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Blended Learning: Strategies for Engagement

Blended Learning: Strategies for Engagement
There are methods and models for implementing blended learning -- from the flipped classroom, to the flex model. All of them are on the continuum of just how much time is spent online and in the online classroom. Blended Learning can provide a unique way of not only engaging students in collaborative work and projects, but also personalizing and individualizing instruction for students. However, there is still one piece that is missing from a great blended learning environment: engagement! As an experienced online teacher of both K-12 and higher education students, I am familiar with the challenges of engaging students in virtual work. #1 Leverage Virtual Class Meetings with Collaborative Work One of the most prominent features of blended learning is the virtual meeting or synchronous class meeting. #2 Create the Need to Know The key here is an engaging model of learning. #3 Reflect and Set Goals #4 Differentiate Instruction Through Online Work #5 Use Tools for Mobile Learning

It's All in the Thumbs: What David Hockney Can Teach Schools About Technology David Hockney's exhibit at the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco is awe inspiring, jaw dropping and a tribute to what is possible with a phone or tablet. His imagination is boundless, providing the viewer with a journey into a wonderful world of color, space, expanse and tributaries into landscape and portraiture. What is most amazing is that Hockney has rendered this visual banquet through the use of his thumb and the app Brushes. He shucks off the intuitive idea of using a pointer finger with the app and instead opts for the thumb. In the 2009 exhibition catalogue, David Hockney: A Bigger Exhibition (p.46), the artist explains to editor Lawrence Weschler: Only the thumb has the opposable joint which allows you to move over the screen with maximum speed and agility, and the screen is exactly the right size; you can easily reach every corner with your thumb. He has adapted to the technology and figured out a way to leverage it for great power and delight. Using Mobile Devices for Mobility

Tech2Learn: Success Stories of Technology Integration in the Classroom Facebook Edutopia on Facebook Twitter Edutopia on Twitter Google+ Pinterest Edutopia on Pinterest WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation Enhancing Lessons With Blended Learning VIDEO: Blended Learning Energizes High School Math Students (2012) Educator Peter McIntosh helps his students to take ownership of their learning by using interactive subject-mastery tools like Khan Academy. Back to Top Collaborative Digital Presentations With Online Tools VIDEO: Collaborative Digital Presentations Enrich Projects (2012) Educator Kate Summers engages her students by asking them to "teach back" chemistry concepts to their peers via online demonstrations created with tech tools like Google Docs, Keynote, and PowerPoint. Engaging Kids With Digital Video Production Differentiating Instruction Through Technology Getting Started With Free or Low-Cost Technology Tools Programming and Video Games in the Classroom

Left Bank Learning: When "Work Time" Becomes "Studio Time" When you think of an artist's studio, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Large canvasses strewn haphazardly about? Globs of paint residue on every imaginable surface? I have always been fascinated by the artist's process. Work in Your Play, Play in Your Work Traditionally, a French café is a hotbed for conversation -- politics, art, religion, you name it. Don't forget that the café is not confined to the brick and mortar of the classroom building. Perhaps the most noticeable shift in the climate of my class occurred when I adopted the euphemism studio time in lieu of the traditional and off-putting work time. Like any studio, it can and will get messy. 6 Tips for Adopting the Studio Model 1. Since time is precious, students should be aware of exactly when this activity is scheduled and come ready to do creative work. 2. Have a bevy of "makery" resources on hand. 3. Consider having a brainstorm wall of apps and tools useful for creating films, editing photos, etc. 4. 5. 6.

Learn2luvcell: A Powerful Multipurpose Mechanism for Learning Query most secondary school teachers on the subject of cell phones, and you're likely to get an impassioned rant about the device's insidious ability to provoke distraction in the classroom. All that giggly sub rosa texting not only robs students of attentiveness, they say, but also presents an inveterate disciplinary problem. It's why most school districts have strict cell phone policies, and most teachers are grateful for it. But some forward-looking educators have begun to push the subversive idea that the high tech wizardry of mobile phones can be a powerful multipurpose mechanism for learning. "Kids mostly see their cell phones as a social toy, not as a learning instrument," says Liz Kolb, adjunct professor at Madonna University, in Lavonia, Michigan, and author of Toys to Tools: Connecting Student Cell Phones to Education. Kolb cites the example of a student studying ecosystems in science class. This could prove a hard sell to teachers who see cells only as a bane to good order.

Leading and Learning for a Successful Digital Transformation | Edutopia Education, like so many other aspects of our society, has been undergoing a digital transformation. Accepting this reality is inevitable. Embracing it would be wise. But my district has chosen to go a step beyond that as we strive to lead the transformation. Digital transformation in Vancouver Public Schools (VPS) began with our second-generation strategic planning process, which we call Design II. Launched in January 2007, the process engaged hundreds of staff and community members in shaping the future of our district. Flexible learning environments for the 21st century emerged as the strategic goal area for Design II, challenging us to think differently about the use of time, space, and technology to maximize learning potential. Fostering Adaptive Skills "Going slow to go fast" is about researching best practices, learning from trailblazing peers, and developing iterative cycles of inquiry and adjustment. Digital transformation takes time. The Fruits of Collaboration School Launch

Using QR Codes in the Classroom Whoever said that iPads or tablets would be the game-changers this school year obviously overlooked a trend that has been crossing my social media streams, art museum exhibits, food and products. It seems that no matter where I look I see QR codes being used. I even bought a banana a few weeks ago that had a QR code on the sticker that pointed to the farm where it was grown! So what is a QR code? What do you do with a QR code? So how can these be used in education? Create a QR code 'business' card for your classroom (Beginner) Create a QR code that points to your class' website or blog. Have you used QR codes in the classroom?

Can We Use Personal Learning Networks to Create Real Reform? (#edchat summary) | Edutopia As is often the case with any large group online, #edchats can be impossibly frustrating for anyone who isn't ADD. With tweets flying everywhere and asynchronous discussions peppered with @,#, and !, it looks more like a cartoon expletive than any sort of useful dialog. It is to help translate all of this that we've been offering these short summary blogs. But Twitter - like the Edutopia community, and Facebook, and myriad other online communities - can also be a powerful tool to facilitate communication within a "personal learning network" or PLN. This week's #edchat asked this very question: "How can we get our PLN (Personal Learning Networks) to create real ed reform?" --Betty Ray (@EdutopiaBetty) We started with a discussion of the role our PLN plays in our lives, and how it can be expanded. @kristenswanson: Reform starts with conversations and relationships. @PGRoom209: Ideas that start here can inspire change across the district. @amychim: legislators need to be part of our PLNs.

Personalized Learning, Big Data and Schools | Edutopia The Best Buy back to school commercial, "Lidia Marin," highlights personalization and customization. The viewer finds out that Lidia Marin, a marine biology major, loves marine biology and has a dream to be a marine biologist. Lidia and a Best Buy salesperson enter the dreamlike world of Best Buy, which promises to find "what's perfect" for Lidia. The message: Best Buy is committed to doing everything it takes to meet the needs of the consumer, and the store is built for personalization and customization. Google just announced that it is introducing "new voice searches that let you ask questions about . . . you" to aggregate your wants and needs from travel and shopping to photos and calendars. The Age of Personalization Simply put, we live in an age of personalization and customization -- and companies know it and are gearing their efforts to serve our needs in the way they think we want to be served. The field of medicine is making use of data sharing to meet the needs of patients.

The Future of Learning Remember the Jetsons? That iconic family of the future depicted in the 1960s cartoon? They lived in a futuristic society marked by flying cars and advanced technology -- and yet, they learned in a lecture-based system with the teacher (albeit a robot one) directing the process from the front of the room. We have always struggled to envision the future, often superimposing new technology over our current views. Key Tenet #1: Flexible, Customized Learning The Jetson kids' schools, Orbit High and Little Dipper, mirror many of the teacher-centric learning environments that we see today. The reality of flexible, customized learning environments struck me when I started taking a spin class at the gym. Within current classrooms, most of us ask our students to sit in the same types of seats, to use the same texts, notebooks, and technology, and to work within an environment configured primarily by the teacher. Key Tenet #2: Ubiquitous, Embedded, Invisible Technology