Group of students learning together

Blended Learning Transforming Gifted Education

28 Jul 2014 by Insight Editor

An estimated 240,000 Florida students took at least one online class in the 2012-2013 school year. Florida is the first state in the country to offer full and part time options for all students in grades K-12, although Arizona, Minnesota and Utah are developing similar programs, according to Keeping Pace with K-12 Online & Blended Learning report by the Evergreen Education Group.

Blended learning is where students learn through a combination of online methods and participating in a brick-and-mortar location supervised by a teacher or facilitator. Blended learning looks different in every state. Some states use virtual classrooms so students can recover credits, take advanced placement classes or service students who are homebound.

Many courses offered in brick-and-mortar schools are not available in rural school districts due to limited resources. Florida’s Virtual School (FLVS) solution was to create Blended Learning Communities, which are transforming education for gifted students in rural areas from around the state.

Benefits of blended learning:

  • personalized learning
  • course offerings
  • alternatives for advanced students
  • improving student outcomes
  • provides opportunities
  • cost effective

Blended Learning Communities allow gifted middle school students to select high school courses ranging from Spanish 1 and Geometry to Forensic Science and Foundations of Web Design. Students get the benefit of a large course selection and having face-to-face time with their Gifted Resource Teacher. This blended learning approach challenges gifted students regardless of where they live.

The FLVS offers courses to all Florida students as well as out of state students. Florida school districts must make at least one online course available to students. The online school currently has over 120 course offerings. Through virtual schools and blended learning, students getting the education they need regardless of their zip code.

To see blended learning opportunities for students in your state, visit Keeping Pace with K-12 Online & Blended Learning.

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