WINTER CURRICULUM NEWSLETTER
Throughout the year, our assessment specialists upgraded our courses. We hired these educators from member school districts and trained them in best practices for assessment design. They also added student learning objectives, unit pre-tests and new course challenges.

 
STUDENT LEARNING OBJECTIVES
More states are adopting student learning objectives (SLO's) to improve student achievement in the classroom, and Blended Schools is here to help. We are adding student learning objectives to our course maps. These will appear at the unit level in our master curriculum maps and in the new unit introduction files in our master courses and in our Marketplace.

 
PRE-TESTS AND SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENTS
Our new vocabulary and content pre-tests will give teachers a baseline of data. Based on this data, teachers can add content for remediation, allow students to skip content they have mastered or change the scope of content covered. This will ensure that every minute of instruction moves students toward a high level of academic growth.  Our specialists will ensure our assessments are appropriate measures of student growth and teacher effectiveness. 

 
NEW COURSE CHALLENGE
Each of our courses will now include a new course challenge.  This authentic assessment provides further opportunities for students to show growth. Students can tackle the challenge as a capstone problem-based learning experience, or the teacher can weave the experience throughout the course.  This new feature guides students through solving an authentic problem tied to what they are learning. The students determine solutions and defend them with research and facts.

 
MORE EMPHASIS ON VOCABULARY
In addition to the assessment upgrades, we have added a full page devoted to concept vocabulary in each lesson package.  Each lesson includes flashcards introducing the new terms, and it directs students to maintain a vocabulary notebook. We base these practices on research from the Marzano Institute, National Reading Panel and others.  Students can maintain the journal offline in a hard copy notebook or a running word document with the template provided.  We designed this notebook as a study aid for students, not as an assessment, but the teacher can elect to grade it.

 
COURSE CATALOG
Looking for the most recent course id to copy? Please use the Course Catalog on our website:
 
Look for course versions that say 3.2 for all the new features.
 
Here is a chart that tells you more about the 3.0, 3.1 and 3.2 features in each version of our courses.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Buy Online Content through Blended and Blackboard

After attending the 2014 iNACOL Blended and Online Learning Symposium in Palm Springs, CA last week we were encouraged by the increasing number of K-12 schools and districts embracing new models of learning resulting in student achievement success stories. Whether you are offering blended, flipped or online learning one thing remaines consistent – the ability to access reliable digital content to help personalize and differentiate instruction is a must.
At Blackboard we are committed to bridging that gap by bringing you quality digital content to help save your teachers time and increase student engagement. Today, we are excited to announce our newest digital content partnership with Blended Schools Network.
Since 2004, Blended Schools Network has provided a set of award-winning, interactive curriculum on core topics. Blended Schools Network content includes 212 complete K-12 courses with over 15,000 lessons and 12,000 videos created by teachers, for teachers.
Sign up for the webinar on December 2nd to learn more about the rise of digital content in K-12 and see how Blended Schools Network’s content seamlessly integrates within Blackboard’s learning management system.
Learn more about Blended Schools Network content here.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Creating Virtual Academies and Leveraging LMS

Not one, but two, great articles on the work we are doing with Blended Schools Network - 

First it was our work with Shenandoah Virtual Academy and how BSN got them up and running - read more on our Virtual Academy

Also, we have been working closely with LoudCloud so that the online content from BSN could be accessed through their state-of-the-art learning management system (LMS).  Schools and districts can now do even more with our complete K-12 content. Find out more about this online learning opportunity. 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Blended Learning Pilot Program

Blended Schools Network, with over 14 years of experience helping schools districts launch online and blended learning, is going above and beyond! They have launched a very affordable blended learning pilot program to help all schools and districts get started. The cost is $5,000 to start a blended learning program

From the website:
"When you plan your blended learning pilot with us, we’ll start with a consultation to learn about your goals. We’ll help you choose a technology platform and set a timeline. Then we’ll build your custom package of content, professional development, technology and support. Keep reading to learn what we offer in each area."

Launch your blended learning program today - your students and teachers will realize the benefits of leveraging great content and technology. With over 200 full online courses, 15,000 individual lessons and 12,000 videos, Blended Schools Network is your partner to get started. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

7 Steps to Building a Great Online Course

Our ongoing MOOCs series to help teachers from around the world reach more students through online learning. This one is 7 Steps to Building a Great Online Course 



Full course description

Building an online course is more than just knowing what to click in your course management system. In this course you will learn about the strategy of building an online course using backwards design.
This course is directed toward K-12 online learning but the skills could apply to any online course. Whether you are starting your first online course or looking at a more formal way to redesign an existing online course, this experience is for you.
This course is designed to show a seven-step process to design an online course using iNacol's quality online course standards. In this course we will cover:
  • Step 1: Curriculum planning for online courses
  • Step 2: Building structure in online courses
  • Step 3: Building online assessments
  • Step 4: Building online projects
  • Step 5: Adding external content to online lessons
  • Step 6: Adding direct instruction to online lessons
  • Step 7: Creating online collaboration activities
This course will cover the strategies involved with backwards design of online courses. In a backwards design model the course builder starts by identifying key items that learners must understand by the end of a unit of instruction, assessments are then built to assess that understand and then finally the instruction itself is built.