Colorado Springs will allow public input on blended-learning concepts

Anyone interested in adding their two cents about blended learning, an education model that combines digital and traditional classroom work, can attend one of 13 meetings happening around the state, as part of new legislation passed last year to advance the method.

A meeting in Colorado Springs will be 4 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. Tuesday at Pikes Peak BOCES, 2883 S. Circle Drive.

Teachers and other educators, parents and students, business leaders and community members are invited to show up and give their input.

“We’re looking for what people in Colorado see as our future of education and help in envisioning how blended learning will impact Colorado’s schools and what we need to do to help make a shift to those models,” said Troy Lange, director of Colorado Empowered Learning.

The state-funded initiative born out of 2016 legislation seeks to “enhance equity and access in K-12 education through blended learning.”

The project has received $960,000 from the state for the fiscal year that ends June 30 to study the topic and issue a report on findings in July, in conjunction with Keystone Policy Center.

Blended learning “combines the best of digital learning and traditional classroom learning, and allows teachers to focus on helping students deepen their understanding and apply knowledge they’ve learned through digital resources,” Lange said.

The project is focusing on three pillars of service to schools and districts, he said. The first: providing supplemental courses to expand learning opportunities statewide. Currently, more than 200 courses are offered through Colorado Digital Learning Solutions, from basic high school English to aviation sciences.

“It’s pretty broad and very cool stuff,” Lange said.

The initiative also seeks to train teachers in blended learning principles and has more than 20 courses available that lead to teacher certification in blended learning.

Finally, the project is working on providing consultation to schools and districts statewide to “help…

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