State Profiles in Innovation
How Four States Are Advancing Blended and Personalized Learning Statewide
Today we are releasing State Profiles in Innovation: How Four States Are Advancing Blended and Personalized Learning Statewide (“Profiles”). This new publication is produced by Innovation Partners America in partnership with The Learning Accelerator (TLA).
Profiles includes reviews of four select initiatives that advance blended learning at the state level. Each narrative reflects a state initiative at a moment in time, and represents an emerging approach worthy of our attention. Whether supporting early adopters, creating new capacity in the system, or reallocating resources - these states’ initiatives are driving change with higher quality, and some at greater scale.
Across the country, thousands of schools are radically redefining their approaches to teaching and learning, reshaping instructional delivery, and rethinking the use of critical resources like staff, time, and technology to deliver highly personalized learning experiences. Blended learning, in particular, is increasingly recognized as a key mechanism for changing the way adults and systems work for kids, and accelerating progress toward their achievement. States have a key role in this transformation and Profiles underscores states’ entrepreneurial opportunity to catalyze breakthrough instructional models designed to deliver on the use of real-time data, personalization, and competency based progression.
Highlights of this report include:
Raising Blended Learners is a $5 million grant initiative of Raise Your Hand Texas, a nonprofit working to strengthen and improve public education across the state through leadership development, innovation, and advocacy efforts. It is a demonstration initiative to showcase strategies for using blended learning to improve student achievement across diverse student demographics and geographic regions in the state, particularly among schools and districts with persistent achievement gaps.
When it comes to resource allocation in support of blended learning innovation, Georgia is a state to watch. What began as a $19.4 million Innovation Fund under Georgia’s Race to the Top plan and became a stream of state funds dedicated to supporting school innovation, has now expanded to include a full-fledged Innovation Fund Foundation which aims to attract, coordinate, and leverage resources across public entities, philanthropists, entrepreneurs, the business sector, and more.
The Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE), Canvas, National Repository of Online Courses (NROC), and BetterLesson recently agreed to a partnership to support high school teachers across the state to develop their capacity to bring blended and personalized learning strategies to their students in the 2016-17 school year. The initiative is a great example of a state education agency (SEA) supporting early adoption by creating opportunities for third-party technical assistance - and specifically providing support for teachers based on their interest in blended learning.
Good state strategy in support of personalized and blended learning promotes alignment among diverse groups, clarifies objectives and priorities, enacts trade-offs, and helps focus as well as catalyze new energies and capabilities.EduvateRI, born of precisely this kind of thinking, launched September 2016 with the intention to set the bar for education innovation nationally, acting as a model for other education clusters as a research and design hub, and drawing attention to Rhode Island’s work as the nation’s first personalized learning lab state.