The biggest initial obstacle that the school faced was the divide within the faculty about the efficacy of blended learning. Some faculty members felt initially that blended learning would not allow students to have as many hands-on learning experiences, but most faculty members have since come to embrace blended learning. The other big obstacle was to make the finances of their 1:1 laptop program work. The school knew it wanted to offer every student a personal laptop when it initially made the switch to a blended-learning program, but figuring out the financial aspects of providing every student with his/her own laptop was a big obstacle to overcome.
CESJDS Director of Technology Ginger Thornton said that blended learning "teaches better skills and gives more flexibility to students, but it can be hard for teachers to give up the level of control over the classroom that they are used to." In order increase teacher buy-in, Thornton recommends clearly explaining the value that the blended-learning program will add to the student experience.
Founded in 1965, the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School (CESJDS) is one of the largest K-12 Jewish day schools in North America. With the support of dedicated faculty and the opportunity to work with cutting-edge technologies, CESJDS prepares young men and women for active engagement in the Jewish community and leadership in American society.
Contact: Ginger Thornton
Contact Title: Director of Instructional Technology, Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School
Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School
1901 E Jefferson St
Telephone: (301) 881-1400
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