Administrators Learn To Improve Nebraska Schools

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Administrators from across Nebraska are in Kearney at Administrators' Day to learn how to improve their schools.

Topics at the three-day conference range from how to get young children interested in learning to data analysis for schools. But one initiative being pushed into Nebraska schools is Blended Education.

"Blend-Ed is a combination of face-to-face learning, or online learning and using elements of digital tools. Within that, it really gives that student the ownership of their learning," said Beth Kabes, the Distance Learning Coordinator.

A big part of Blend-Ed is ensuring students have access to technology, which the education commissioner says is vital.

"I think it's absolutely critical that we find ways to put those tools in their hands. Career skills are tied to technology in so many different ways, but information is tied to that," said Matt Blomstedt, the Nebraska Education Commissioner.

Blomstedt said that today, students are held to higher standards, otherwise, they won't be able to succeed.

"No longer that we just transmit information to students, but they actually have to critically think about and organize that information and find that information to be successful," said Blomstedt.

Blend-Ed has been successful in pilot programs in nearby states, including Kansas.

"We see in classrooms, that are initiating this type of environment, are seeing growth in their students. So results is positive. They're seeing two-years growth, they're seeing students take on their own learning. That's important in the why we want to continue really pushing blend-ed in the state of Nebraska," said Kabes.

In addition to Blend-Ed, The Department of Education is focused on raising the bar in all areas of Nebraska education. A new standard for English and Language Arts will be approved in September