The first time many 9th graders at Alliance College-Ready Academy High School #11 learned to use Excel was in their physical education class. Shared one such student, "A P.E. teacher teaching you how to use technology -- crazy, right?" Not for the freshman who were part of the blended learning pilot programs conducted at Alliance College-Ready Academy High School #11 (ACRAHS #11) and Alliance Heritage College-Ready Academy High School (AHCRAHS) during the 10-11 school year.
The 9th grade students and teachers at these schools helped to test a model developed to incorporate traditional instruction with distance learning, digital content, online courses, and interactive tools in all classrooms from physical education to algebra and biology.
"This program has enabled our teachers to significantly enhance, target and personalize their instruction," observes Dr. Michelle Tubbs, former principal of ACRAHS #11 and founding principal of Alliance Technology and Math Science High School (see below). "It has also given our students innovative and interactive ways to gain critical 21st Century skills that will help them reach the highest standards in college and in their lives."
In addition to helping students become more comfortable with and skilled in the use of technology, BLAST targets the development of skills such as analysis, critical thinking, self-monitoring, assessment, adaptability and agility, to name just a few. Watch our short video to learn more about BLAST.
Lessons learned from this important pilot project have led to the development of a whole school blended learning model that is specifically designed for urban high schools in low-income areas. The model will be implemented at Alliance Technology and Math Science High School opening in South Los Angeles in Fall 2011.
"The traditional Alliance model has proven to be extremely effective," states Alliance Vice President of Family Schools Robert Pambello. "We believe that BLAST can demonstrate ways in which that model can be further enhanced through blended learning, not just in a specific class or grade level, but on a school and even organization-wide level."
Click here to learn more about the BLAST Model.