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Spotlight on: The rotation model of blended learning

As schools across America look for ways to provide individualized instruction for students at a variety of skill levels, many districts are turning to blended learning to bridge the gap. However, not all blended learning programs are alike. In fact, there are four separate models that can help educators find the mode of blended learning that best suits their teaching style and the needs of their students. One such model includes the use of rotations.

How does it work?
The rotation model of blended learning allows students to move between the use of technology – which allows them to learn new material at their own pace – and face-to-face instruction with teachers in a classroom environment. Students rotate based upon a fixed schedule between online learning and interaction with their teacher. Learning is split between the two modes of instruction. If the online instruction is done remotely, the student's teacher oversee his or her progress. 

What are the benefits?
With the rotation model, teachers can give each student the individualized attention that they need during designated face-to-face instruction time. In a traditional classroom where teachers are responsible for many students at once, it can be difficult to give each student one-on-one attention. The adaptive learning software that students use also allows them to work at their own pace, and collects data that educators can use to tailor their teaching style to help students be as academically successful as possible.

Are schools seeing results?
Many schools around the United States have already adopted the rotation model of blended learning, including Rocketship Education, which is a charter public school system for low-income students. Rocketship has been using blended learning to help close the achievement gap in California, and is seeing results. It is one of the top performing school districts in the state, with 80 percent of its students scoring proficient or advanced on the math portion of the California Standards Test. That's only three percent less than the ten most affluent school districts across The Golden State.

Do students need their own technology?
Students do not necessarily need their own technology devices for the rotation model to work, although a "bring your own device" program could be easily integrated. Schools could also work to institute a one-to-one program, providing a laptop computer for all students who do not have access to a computer at home. In this way, all students would be able to see the benefits of blended learning.