Would a Blended Learning Environment Work with Your Class?
When it comes to incorporating technology into your classroom, it should look more like a "revolution,” not an “evolution." (Sir Ken Robinson) Video lessons and blended learning environments can be an easy way to integrate technology, initiate learning and allow students to become more responsible for their own learning. "In general terms, blended learning combines online delivery of educational content with the best features of classroom interaction and live instruction to personalize learning, allow thoughtful reflection, and differentiate instruction from student to student across a diverse group of learners (iNACOL)." Video lessons are not just for students, but can also be used between colleagues to share ideas. Students’ ability to navigate through tech devices allows for educators to be creative in how they deliver materials. Students who have an opportunity to learn through various ways have a better chance of developing or enhancing skills in time management, critical thinking and problem solving. When lessons are interesting to students, they are more willing to invest the time needed to become the best learners they can be. Video lessons, along with classroom activities, can be one more tool educators use to ensure students are learning life skills.
Video lessons in the classroom can be used in many ways and provide an opportunity for learners of all levels. They can be used to support material that is taught in the classroom, teach new materials at home or used to communicate with other colleagues. A blended flipped classroom removes the walls of the classroom and allows for learning to continue at home. Video lessons can be created many ways, but one way that I found to be fast and easy is through Screencast-O-Matic. It’s free and can be used with Power Points and Prezi. Once finished, you can post on YouTube, email or Viemo. I often use Windows Movie Maker for my video lessons. Videos can be recorded with a Flip Camera or iPhone, than loaded on to your computer and dropped into Movie Maker. From there, you can edit videos by adding text or music, and make it live through YouTube or send via email. (My Video Example) My lesson was developed more for my colleagues than my students, but could be assigned ahead of class to view at home. Video lessons can be used as a teaching tool in the classroom or assigned to be watched at home. This allows for students to preview the information in the lesson before they come to class. This technique saves a tremendous amount of time and provides for more student-to-student interaction within the classroom. It also allows teachers to have students working collaboratively on information viewed at home, while he/she moves around the classroom and works one-on-one with students who need more assistance. This blended classroom allows for the students and the teacher to leverage technology in a way that makes the most of our time with students.
My challenge to you as Educators is to "rise with the occasion, not to it" (Sir Ken Robinson). Get on board with today's learners and create a video lesson. Choose one lesson, unit or activity, and create your video by using Screen-O-Matic. Assign the lesson to be done in the computer lab or at home if possible. Have your students complete a follow-up activity on the materials that you taught during your video. If possible, have students collaborate on material viewed, allowing you time to provide feedback to all students as you move through your classroom. If you prefer, create a video using Windows Movie Maker and share with colleagues. Make this a video lesson plan, making sure that you include instructions, objectives, and standards. There are endless possibilities for being creative using video instruction. There are many other resources available that can help you create video lessons. Most importantly, continue to challenge ourselves, as well as other educators, to think “outside the box" when it comes to educating the children of tomorrow in today’s world.
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- Sir Ken Robinson: Bring on the learning revolution! (2010, May 24). Retrieved November 17, 2014, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9LelXa3U_I
- The Flipped Classroom Model. (2012, May 27). Retrieved November 17, 2014, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojiebVw8O0g
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- Windows Movie Maker Tutorial. (2013, August 1). Retrieved November 17, 2014, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7GREeD2icUo