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BlendEd

Bay Area BlendEd Courses Announced

The Athenian School, The College Preparatory School, Lick­-Wilmerding High School, Marin Academy, and The Urban School are proud to announce a series of blended courses available for enrollment in academic year 2016-2017. The  courses described to the right are the product of the newly formed Bay Area BlendEd Consortium. The Consortium provides a unique educational opportunity for juniors and seniors, allowing them to access an expanded array of challenging, upper-­level electives and to take classes with peers and teachers from these five schools. These exciting new courses combine online and face-­to-­face instruction and will use the Bay Area as a learning laboratory. BlendEd will help prepare students for the changing methods of instruction and communication they will see in college and in the workforce, while preserving the fundamental relational culture that lies at the hearts of our schools’ educational missions.
 
Enrolling in BlendEd Courses
The BlendEd courses are available to juniors and seniors in the five consortium schools. The courses and full descriptions will be listed in the course catalog at each school and available for eligible students during the course selection process at each consortium school. Class sizes will be limited to 15 students, three from each school. The small class size affirms our commitment to meeting individual student needs and the building of strong classroom cultures where students feel equally invested in helping each other succeed. Interested students are encouraged to inquire early.

BlendEd Course Structure
BlendEd courses combine demonstrated best practices for online learning with face-­to-­face instruction, while taking advantage of the geography, talent, and culture of the Bay Area. The instructors of these courses are gifted and committed faculty from the five BlendEd Consortium schools. Students will access these courses via a learning management system (LMS), where they can engage in a variety of ways, including reviewing materials, exploring digital media, participating in group discussions, and submitting their work. These courses are interactive with significant time spent working asynchronously in the LMS along with occasional virtual class meetings. Each course will also include a minimum of three face-­to-­face sessions. Students must have reliable access to the Internet and access to a device such as a desktop computer, laptop computer, or tablet.

BlendEd Contacts (Site Coordinators) at Each School:

Megan Leich, Site Coordinator The Athenian School megan.leich@athenian.org
Lori Hébert, Site Coordinator The College Preparatory School lori@college-prep.org
Don Rizzi, Site Coordinator Lick-Wilmerding High School drizzi@lwhs.org
Liz Gottlieb, Marin Academy lgottlieb@ma.org
Riley Maddox, Site Coordinator The Urban School rmaddox@urbanschool.org

For more information and detailed course descriptions, please visit us on the web at www.blendedconsortium.org.
 

This Is BlendEd

    • This Is BlendEd

      This Is BlendEd

      What is BlendEd? Great question! The BlendEd Consortium is a partnership between five Bay Area independent schools that allows us to offer our students cool, unique, and innovative electives—courses designed to enhance online learning with face-to-face time, lots of experiential learning, and going on some awesome field trips. BlendEd courses get our students outside their classrooms and engaging with the many natural and cultural resources around the Bay Area!

Enroll in a BlendEd Course

Questions?

List of 1 members.

  • Elizabeth Gottlieb 

    Science Teacher and Girls Varsity Cross Country Head Coach
    (415) 482-3276

BlendEd FAQ

Why participate in a BlendEd class? The Bay Area BlendEd Consortium (BlendEd) provides a unique educational opportunity for MA juniors  and seniors, allowing them to access an expanded array of courses as well as an opportunity to work  with students and teachers beyond MA. Using a blended model of online and experiential instruction,  BlendEd courses represent a unique range of high­level elective topics enriched by Bay Area  resources. BlendEd combines best practices for online learning with our partner schools' strengths in  direct classroom instruction and experiential learning, giving students practice in self­motivation and 
independence along with the technical expertise they will need in college and beyond.

How are the classes structured?
Classes meet face­to­face a minimum of three to five times per semester, as well as through a mix of  all­class and small group online videoconference meetings. The face­to­face sessions are held at one  of the partner schools or at a specific location relating to the class topic. Students access the class  materials through the BlendEd online learning management system (for MA students, this is an online  repository similar to myMA). Students will be responsible for determining when and where to  complete independent class work, similar to how they now work on homework for their MA courses.

For the online sessions of the course, are the students at home or at MA? Depending on each teacher’s requirements, the synchronous videoconference sessions will happen in the evening and/or over weekends. During the asynchronous, independent work portion of the  course, students must be able to manage their time both at school and at home. When and where are the face­to­face sessions held? Each course teacher determines when and where the face­to­face sessions occur. Often, these  gatherings are scheduled at a location specific to the class, such as a film studio, environmental  firm, park, etc. Many face-to-face sessions happens on weekends, though teachers are allowed to use one school day per semester for a face-to-face session.

Are there dedicated quiet spaces at MA to work? MA’s Library is always available to students for quiet time and studying. We also recommend that BlendEd students have a desk or table in a quiet room at home in order to participate in the online videoconference classes or small group sessions, as well as to complete homework and independent study. Students also need internet access at home (MA can assist students in obtaining that if needed).

What are the technological requirements for participation in a BlendEd class? Students enrolled in BlendEd courses should have regular and reliable access to a computer with a high­speed internet connection. Some courses may also require a microphone and webcam or specialized software which MA can provide. Please contact Laura Webber (lwebber@ma.org), MA’s BlendEd Site Coordinator for support in meeting this expectation.

Who can enroll and is there specific criteria that will be used to determine which students may register for a BlendEd class?
For the 2016-17 school year, the courses are open to juniors and seniors. Each of the partner  schools receives three seats in each class, with 3 extra seats reserved as "floaters" for special circumstances. Classes are limited to 18 juniors and/or seniors. Students who have shown a high  level of independence, reliability and academic achievement are encouraged to register for a spot in  one of the BlendEd courses. 

How many BlendEd courses can I take?
Students are allowed to take one BlendEd course per semester. 

Can I take a BlendEd course as an 8th class? No. A BlendEd course can be taken as a regular class in a 6­class load or as a 7th class with a  properly executed petition to exceed course load recommendation.

Is there additional tuition required for taking a BlendEd course?
Tuition for a BlendEd course is covered in MA’s annual tuition and fee structure. MA’s standard  financial aid protocols will be followed in situations for which there are additional fees for books, field  trips, software, etc.

How will student performance be assessed and evaluated in a BlendEd course,  especially if it’s a non­MA teacher? Is there a mid­term or interim evaluation?  Each teacher will follow his/her own school’s approach to assessment, which will include an interim  or midterm evaluation, as well as a final course grade. MA teachers will continue to use our assessment practice of providing rich, specific feedback on assignments, as well as rubrics and  interim and course reports. 

Is the course schedule the same as MA’s regular academic schedule? BlendEd courses follow a special schedule that does not coincide exactly with MA’s academic  schedule. While the BlendEd schedule aligns closely with MA's schedule, there are some differences. Each BlendEd teacher schedules his/her course's spring break, for instance. BlendEd teachers, however, are very aware of special situations--MA's minicourse week, for example--and will work with students to make appropriate adjustments to coursework due dates.

Will my child be able to participate in athletics, theater, music or other after school activities if s/he takes a BlendEd course?
Yes. In most situations, taking a BlendEd course will not interfere with co­curricular activities at MA,  although we strongly suggest you speak with your advisor and/or our site coordinator, Laura Webber  (lwebber@ma.org), Academic Technology Coordinator, to optimize your schedule.

Are parents able to communicate with a BlendEd teacher from another school? Yes, parents receive contact information for their student’s BlendEd teacher. Following our usual  MA protocol, parents should first contact the teacher about any issues related to their student, as  well as MA’s BlendEd site coordinator, Laura Webber. MA parents may also contact their student’s  advisor with any questions or concerns. Who at MA oversees the students’ non­MA­taught BlendEd work? Each school has a site coordinator who, among other things, is tasked with ensuring MA BlendEd  students are able to have a positive BlendEd experience – technologically, academically and  personally.  MA’s BlendEd site coordinator is Liz Gottlieb, and she can be reached at  lgottlieb@ma.org.

How do colleges view a BlendEd course?
All courses are awarded credit by each school based on a shared rubric that ensures a common set of  standards for the quality of instruction, the way students are assessed, and high expectations for  student learning. The courses are equal in rigor to our existing elective courses. As online and blended  courses have become increasingly common, most schools do not note the instructional mode (online,  blended, or face­to­face) on transcripts. The BlendEd Consortium follows this practice.

Are these classes UC approved?
BlendEd courses meet iNACOL (International Association for K­12 Online Learning) standards. In addition, BlendEd course offerings are UC approved to fulfill the “g” (elective) requirement for 2016-2017. Some courses may also meet “a-f” requirements for 2016-2017. Check with your school Coordinator if you have any questions.

We chose MA because it’s MA, but BlendEd isn’t only MA. Why would my student want to participate in this new endeavor? 
MA believes strongly that students must be well prepared to navigate smoothly between in­classroom and digital classroom modes of instruction, as colleges and future employers will seek out people with these skills. Students taking a BlendEd course learn to work independently, manage time effectively,  and satisfy their curiosity about topics relevant to them. The BlendEd initiative aligns with MA’s core  value of extending learning beyond the classroom and enables students to take advantage of our vast  regional resources. And finally, taking a BlendEd class allows students to experience learning with nonMA teachers who are specialists in their subjects and with students from across the Bay Area.

What courses are being offered for 2016-2017?
Bay Area Field Ecology (Fall)
Climate Change: Scientific Principles, Impacts, & Human Responses (Fall)
Creative Writing: Very Short Stories NEW! (Fall)
Mandarin V (Fall)
Seismic Studies in the Bay Area NEW! (Fall)
Bay Area Cinema (Spring)
Beats, Rhymes & Life: An Exploration of Hip-Hop, its History & Global Impact (Spring)
Environmental Justice and the Social Determinants of Health (Spring)
Introduction to Organic Chemistry (Spring)
Web Design & Development (Spring)
#Entrepreneurship NEW! (Spring)
Multivariable Calculus (Full-Year)

Where can I get more information?
Please visit www.blendedconsortium.org for more information or contact Liz Gottlieb at lgottlieb@ma.org.