The Foundation for Blended and Online Learning has announced plans to introduce scholarship, grant, and research programs in an effort to boost the quality and availability of digital learning across the United States.
“On behalf of The Foundation we are proud to roll out an industry-wide effort to provide opportunities to students and educators in the blended and online space,” said Board Chairman, Kevin Chavous. “Currently, there are few charitable organizations unique to digital education and The Foundation was created to fill that gap. We seek to advance the field of blended and digital learning with an emphasis on giving back to schools, students, and communities.”
The Foundation hopes to achieve three main goals, including offering post-secondary scholarships to students, creating a grant program for educators and organizations that will allow for progress to be made in teaching and instruction, and the advancement of digital learning through research and collaboration with key stakeholders, writes Joshua Bolkan for The Journal.
The scholarship program will be available to graduates of blended and online learning programs across the country, with a special focus on those students who have shown an academic turnaround and further success. According to the website, the goal of the program is to offer financial support to graduates to allow them to achieve their educational goals beyond high school and to create life-long learners.
The scholarships differ in that they focus on students who have chosen to use technology to improve their educational experiences, both academically and personally. Money awarded can be put toward tuition and related post-secondary educational costs at four-year universities, community colleges, and vocational or trade schools.
Meanwhile, the Teacher Grant Program will offer money to teachers and counselors in blended and online learning programs in an effort to aid in student performance in academic achievement and growth. A repository of best practices will be created in the hopes of increasing access to effective instructional strategies that use technology. Categories such as special education, English language learning, remedial math strategies, and literacy intervention strategies will all be included.
Those who receive grants will be required to submit a digital summary report that offers an overview of their work while in the field. In order to be eligible, teachers and counselors must currently work for an accredited online or blended learning program within the United States.
The Foundation also plans to create various partnerships to perform industry-wide research on the increasing demand for these programs and the opportunities that such programs offer to students. Additional research projects will follow.
“This week America is celebrating National School Choice Week, and our national commitment to meet the needs of every child,” said Foundation Board member, Ken Campbell. “By increasing access to online and blended schools, we have allowed more families to choose the best educational option for their children and created powerful new ways of educating young people across the U.S.”
The Foundation for Blended and Online Learning is a new charitable organization launched by K12 in the hopes of advancing online and blended learning opportunities and outcomes.