The world of education is changing – FAST!
While some schools operate the same way they did 25 years ago, others are evolving into schools that take advantage of new tools and methods and are creating the models of tomorrow. While traditional “brick and mortar” schools often are slow to change we must make sure that proven approaches are not arbitrarily discarded in favor of simply “new”.Click here to Read More
Rapid advances in technology have enabled “online” education to enter the marketplace which in some cases replace traditional classroom education with a “virtual” classroom where teachers and students interact remotely. Newer “hybrid” schools are leading with innovation and an approach that is rapidly creating a new world of education. This movement is already having an impact on models for new Charter Schools and certain existing schools but many parents and community members do not have a clear picture of what these schools are or which model might be the best choice. Here is a quick and rather superficial overview of some of the models out there today and where we see the evolution taking us.
Traditional “brick and mortar” schools have been the backbone of education and will continue to dominate the market for quite some time. The benefits of such schools are well documented and for a portion of the marketplace they provide an environment that can support a “whole child” approach that delivers quality education as well as exposing children to situations that will help develop “life skills” too. A major challenge here is the heavy burden placed on (typically underpaid and overworked) teachers. Recruiting and retaining quality teachers is a problem that will exist as long as the model does.
Online education has its place in addressing the needs of all communities. This is still a very big country and not all children have the opportunity to attend a traditional school. We have also seen success in advanced or adult education applications where learning becomes an individual experience supported and monitored with remote services. Not everyone can be effective with this model as evidenced in business models (tele-commuting) that are not universally adopted.
Somewhere between Traditional and Online are Hybrid schools. Hybrids, often described as “blended” models try to create a balance of personal and individual (self-learning) utilizing technology to support human interfaced learning. Commonly we look at four hybrid models:
Rotation models bring self-learning into a Traditional environment with a part of the instruction being provided by a teacher and part. There are different approaches to this model including Lab, Flip and Station methods that we will address at a different time.
The Flex model in a Traditional environment has the student follow a customized content, self-driven activity under the guidance of a teacher. Interaction is often face-to-face as needed or following a scheduled review process. As with most hybrid models, students must have or be able to develop the self-disciplines necessary to be successful.
A model that is more like the Online approach is the Individual Education Program (IEP) where the student works online and independent of direct teacher intervention. This is essentially an Online model where the student participates at a Traditional school facility.
Last, but certainly not least, is the Enriched Virtual Education (EVE) model.
This model is not only an opportunity for students to experience the benefits of Traditional and Online models but also provides some unique space and resource utilization benefits to the school itself. Similar in concept to “Executive Education” programs offered by many universities. It operates with student learning in an Online method but requires periodic attendance at a Traditional school for testing, reviews, lab or other supplemental instruction.
Understanding the different models is beneficial when considering which school is best for YOUR child. For the aspiring charter school operator or those who understand that there might be a better way to serve their community we hope you will consider these models in your strategic and tactical planning!
Impact Navigators provides business development consulting services to public charter schools. For more information about Impact Navigators contact us at: William Brown at William.Brown@ImpactNavigators.com Angela Hansen at Angela.Hansen@ImpactNavigators.com