Case Studies

Learning in the Blendedschools.net Cloud

Blendedschools.net
How do you deliver over 190 online courses to more than a hundred blended and virtual schools across the nation? Blendedschools.net has accomplished this by taking their learning to the cloud—SoftChalk Cloud that is! BSNCloud is a privately-branded implementation of the SoftChalk Cloud content authoring and learning object repository platform. Implemented in 2012, BSNCloud provides Blendedschools.net and their member schools with an easy way to collaboratively create and manage their online curriculum.

Blendedschools.net (BSN) is a not-for-profit organization that helps virtual and blended schools develop K12 curriculum, while training the school’s staff to use new learning technologies for online teaching. BSN also provides ongoing professional development and networking for its member institutions.

BSN uses a Master Course concept to help school districts develop their own online curriculum. Typically, BSN’s instructional designers work collaboratively with a districts’ practicing teachers to develop a Master Course. Then, the virtual and blended schools create their own copies of the master course and edit the content to meet their local needs. Teachers use BSNCloud to edit lessons, units, and assessments to customize the learning to individual students, groups of students, or to align with the local educational institution’s scope and sequence. Teachers can also create their own courses and supplement their courses with various learning objects, lessons or units from BSN master courses’ content.

BSNCloud is a cloud-based content authoring platform and learning object repository where teachers from member institutions have easy online access to create and edit lessons, units, and assessments. Content hosted in BSNCloud can also be easily linked into the schools’ learning management system for efficient management of the online curriculum. BSNCloud also provides ready access to an Open Educational Resource (OER) repository of freely distributed learning content.

Developed in collaboration with SoftChalk, BSNCloud is a private instance of the SoftChalk Cloud content authoring and learning object repository platform. The private SoftChalk Cloud platform was branded and customized to meet the needs of Blendedschools.net and its member schools and educational organizations.

BSNCloud has proved essential to the success of BSN’s virtual and blended learning initiatives. Deanna Mayers, BSN’s Director of Curriculum, says “the beauty of BSNCloud is that our schools can implement the content quickly, and easily customize it to match the scope and sequence of their local curriculum. And they can comment and rate the learning objects and lessons to give us direct feedback for future revisions and development initiatives.” Deanna also commented that because BSN’s clients use a variety of learning management systems and grading options, BSNcloud is also very efficient and scalable, since content can stay in BSNCloud where it can easily be edited, and the revisions automatically appear in any course, in any LMS.

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