GO BLENDED, OR GO HOME: This month, Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) announced a recent partnership with The Learning Accelerator to make Rhode Island the first fully “blended-learning State” in the nation. While little Rhody has an active history of supporting the digital transition, the steps toward becoming a fully blended State remain unclear. “We don’t know [what the plan is] and the reason we don’t know is because we don’t want to develop the plan for our state, but rather have our state help develop the plan,” says Rhode Island Commissioner of Education, Deborah A. Gist.
The Commissioner's office will spend the next couple months touring the state in a series of meetings and workshops with community members, schools and parents. The Commissioner hopes to learn a lot about what’s working and what needs to be changed. “If there’s anything we need to do to include something new, take something away, or even get out of the way, then we want to know what we can do to ensure that teachers can use the tools to the greatest extent,” says Gist. By spring 2015, RIDE hopes to create a five year strategic plan that will support the spread of blended learning across the state.
The Learning Accelerator will provide $100,000 to support this work.