Bell schedules have not changed very much in the last hundred years. Sure we have block, modified block and all sorts of other configurations. However, students still process through a series of classes starting in the morning and end somewhere around 3:00PM. Learning happens at a specific time and stops when the bell rings. After school, all sorts of extra-curricular activities occur. I remember going to school all day and having marching band practice for two hours after school. I always wished there was a different way to schedule school.
What if football coaches learn that we can now have class anytime, anywhere and decide football practice should not start at 3:30PM? I think this could easily happen. With online and blended learning a whole new opportunity arises for athletics and all extra-curricular activities. Classes no longer need to be at specific times so the traditional schedule can be drop-kicked.
Let’s say you’re a football coach. You may decide you want practice to be from 8:00 – 10:00. Then the school schedule is built around this. I’m from Texas so the school schedule being built around football is a likely reality. Now with football in place, all extra-curricular activities follow suit and are scheduled in a large morning block. A few traditional classes are scheduled in a small time slot mid-morning and then a blended learning block in the afternoon. Students highly involved in athletics and other activities may choose to take most of their courses online in the evening.
I think the explosion of online learning will transform traditional bell schedules and I wouldn’t be surprised if athletics leads the charge. Sure, scheduling is only part of educational reform but it is definitely a key element. Send this link to your athletic director and see what they think.