In a brand new classroom, it has become possible to have students direct their studies in a blended learning lab. The courses are all online, but there is also a licensed teacher at the ready. In the best of both worlds, students work at their own pace, guiding themselves through digital lessons, but also collaborating with their fellow students.
According to Principal Robby Goodman, the blended learning lab at Northridge Middle School in Middlebury, Indiana is exceeding expectations for success.
What is blended learning? It is the term describing the mixing of online and in person instruction. The new lab is a classroom setting with a large course catalog covering topics from web design to archaeology. The lab was proposed to the school board last spring as a means of preparing students for future careers and to bring the world into the classroom.
The enrollment of ten students was the goal, as this was the number necessary to offset the cost. At present, 23 students are enrolled in the lab.
“My favorite part is just the excitement and challenge of doing something new,” said Goodman. “I think that in Middlebury, we’re always looking for a best practice and finding something that that fits in our beliefs and what we think we do and should do as a school and school system.”