What is Blended Learning?

Have you ever wondered what Blended Learning really is, where it came from or maybe even why is it becoming an ever more prevalent word in society? More than just a phrase, it’s a style of learning that in our opinion is a HUGE benefit to many students out there who have found that neither the conventional school system nor the entirely online system works for them. 

We like the Christensen Institute’s definition:

A formal education program in which a student learns at least in part through online delivery of content and instruction, with some element of student control over time, place, path and/or pace and at least in part at a supervised bring-and-mortar location away from home.”

Some think of blended learning as the “mass customization of education,” in that we can now individualize instruction according to student interest and ability — like we customize our computers and cell phones to make them just the way we like them.  We call it the best way for students of all ability levels to achieve their personal best.

Here’s a link to a great article from the Washington Post to explain the concept: Here’s how we can reinvent the classroom for the digital age.

Finally, a helpful Wikipedia page about Blended Learning. The video on the right-hand side of this page is a good introduction, too.

College Counseling Services Now Available

Kathryn Kelly attended the Summer Training Institute at Swarthmore in August 2018 and is now a member of both the Independent Education Consultants Association (IECA) and the National Association of College Admissions Counseling (NACAC), offering college counseling assistance for colleges in the US and internationally.  We specialize in helping students achieve unique college and career goals. One of our students is currently attending Temple University's campus in Japan where she is studying Japanese and International Business; another is applying to Cambridge to study advanced math; another is studying to be a commercial airline pilot at Rocky Mountain College; another is applying to colleges this fall to become a cybersecurity expert.  Find more information at www.yourcollegeconsultant.com.

We Offer Accuplacer Tests and Proctoring

Accuplacer tests are required to place into college English and math courses at UNR, TMCC, WNC, Sierra College, and others.  Instead of taking the tests at the college, you may now take them at I-School.  $35 per test and results are immediate.  Call 775.831.2423 or email admin@ischools.us to make an appointment.

Proctoring is also available, at $50 per exam.

I·School in the News

February 2018 update: I·School passed its mid-cycle accreditation visit and looks forward to the next round of visits in three years.

June 2015:  With encouragement from WCSD, I·School earns six-year accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) as a Supplementary Education Program.  Translation:  any of our hundreds of carefully vetted courses are now transferable to any high school in the nation AND we are no longer limited to offering only courses currently given somewhere in Washoe County School District.  That’s actually state law.  Yes, students can now take and transfer credit for Japanese, marine biology, and many more.  And we still issue diplomas as a satellite of Independence High School in Washington State.  Isn’t it nice to have choices?

WASC accreditation was followed by NCAA accreditation in July 2015 — important for our students who travel to compete in athletic events. ISchool now offers over 100 NCAA-approved courses — more than any high school in the district.

Here are some recent articles about I-School that highlight how today’s “alternative” form of education is a glimpse of how we will learn in the years to come, thanks to the ability of technology to individualize learning.  (Remember when a cell phone was an “alternative” kind of phone?)

May 2015:  There’s an ‘i’ in this team: North Tahoe specialty school turning the pages on alternative education.

April 2015:  Inspiring Thoughtful Change.

April 2015:  Environmental scientist turned full-time mom drawing attention for blended-learning model.

Cybersecurity and Computer Forensics

Want to study computer science in college, but don’t have many courses available to take in high school? Among many computer courses we offer are individual courses in cybersecurity, forensics, and other advanced applications of computer science. Some courses combine to a certificate in specialized areas. Please call or write for information.

Support I•School when you buy from Amazon!

Here are some frequently asked questions about the Amazon Smile program.

What is AmazonSmile?

AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization. You can choose from nearly one million organizations to support.

How do I shop at AmazonSmile?

To shop at AmazonSmile simply go to smile.amazon.com from the web browser on your computer or mobile device. You may also want to add a bookmark to AmazonSmile to make it even easier to return and start your shopping at AmazonSmile.

How do I select a charitable organization to support when shopping on AmazonSmile?

On your first visit to AmazonSmile, you need to select a charitable organization to receive donations from eligible purchases before you begin shopping. We will remember your selection, and then every eligible purchase you make on AmazonSmile will result in a donation.

Can I change my charity?

Yes, you can change your charity any time. Your AmazonSmile purchases after the change count towards your newly selected charity. To change your charity, sign in to smile.amazon.com on your desktop or mobile phone browser and simply select “Change your Charity” in “Your Account.”

How much of my purchase does Amazon donate?

The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price from your eligible AmazonSmile purchases. The purchase price is the amount paid for the item minus any rebates and excluding shipping & handling, gift-wrapping fees, taxes, or service charges. From time to time, we may offer special, limited time promotions that increase the donation amount on one or more products or services or provide for additional donations to charitable organizations. Special terms and restrictions may apply. Please see the relevant promotion for complete details.

Can I receive a tax deduction for amounts donated from my purchases on AmazonSmile?

Donations are made by the AmazonSmile Foundation and are not tax deductible by you.

Is this program secure?

Absolutely! All purchases are made through Amazon.com. No account, payment, or order information is collected or processed by us. It’s exactly like shopping directly through Amazon.com, except that we receive a percentage of your purchase when you access Amazon through our website. Free to you, invaluable to us!

Interested in helping us grow?

Your support is always greatly appreciated. Below are a few easy steps that you can help us grow.

1)  Write!  Submit a testimonial on our website, add your rating to greatnonprofits.org, or send us a short letter about the value of I·School to Northern Nevada.  Your experiences help tremendously with our efforts to obtain grants to provide scholarship support to part-time and full-time students.

2)  Buy!  Shop at Amazon and a portion of your purchase goes to ISchool. Sign up for the Amazon “Smile” program, and designate eLearning Cafes/ISchool as one of the organizations you would like to contribute to through your purchases. Call or stop by and we will be happy to show you how to set it up.

3)  Sign up!  Get word of newsletters, workshops and events by signing up here.

4)  Fix!  Need help with learning how to use, fix or update your computer, phone or tablet?  Want to learn how to use Microsoft Office, Photoshop, or many other software packages?  Let one of our students work on it with you under teacher supervision in return for a donation to ISchool.  It’s great career training and they are very good at it.

5)  Donate! We are a 501c3 not-for-profit educational organization, and your donations are tax-deductible. You can use this link to Paypal to donate. Thank you!