Blended Learning: Making it Work in Your Classroom. Kristin: I can say that the things I've been doing the last two years have really made a difference, because my kids have scored the highest in the State on the standardized tests. So what we're doing here is working, and it's helping them be successful. Julie: We define Blended Learning as the combination of digital content and activity with face-to-face content and activity.
It sounds easy to Blend, but it really, it looks very different in every classroom. So if a teacher is using something that works really well in a face-to-face situation, they should continue to do that because it works well. Kristin: What I have online could be completely different than what the biology teacher has online, or what the physical education teacher has online. Mickey: Okay, go ahead get the laptops. There are three activities. Student: C. Mickey: C. Shelton: I've like probably learned more today just by doing this than I have the whole week that we've been doing this. Class: Yay! Kristin: All right. Kollegieblocket. What’s Worth Investing In? How to Decide What Technology You Need. Lenny Gonzalez The promise of technology in the pursuit of learning is vast — and so are the profits.
The SIIA valued the ed-tech market at $7.5 billion. With daily launches of new products promising to solve all manner of problems — from managing classrooms to engaging bored students with interactive content to capturing and organizing data, to serving as a one-stop-shop for every necessary service, choosing from the dizzying number of products on the market can be confusing.
But when it comes to the specific task of helping students, what’s the best app in education? “If all we’re doing is valuing test scores, then we’re just using technology to deliver the same traditional curriculum.” Lehmann is famous in progressive education circles for his quote: “Technology must be like oxygen: ubiquitous, necessary, and invisible.” These questions are more difficult to answer, and less tangible to measure, than improving test scores, which is what typically draws the attention of educators. To Make Blended Learning Work, Teachers Try Different Tactics. By now, most would agree that technology has the potential to be a useful tool for learning. Many schools have invested in some form of technology, whether it’s in computer labs, tablets, or a laptop for every student, depending on their budget. But for many schools, finding a way to integrate the use of tech in a traditional setting — teacher-centered classrooms — is proving to be a challenge.
What educational software should be used? What criteria should the software be judged against? And what happens to the role of the teacher and classroom activities when students are using software for practice exercises? At this point, just a couple of years into the movement, there are no definitive answers yet. “It’s going to be more about teachers having nimble classrooms.” But for any of those tactics to work, educators agree that the key is to have a clear vision of what the technology is being used for, and how that will affect the teacher’s role. That might be easier said than done. Related. How Teachers Mix Online Math with Classroom Instruction. Blended Learning As schools start experimenting with educational software — or blended learning — teachers are trying to find ways of using tech to enhance learning in different subjects.
When it comes to math, specifically, the tactics vary widely — from using software for remediation, to practicing drills and exercises to move students ahead at their own pace, to completely re-conceptualizing the traditional classroom model. The one underlying common thread? Using online math has begun to change teachers’ perspectives. Two Summit charter schools in San Jose, Calif. provide examples of blended learning that completely deconstruct the traditional classroom model. “I liked that model because it freed me up to do high-quality targeted instruction,” said Zack Miller a math teacher.
“A computer as of yet cannot help a student develop that deep mathematical reasoning and connecting concepts” But Miller found this model unsatisfying in some ways. It sounds chaotic, but Miller prefers it. Related. What Online Tools Work for Teaching Language Arts? Blended Learning Erin Scott When it comes to language arts, the jury’s still out on the quality and effectiveness of the available software. Some schools are investing and experimenting with different products, with mixed results, while others are working with free available web 2.0 tools. Here are two case studies examining each approach. Firstline Schools, a public charter school company in New Orleans operating five schools, has aggressively pursued blended learning with hopes to help students who have fallen behind — especially after the devastating effects on schooling after Hurricane Katrina.
“We can’t imagine going back to a traditional model,” said Chris Liang-Vergara, director of instructional technology for personalized learning at Firstline. “It seems crazy with the amount of differentiation we need.” Firstline uses Achieve3000 in some schools, a program that allows students to read a nonfiction article everyday and answer questions related to it. Related. How Leadership Can Make or Break Classroom Innovation. The leaders of a school or school district play a big role in setting the culture and work environment for teachers.
And when it comes to trying new things, the attitude of principals and superintendents can sometimes make or break a teacher’s willingness and ability to weave new ideas and methods into the teaching practice. In most schools, strong, effective leaders can make all the difference. In addition to setting the tone for nimble and progressive teaching that’s geared towards what students need most, school leaders can also find ways to integrate technology in smart ways that work on the same goals. And they can help to remove roadblocks when necessary. “A key leadership role is to try to build a shared vision for blended learning,” said Eric Williams, Superintendent York County School Division in Virginia. Williams also tries to model blended learning for his staff, to help them get acclimated to an idea that didn’t exist throughout most of their careers. Related. Four Essential Principles of Blended Learning. As schools become more savvy about blended-learning tactics– the practice of mixing online and in-person instruction — guidelines and best practices are emerging from lessons learned.
Here are four crucial factors to keep in mind as schools plunge in. The single biggest piece of advice offered by most blended learning pioneers is to have a cohesive vision for how the technology will enhance specific learning goals, how it will ease the burden on teachers, and how it can make both teachers and students more creative learners.
A big part of creating that vision is having strong leadership at all levels. A district superintendent who sees the value in a model will help remove old policies that inhibit the work. A strong leader will remove barriers, support professional development for teachers, celebrate successes and help move past challenges. And that person will value the student experience most. There’s no one best way to integrate digital learning into a classroom. Related. 4 Important Graphics on Blended Learning for Teachers. Blended learning is a form of learning in which students combine face to face classroom methods with computer-mediated activities to create an integrated instructional approach.
In the past, digital materials have served in a supplementary role, helping to support face to face instruction. For example, a blended approach to a traditional, face to face course might mean that the class meets once perweek instead of the usual three-session format. Learning activities that otherwise would have taken place during classroom time can be moved online. Educational Technology and Mobile Learning has a special section labelled " Blended Learning for Teachers" where you can browse a wide variety of resources and materials on blended learning. I am also sharing with you a set of interesting graphics which I deem really important in visually understanding everyting about this form of learning.
Check them out and share with us if you have other resources to feature here. Pinterest. How To Get Started With Blended Learning. Blended learning in the classroom is evolving, this much we know. I can remember back when I was in grade school, the only technical advancement that we had at our disposal was Number Munchers , the computer game designed to teach students basic mathematics skills. Times have certainly changed. Today, blended learning in the classroom is becoming more of a norm than an exception. Grade school students have never known life without the flashy gizmos and gadgets that break down the walls of learning. Mobile devices, slick APIs, social platforms, and the like are ingrained in the psyche of today’s youth – teachers who fail to take advantage of these trends are missing a tremendous opportunity to enrich their learning experiences. See Also: What Exactly Is Blended Learning? Blended learning approaches don’t have to be overly complicated.
The Teacher’s Perspective From the teacher’s perspective, this simple set-up saves hours of time. Leave No Student Behind The Right Balance. The Skills Both Online Students And Teachers Must Have. Decades after the Sloan Consortium funded the first large-scale online learning programs in the U.S., online learning has finally hit its stride. According to the 2012 Survey of Online Learning conducted by the Babson Survey Research Group, the number of students taking at least one online course has now surpassed 6.7 million, an increase of more than 570,000 students over the previous year. Moreover, thirty-two percent of higher education students now take at least one course online. Yet despite this bullish growth, research shows that course completion and program retention rates are “generally lower” in online courses than in face-to-face courses.
Non-traditional students – students 25 and older who return to school for any reason, including 2- or 4-year degrees, professional certification, workforce training or just continuing education – are most attracted to online learning because of the flexibility and “anytime, anywhere” style of instruction. 1. 1. 1. About the Author Todd A. How Teachers Are Using Blended Learning Right Now. While we try to stay away from major generalizations here at Edudemic, we don’t often see surveys of what teachers are actually doing/want to be doing/think about doing in their classrooms, especially pertaining to technology.
Lethbridge College (Alberta, CA) recently unveiled an infographic demonstrating the results of their 2012 survey of 164 instructors regarding their teaching (online and face-to-face) and technology. They’ve yielded some pretty interesting results – we can’t wait to see more of these from other institutions or from a broader array of respondents!