Feb 232015
 
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Moving Forward Report

We are pleased to release “Moving Forward: An Interim Report of Select AVI CHAI Blended Learning Initiatives in Jewish Day Schools,” by Dr. Leslie Siskin. This report charts the progress of day schools involved in some of AVI CHAI’s funded initiatives in blended/online learning, providing a window into the current state of the field.

Since the fall of 2010, The AVI CHAI Foundation has been at the forefront of the field of online/blended learning in Jewish day schools, providing schools with encouragement and assistance through a diverse set of grants. The goal of this work is “to improve the quality of day school education by increasing individualized data-based instruction and enabling students to develop skills and ways of think­ing needed in the 21st century, as well as to bring down the cost of education.” Through these grants, many day schools are now actively introducing and implementing blended and online learning. This report presents a qualitative analysis featuring important emerging findings from this work.

Please share this report widely with your lay leaders, schools and community. We hope that it will add to the growing conversation about online learning as an important and cutting-edge educational modality for 21st century Jewish day schools to consider, experiment in and discuss.

  • Dan Ab

    The purpose of blended learning efforts was to get the same or better education quality in Jewish day schools for less cost. The preliminary results show that, with a lot of work, the education goals might be met, but the cost savings are small to non-existent. At what point will the lack of significant cost savings mean that the underlying purpose is a failure? We might not be at that point yet, but this report doesn’t make me think there is a path in the next decade that will result in equivalent education quality with meaningful cost savings.

    • ekannai

      Personalized learning via blended and online modalities is
      relatively new, and the full effect may take time. More and more evidence shows that the educational goals are being met,
      and small cost savings trends are in sight. Cost is a tricky thing – while
      personalized learning may offer savings, schools and parents need to buy-in to
      realize these savings. It is not only about the technology or the teachers’
      capacity, it is also about stakeholders’ willingness to change the HR structure
      and size of classrooms. Personalized learning means that the schools are
      focused on individual students and their personal educational pathway rather
      than the traditional focus on the classroom as a whole. This gives management
      much more flexibility, but one can understand why it takes time for managers and parents alike to feel confident enough and realize
      these opportunities in full.