BlendEd Program Fosters Self-Motivated Education

Juniors and seniors at Marin Academy have a unique opportunity to take classes with peers and teachers from their own and four other Bay Area schools — The Athenian School, The College Preparatory School, Lick-Wilmerding High School, and The Urban School — in a partnership that combines face-to-face instruction with online learning.

The Bay Area BlendEd Consortium prepares students for the changing methods of instruction and communication they’ll see in college and the workforce, while staying true to their schools’ missions. The interactive courses include at least three face-to-face sessions and are accessed through a learning management system (LMS), where students can review materials, explore digital media, participate in group discussions, and submit their work. Class size is limited to 15; three students from each school may join a course.

Some offerings take advantage of the area’s geography, talent, and culture, including a Field Study Photography & Bay Area History course and Literature of the Golden Gate. Other options include Mandarin, multivariable calculus, gender studies, climate change studies, and a course that explores how race relations, environmental hazards, and natural disasters reveal social inequities and injustices.

“These courses allow students to engage with content they’re curious and passionate about at their own pace, on their own time, and with the support of online colleagues/peers from ‘sister’ schools,” says Marin Academy’s Liz Gottlieb, who’s teaching a Bay Area Ecology course this year. “Motivated and organized students can thrive in this setting, and the online learning format really fosters self-motivated education.”

Does your school do something similar?

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