By Natalia Pavlina
Santa Clara’s Counseling Psychology Department has plans to help revitalize Catholic education in the Diocese of San Jose. This coming June, a new Academy of Blended Learning will instate a year-long program.
The new project will involve a collaboration between both the Diocese of San Jose and the School of Education and Counseling Psychology at Santa Clara. More than 100 teachers and administrators at seven local Catholic schools will also participate in a year of professional development in order to receive a new Certificate in Blended Learning.
Steve Johnson, director of the Academy of Blended Learning at Santa Clara, stated that “the benefit of blended learning is to personalize the process so students learn what is important in the ways they can best learn.”
The academy is part of the Saint Katharine Drexel School Initiative, which “leverages governance models and technology capabilities that make Catholic Schools more effective, efficient and sustainable while growing an already strong Catholic Identity.”
According to recent research and investigation, blended learning is designed to strengthen school systems and create more effective ways of teaching. Blended learning is a method of teaching and learning involving both traditional face-to-face classroom education as well as recently developed computer and internet-mediated learning.
Furthermore, as technology becomes increasingly more significant to the daily lives of today and future generations, educators believe it is equally as important to integrate technology into our present and future school systems in order to remain relevant.
Johnson asserted that because “learning and teaching have changed in today’s world of ‘anytime, anywhere’ learning,” it is important for our education systems to reflect that change. “Blended learning brings together the best of what teachers, parents and classrooms have to offer, with the best that technology and the entire world can offer,” said Johnson.
Bishop Patrick J. McGrath also supports the Drexel School Initiative, and made a point to recognize the importance of San Jose schools adapting to the change and progress of our time, especially given the prevalence of technology in Silicon Valley.
“We must seize this moment to usher in a period of growth and stability, not simply manage a period of maintenance or decline,” he said. “The Saint Katharine Drexel School Initiative allows our educational system to respond proactively to these changes.”
Participants of the project will include K-8 teachers and administrators from other Diocesan schools where the blended learning strategy has already been implemented. The project is to be funded by the Sobrato Family Foundation.
Contact Natalia Pavlina at firstname.lastname@example.org.