Technology | Mission Dolores Academy

In 2011 Mission Dolores Academy partnered with Seton Education Partners to pioneer the concept of data-driven instruction based on the integration of online learning and traditional teacher-led instruction known as Blended Learning.

One of the first schools in the country to commit to integrating online learning into its core curriculum, blended learning at our school consists of students spending approximately a third of their class time working online and the rest offline.  

We use a “rotation model,” where students split into sub-groups that rotate between:

  • Self-directed, independent study using cutting-edge online curriculum including Khan Academy, I-Ready, Think Through Math, RAZ Kids, and Curriculet
  • Teacher-led small group and one-on-one instruction
  • Independent individual or small-group study offline (upper grades only)

Blended learning has many benefits, including:

  1. Individualized instruction. Through careful analysis of online data, lead teachers are able to design individualized learning paths to meet each student at their academic level. This allows students to work on areas of relative weakness and to delve deeper into areas of strength. 
  2. Increased teacher effectiveness.  Online content providers handle student assessment automatically, so teachers spend less time grading papers and more time with students. Teachers can analyze the data in near-real time and use that information to organize small groups for more effective instruction offline.
  3. Reduced cost.  The economics of education technology follows that of other forms of technology:  costs continue to drop as products also become more powerful.  Additionally, with half the class working independently online, the cost of a teacher can be spread out across larger class sizes while delivering more-effective, individualized instruction.