Much of the enthusiasm for the potential of blended learning comes from what is currently a math program. School of One, operating inside three New York City public middle schools, is an exciting experiment interweaving a wide range of online learning possibilities with classroom instruction. Indeed, a visitor needs only to walk into School of One’s classroom space at Intermediate School 228 in Brooklyn to see what customized education looks like. The classroom is an open space that runs the length of the building wing, but is subdivided by bookshelves into workspaces where small groups of students work with the teacher or individually with laptops. The first sight that greets the eye is an airport-style video display, listing not cities and flights, but students’ names and how they will receive their instruction during that period. For those who are starting on the computer, a press of a button will take them to a lesson provided by 1 of more than 50 content providers. Each lesson runs about half an hour, and students may switch from one content provider to another on the same skill. Others work in small groups with a teacher, who will typically oversee two or three groups of students, the content and groupings informed by data from the student’s work online.
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