Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Friday, January 17, 2014

Programs to explore learning that mixes online tools, in-person teaching

The future of blended learning — face-to-face instruction combined with online content and tools — will be featured in Milwaukee and Madison next month through programs co-sponsored by the La Follette School.

"A Promising Path: Online/Blended Learning in Wisconsin's K-12 Schools" will highlight trends and innovations in new technology-enabled, competency-based and personalized school models.

Each program will feature Susan Patrick, president of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning, and Michael Horn, co-founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute and author on theories of education innovation.

Each will also feature Wisconsin educators using some of these approaches. They will speak about their experiences and the promise they think these changes hold for the future of Wisconsin and its children.

"We know big educational changes are in the wind, and technology is a key driver," says Terry Shelton, outreach director at La Follette, a co-sponsor of the event with the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute.

WPRI president Mike Nichols agrees.

"This is an opportunity to explore those emerging trends, form a vision of what the next five to 10 years look like and start to design the system that will improve student success in a competitive, global economy," he says. "We need to know the policy barriers and opportunities as we continue to move from a time-based to learning-based educational model. We know that, with the right resources, learning can happen for anytime and anywhere."

The Milwaukee program will be Tuesday, February 4, in the Italian Community Center, 631 E. Chicago St. from 1- 3 p.m. That event costs $10.

The Madison program will be Wednesday, February 5, in room 411 South of the Wisconsin Capitol, from 9-11 a.m. That event is free and open to the public. Reservations are requested, but not required.

Sarah Archibald, a 1998 La Follette alum and aide to Sen. Luther Olsen, is helping coordinate the Madison event. Olsen, chair of the Senate Education Committee, will kick off the program with a welcome and outline of the issues. Public affairs professor emeritus John Witte will moderate the Madison discussion.

Registration for either event may be made at www.wpri.org or by calling 414-225-9940.