The Blender

Blended Learning at Hickory Hills

A Book Study in Newsletter Form

"Blended" by Michael B. Horn & Heather Staker
Chapter 8 - Choose the Model

It's time to figure out how to operationalize this vision, pick among the blended learning models and customize it to fulfill your vision. Chapter 8 is all about deciding what blended learning model is going to work best or combing models for the problem you are trying to solve. This chapter walks the readers through six essential questions you need to answer when trying to decide: 1)What problem are you trying to solve? 2) What type of team do you need to solve the problem? 3) What do you want students to control? 4) What do you want the primary role of the teacher to be? 5) What physical space can you use? 6) How many internet-connected devices are available?

Thinking back to chapter 3 when the book discussed the difference between core problems (ex. wide gaps in student reading levels in one grade level) verses nonconsumption problems (ex. the need for credit recovery) - "In general today, sustaining models of blended learning are better matched for core problems , and disruptive models of blended learning are better matches for nonconsumption problems."

I'm not going to take the time to walk you through each of the six essential questions because there is a fabulous graphic on pages 242-243 (Appendix 8.1: Which Blended-Learning Model Matches Your Circumstances Best?) that quickly matches the correct model in correlation to specific answers to the six questions that can be used as a quick guide. However, I will walk you through a few highlights that I pulled away from this chapter as I read.

The questions that jumped out to me personally were 3) What do you want student's to control? and 4) What do you want the primary role of the teacher to be? The book helped me think about this in relation to what we want the students' experience to be and the amount of control we want them to have in the sense of time, place, path, and pace of learning. In also gave heavy thought in regards to the role of the teacher: sometimes the best thing a teacher can do is deliver high-quality face-to-face instruction, but in other instances when students are thriving with online content, the best role for the teacher is to move away from the front of the classroom and help to design the student's learning, provide support, mentor, facilitate discussions, evaluate student work and enrich.

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Jerry Blumengarten


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