Distributed Learning for K12 Part 2: Determine what you want to learn

In this brief blog series we'll be discussing the concept of Distributed Learning. What it is, the impact it has on K12 education, best practices for use in your school/district and other useful tips and tricks. Read part 1 here

Distributed learning allows for your students and teachers to learn in so may different ways, locations, times of day etc. Because of this, the amount of data generated increases exponentially, far more than you and your staff have time to analyze. So what can you do?

The first step is to determine what you want measure and why you want to measure it.

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This can vary from district to district, school to school. For example, you might want to...

  • Implement a blended instructional model: If you are thinking about implementing blended learning in your school it's useful to find out what your teachers know and what they don't. This way you'll be able to tailor professional development content to address the specific deficiencies of your staff.
  • Create adaptive learning paths for each student: Earlier the week, EdWeek published an article stating that 97% of a group of K12 leaders they surveyed have already invested in personalized learning. Identifying what resources and tools your students and teachers use to learn will have a massive impact when personalizing curriculum and content to fit each individual learners habits and preferences. 
  • Discern if parts of your curriculum are effective or not: Perhaps you want to figure out if that Math unit on Imaginary Numbers was effective, or you noticed that an entire class struggled with a French quiz, or you are considering updating the content of your Biology curriculum.

Whatever you want to measure, make sure you can identify the motivation behind it. 

It may prove helpful to talk to your teachers and students about what tools they use to learn, their learning preferences, where they feel they are struggling etc. You can do this informally or in a more formal matter (via a survey or questionnaire). 

If you want to dive a little deeper into the types of learning data that you can track and measure...

Read more here


Now that we've determined the learning data that we want to measure, we'll need to figure out how to track and collect all of that data. Part three will discuss how you can begin to do just that. 


Barbra Thoeming Director of Education Strategy at Thrivist, LLC