Slaughter's Tech Moment
What is blended learning?
Blended learning has a different meaning depending on the audience or group that is discussing the idea. This difference of definition is due largely to the fact that blended learning is very much dependent on the teacher, the students, and the school system. The teacher takes different components, methods, and pedagogy in various styles to create a learning environment that is both rich and profound.
What blended learning is not is simply tech integration. Tech integration is using technology as a teacher to facilitate the delivery of knowledge. Blended learning brings online learning and face-to-face instruction together to create a seamless and deeper thinking environment.
Let's Look at Blended Learning
What does blended learning look like in a classroom?
There are various models of blended learning; I am going to share a few.
1. Driver Model: Mostly face-to-face with online supplements
The teacher provides videos, discussion, and the use of the 4 C's as an extension of the
direct instruction taking place.
2. Rotational: Fixed schedule/ small group model
Example: Teacher teaches a lesson, the teacher then meets with groups of students or one on one to address student needs. The other students may be watching content, researching based on a set expectation or clear direction for that research, while
another group is completing online practice, assessments, discussion (online or live), or meeting with a peer for review. The key to this type of model is exit tickets or other
forms of checking understanding and then using the data to give students feedback and form groups for future small group meetings. The other key to using this design is classroom management, and this takes place through setting expectations and getting students engaged.
3. In-flipped- Flipping occurs within the constraints of the class.
Teachers may have students watch a video or complete certain tasks to prepare learning as a bell ringer or at the end of the hour in preparation for the next days lessons.
4. Flipped Classroom- Flipping occurs outside of the typical classroom.
One of the best solutions for this is Edpuzzle. Keep in mind downloading content for students to take home if they do not have internet access at home. Always have an expectation linked to the assignment.
Things to consider when deciding to use a blended learning model.
- Will learning take place on-demand (flipped) or live?
- How can you use the technology in your classroom and require it to go a level deeper?
- Will your district support the movement?
- Is the infrastructure in place and do you have the devices needed? If not, can you get the devices? (Donors Choose, ask administration)
- Will you use free programs or programs that cost to facilitate what you would like to accomplish? Look at both established and beta programs. Make a pro and con list. Be sure that it will work for what you desire. These decisions are why backward design is so crucial to the success of blended learning.
- Be willing to fail and adjust your views. Things will not always go entirely the way you plan, but as long as a legitimate discussion, reflection, or thought process takes place; learning will occur.
Why should you use an Learning Management System (LMS)?
- Organize content
- Group students for differentiation
- Allow students to access material
- Create a place for online submissions, discussion, and feedback
- Give students the opportunity to create an ePortfolio
- Gather data and diagnostic information to drive instruction
- Management of resources and learning content
Awesome interactive worksheets and activities that can be assigned through a link, a code, or Goggle Classroom. Check it out here!
Adaptive site with many games and interactives for all grade levels.
Create or use interactive lessons with your students and get immediate data and give immediate feedback!
This is great for elementary age. You can create a shared class site or students blogs. Many teachers are using this as an online portfolio of student work. It is a great way to include parents and teach students computer literacy and digital citizenship,
Weebly for Education
Weebly for Education is a great place to create a website to host your classroom items or allow your students to create their own sites or blogs. You can create up to 40 student sites for free.
Lesson Flows are technology rich lesson plans created by teachers covering all subjects!
Weebly for Education
I have written about this resource several times, but it is so good!
Multiplayer quiz game
Adaptive Math Program, K-8th grade including Algebra. While this program does cost, it would be a wonderful way to incorporate an adaptive element to your math program.
Free fluency practice for math!
Here are some of the Learning Management Systems that have had great reviews!