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DLN! Releases White Paper on How Blended Learning Can Improve the Teaching Profession

WASHINGTON – In honor of National Teacher Day, Digital Learning Now! (DLN), a national campaign under the Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd), today released the seventh DLN Smart Series interactive paper: “Improving Conditions & Careers: How Blended Learning Can Improve the Teaching Profession.”

“It’s important to confront misconceptions about what blended learning means for teachers. With thoughtful policies and purposeful implementation, the shift to blended learning can be a powerful enabler for improving the teaching profession and the success of students,” said John Bailey, executive director of DLN.

Technology does not replace educators, but rather empowers teachers and enhances their work. America’s K-12 education professionals could greatly benefit from well-designed blended learning models that provide unprecedented career advancement opportunities, time for collaboration and development, teacher-leadership roles, opportunities to earn higher pay, and job flexibility. The changes available through digital learning have great potential to improve teachers’ working conditions, effectiveness and reach.

Authored by Bailey; Bryan Hassel and Emily Ayscue Hassel, Co-Directors at Public Impact; Carri Schneider, director of policy and research at Getting Smart; and Tom Vander Ark, CEO at Getting Smart, “Improving Conditions & Careers” provides policymakers with a vision of blended learning that improves teaching conditions and expands career opportunities for educators.

“Personalized, blended learning is the solution to the problem of rising demands on teachers,” said Vander Ark. “Time saved from thoughtful implementation of technology can be reinvested in working with students, growing professionally, collaborating with peers and developing new strengths.”

“If blended learning lets great teachers help more students, develop peers, and earn far more, they will show us the way to make digital learning outstanding,” said Bryan Hassel. “Even very small amounts of digital learning make job-embedded development, expanded impact, and much higher pay possible.”

“Improving Conditions & Careers” discusses how schools can improve their teachers’ experiences as empowered professionals while extending the reach of great teachers to impact more learners. The paper specifically explores:

  • The implementation of blended learning to “extend the reach” of in-person excellent teachers to more students and to teaching peers;
  • The ability to teach remotely, allowing great teachers to reach students anywhere and to have more flexible careers; and,
  • The opportunity for “boundless instruction” and expanded impact through online sharing of teacher-created content.

“This paper and accompanying infographic lay to rest the myth that blended learning is about replacing teachers with technology,” added Schneider. “Blended learning empowers great teachers and creates new opportunities for them to help students succeed.”
Released in partnership with Getting Smart, the DLN Smart Series is a collection of interactive white papers aimed at equipping policymakers and education leaders with the necessary tools for transforming education for the digital age. Each paper offers specific guidance regarding the adoption of Common Core State Standards and the shift to personalized digital learning. The first six papers in the series are also available for download:

  1. Funding the Shift to Digital Learning: Three Strategies for Funding Sustainable High-Access Environments
  2. Data Backpacks: Portable Records & Learner Profiles
  3. Getting Ready for Online Assessments
  4. The Shift From Cohorts to Competency
  5. Blended Learning Implementation Guide
  6. Funding Students, Options, and Achievement

Use #SmartSeries and #DigLN to join the conversation, or copy and paste the sample tweets below to spread the word. Find DLN on Facebook at facebook.com/DigitalLearningNow or on Twitter at @DigLearningNow.

  • 7th paper in @DigLearningNow #SmartSeries released today: How blended learning can improve the teaching profession http://bit.ly/UT5ozO
  • Catch the 7th #SmartSeries paper from @DigLearningNow discussing how #tech doesn’t replace teachers but empowers them http://bit.ly/UT5ozO

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Digital Learning Now! is a national campaign under ExcelinEd with the goal of advancing state policies that will create a high-quality digital learning environment to better equip all students with the knowledge and skills to succeed in this 21st-century economy. The policy framework stems from the belief that access to high-quality, customized learning experiences should be available to all students, unbounded by geography or artificial policy constraints.

Getting Smart™ is an advocacy firm passionate about innovations in learning. We help education organizations construct cohesive and forward-thinking strategies for branding, awareness, advancement and communication, and public and media relations. We are advocates for better K-12 education as well as early, post-secondary and informal learning opportunities for all students. We attempt to accelerate and improve the shift to digital learning. On GettingSmart.com we cover important events, trends, products, books, and reports.