The Rocketship network of charter schools has made a name for itself in the world of school choice — and attracted $2 million from the Obama administration to help it grow — with its “blended learning” model that incorporates traditional classroom settings with a computer “Learning Lab” for students.
The idea behind the lab was that students could learn basic lessons in math and reading while teachers could work with students on more complicated material. Part of the attraction, too, was that the computers would cost less than hiring more teachers. Well, it turns out that the vaunted “Learning Lab” isn’t working so well. In fact, it has turned out to be so much less than expected that Rocketship is revamping it.
Here’s what my colleague Lyndsey Layton wrote about the Learning Lab in this 2012 story about Rocketship and its co-founder and chief executive officer, John Danner:
In each Rocketship school, children file into a “Learning Lab” every day, where they sit at computer carrels that line the perimeter of the room.