BLU is an online directory and resource catalog for K-12 schools who have already implemented blended learning, looking to go blended, or just have questions about the process. The beauty of this online catalog is that it’s searchable and a great source for exploring all things about blended learning.
For example, let’s say I’m a new 9th grade teacher at a public charter school in Chicago. For the first time this year, our school is implementing the use of Rosetta Stone as part of our world languages curriculum. The problem is that I missed the PD for the software because I had two sick kids at home the day our school held the training. I did some research on my own, but I am still having trouble with a couple of software features. Using BLU I can search for schools who are using the same software and see how others are solving the same problem.
To do this I run a search with the keywords “School type: Public Charter” and “EdTech products: Rosetta Stone.” The search yields three results, two in California, and one right up the road from me in Wisconsin. Now I can look at the profile page of the school in Wisconsin.
It looks like they are using Rosetta Stone for their world languages classes, too. I wonder if they know of any additional training materials. Since their director of digital learning has contact information listed here, I can reach out to her and see if she might be able to help me.
Here is another example of the usefulness of BLU. Say that our superintendent would like the principal, a few of my fellow K-2 teachers, and me to visit a school that has already implemented a blended learning environment, specifically a flipped classroom. I can search for “Flipped Classroom” and filter the results by grades “kindergarten, 1, and 2.” My search yields one result—Wildwood IB World Magnet School in Chicago, Illinois.
I can check out their profile page. It looks like they launched their program in 2013, so they might be someone who could provide insight on how to get started, how to implement, and how to maintain their initiatives. I think we should call them to see if we can schedule a visit.
BLU is a powerful resource for school leaders, teachers, researchers, policymakers, and parents who are interested in using blended learning to transform the monolithic, factory-model learning system of most schools into a student-centered learning system. Here are some advantages of using BLU.
• The search features are highly customizable, so no matter the specificity of your search, you can look for exactly what you need.
• Using the directory, you can view profiles of schools and their blended-learning programs that provide information regarding test scores, which EdTech products they are using, implementation challenges, and more.
• You can create your own profile to let other users see how your school has implemented blended learning.
• Another feature of the directory is a timeline that allows users to see what changes schools have made to their programs over time.
If your school has implemented blending learning, I highly encourage you to create your own profile and start connecting today. To get started, use this link to create your own profile.