Our Lady of the Lake Catholic School is a blended learning school. Blended learning combines online delivery of educational content with the best features of classroom interaction and live instruction to personalize learning, allow thoughtful reflection, and differentiate instruction from student to student across a diverse group of learners.
Blended learning is not the same as technology-rich instruction. It goes beyond one-to-one computers and high-tech gadgets. Blended learning involves leveraging technology to afford each student a more personalized learning experience, meaning increased student control over the time, place, path and/or pace of his or her learning. When technology and teaching inform each other, educational content becomes dynamic reaching students of varying learning styles. In other words, blended learning classrooms can reach and engage students in a truly customizable way.
Mathematics classes in grades five through eight use the flipped classroom model. In this method, teachers use online media to deliver notes, lectures and related course materials. Students review these materials at home at their own pace. Classroom periods become “hands-on” work periods where the teacher, who will have already delivered her lecture digitally, is free to field questions, engage class-wide discussions or offer other means of support to each student. "Flipping" reinforces student-centered learning, allowing students to master content in an individual way.
English Language Arts classes at OLL use a station rotation model. In this model, students spend part of their class time in a small group with direct instruction from the teacher, part of their class time online with digital instruction and another part of their class time in a small group for a practicum or hands-on piece of their learning. Research shows that blended learning's real strength is its ability to transforms a largely transmissive method of teaching (for example, a teacher lecturing) into a truly interactive one, allowing for efficient individualized instruction. Students exposed to both face-to-face and online education are more successful than students entirely in one educational approach or the other.