Blended learning empowers a high school girl who aspires to a military career

Photograph of Tyanna Kaaialii playing softball.

“Time is precious,” Tyanna Kaaialii, a junior at Hawaii Technology Academy (HTA), remarked.

Tyanna enrolled in HTA, which uses a blended learning model, in 9th grade because its flexible schedule gave her more time to spend with her father, who retired from the military, and to practice softball. An avid player, Tyanna hopes to get a softball scholarship to college.

At HTA, Tyanna attends face-to-face classes two days a week, participates in live virtual classes one day a week, and engages in independent virtual learning from home two days a week. When she was in 10th grade, the school started using GradPoint®, a set of online courses and services now part of the Pearson Connexus suite of offerings, for its digital curriculum.

“I absolutely love GradPoint,” Tyanna said. She thinks the way lessons are broken down is great, explaining that the introductions, note-taking sessions, and reviews before quizzes are very helpful. She also likes the fact that she can take quizzes multiple times. “Sometimes I may get a good grade, but I keep taking the quizzes just to see the different questions and see how I can better myself in a subject.”

I have definitely succeeded more with GradPoint than with the other programs that HTA has had. I’ve learned more. I feel like I retain the information better.

Reflecting on her experiences so far using blended learning, Tyanna remarked, “I definitely have gotten what I had been looking for. I spend time with my dad, which is awesome. It’s given me more control over my schedule.”

And it’s improved her self-motivation. “That’s really important to me because I want to join the military,” Tyanna said.

“I’ve learned how to keep myself on track, which is something that growing up I did have a hard time with. I wasn’t a very independent person sometimes. I believe that I’ve definitely grown as a student. I feel more confident that I can do anything that I put my mind to.”

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