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Embracing the benefit of blended learning

This year, Emmett made a district-wide shift to blended learning (KBOI).

The Emmett Independent School District is taking the ways traditional learning works well and is blending them with today's technology in a way that works better.

This year, Emmett made a district-wide shift to blended learning.

"What we are trying to do is bring the very best of the teacher to the very best of technology," said Superintendent Wayne Rush. "We are giving teachers a technology that, quite frankly online schooling has had for years. But, we want our teachers to have that also. Along with just meeting with kids in the classroom, that interpersonal relationship that is so important to really good learning."

A peek inside the district's classrooms will reveal what may appear to be students just messing around on computers, but the reality is they are hard at work.

"Technology is used a lot in [our] classroom," said Lindsey Adams, 3rd Grade Teacher. "From playing games to testing."

Of course, changing a system that has been in place for centuries doesn't come without a couple of challenges.

"The kids love it. They are extremely engaged!" said Adams, "But, sometimes we can be overly into it. So, we really want to make sure they are working together with the technology and [are] not just zoned out!"

So, the teachers try to mix things up by encouraging students to take part in these different learning environments:

  1. The Campfire - Students sit and listen to a wise instructor, be it a teacher or another student.
  2. The Watering Hole - Students learn from each other anonymously.
  3. The Cave - Each student works alone.

This teaching technique may not be traditional, but the district says it's really 'clicking' for the students.

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