Dublin Villager

Blended learning gaining popularity in Dublin

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Many of the summer classes available to Dublin high school students can be completed sitting poolside.

Dublin City Schools will offer physical education and Ohio Graduation Test Prep classes at Dublin Scioto and Dublin Jerome high schools this summer, but other classes will be completed in a blended learning model that will have students completing most coursework online.

Dublin City Schools began offering blended learning summer school classes last year and this year will offer 18 classes ranging from American Government and English IV to Physical Science and Chinese I.

Students will meet face-to-face with teachers on the first day of classes June 9 and June 30, but will complete most coursework online after that.

"Health is far and away the most popular (course) with kids," said Tracey Miller, Dublin City School's director of secondary learning.

"It's something kids feel comfortable to complete online."

With online classes first offered to Dublin City School students last summer, some are still getting used to the classes that offer a great deal of freedom and are also available during the school year.

"Blended learning is not for every kid and their learning style," Miller said. "We have this to give kids options.

"Some kids prefer to sit in the classroom with the teacher for a semester, some kids can learn online," he said.

"We want to give kids options and opportunities," Miller said.

The online classes were created and are taught by Dublin City School teachers.

After the initial class meeting, the teachers don't disappear. Miller said they set up classroom time to talk to students with problems and can even Skype with students online.

Online offerings are more popular in the summer, but Miller said they're sometimes taken by students during the school year who are hoping to make up a class or graduate early.

"This gives them flexibility in the schedule," he said.

The blended learning model can also help students prepare for college.

"More and more colleges are going to the blended learning format for a number of courses," Miller said.

"We want to make sure kids get the experience here so they know what it's like."

Some students can't handle the freedom from the classroom, though.

"Some kids get into and realize I don't have the self discipline, I didn't have the time," Miller said.

"We tell our kids these are Dublin courses. They're not some canned course that will be easy to blow through. It's not easier, it's just different," he said.

"Some flourish and would rather stay up all night on a Friday and knock out a couple days work than sit in class."

Semester and full-year online courses will be offered this summer.

Registration for the classes must be completed by May 28.

For more information on blended learning classes offered this summer, look online at dublinschools.net/summerschool.aspx.

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