Blended Learning: Combining Face-to-Face and Online Education There's this myth in the brick and mortar schools that somehow the onset of online K-12 learning will be the death of face-to-face (F2F) interaction. However this isn't so -- or at least in the interest of the future of rigor in education, it shouldn't be. In fact, without a heaping dose of F2F time plus real-time communication, online learning would become a desolate road for the educational system to travel. The fact is that there is a purpose in protecting a level of F2F and real-time interaction even in an online program. In education, the components of online and F2F are stronger together than apart. Face-to-Face + Synchronous Conversations + Asynchronous Interactions = Strong Online Learning Environment And if distance learning is to have the level of quality that we dream for it, we as educators need to proactively be a part of the Blended Learning that is inevitably coming our way. The Threat Ahead in Teacher Interaction $%#^$^&?!!! 5 Components Needed for a Blended Learning Model
Top 10 Reasons that Blended Learning is Worth the Hype! image from learningonlineinfo.org Using an online learning platform, online discussions, and/or work online to complement your class can: 1. Save Time Teachers spend hours each week creating, copying, collating, stapling, and hole punching handouts, assignments and activity sheets for students. 2. Copy machines, ink, paper and repairs cost school districts thousands of dollars annually (monthly for some larger districts). In less fortunate districts, teachers are forced to spend hundreds— if not thousands – of dollars of their own money to supplement classroom resources. Teachers can save money and paper by posting assignments, directions, notes, reading materials online. 3. Online discussions and collaborative group work free teachers from their role as the only source of information and feedback. It is easy to eliminate worksheets that have limited potential to inspire, when students are actively participating in dynamic online discussions related to the curriculum. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
Blended Learning: Adding Asynchronous Discussions to Your F2F Classrooms This post was co-authored with Elizabeth Alderton, Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. --------- We have all done it: "participated" in a face-to-face discussion, nodding along in agreement, but not really present. Many of us have sat in discussions, afraid to throw in our two cents because we might sound silly. On other occasions, we have had a fantastic idea to share, but the conversation passed by before we had a chance to contribute. If it happens to us, it also must be happening to students in our classroom discussions. Not all students are in sync! Blending online social learning opportunities, like asynchronous online discussions, into your traditional face-to-face classes can be beneficial to your students. The following common themes related to asynchronous discussions were found in five different action research projects in blended classrooms. Theme One: Processing Time Synchronous conversations are often fast-paced. Theme Two: Anxiety Reduction
What Will Work in New Blended Learning Experiment? Lenny Gonzales As the blended learning movement grows in the U.S., schools will need to experiment with what works best in different types of settings. There’s still a lot to learn about different types of blended learning models, and a new nonprofit called Silicon Schools will raise and invest $25 million toward that effort. With partial grants from the Bay Area’s Fisher family (owners of Gap), and the advice of board members Michael Horn from the Innosight Institute and Salman Khan of the Khan Academy, the nonprofit, which has raised $12 million so far, aims to fund new and innovative approaches in existing blended learning programs with grants to each school. The effort is led by Brian Greenberg, who chronicled the successes and challenges of piloting the Khan Academy in Oakland’s Envision Schools on the Blend My Learning blog. Giving students more responsibility for the learning process was also a significant outcome of the Envision pilot program.
How Not to Teach Online Teaching online is more difficult than it may seem. Online instructors must become accustomed to an entirely new way of thinking about teaching and learning. If you’re thinking about becoming an online teacher (or are one already), make sure that you avoid these all-too-common mistakes. 1. Don’t assume that the class will teach itself. You wouldn’t let a traditional class teach itself, only popping your head in the door every now and then to give a word of feedback or make a point. 2. Many online classes are now developed by publishing companies or instructional designers and then given to faculty members to teach as-is. 3. Likewise, keep in mind that your students are actual people. 4. When universities first began offering online classes, it was unfortunately common for these online offerings to be substantially easier than their in-person counterparts. 5. On the other hand, some online teachers seem to have no concept of how long it takes to complete an assignment. 6. 7.
District's answer to overcrowding: Blended learning Manchester, N.H., superintendent’s plan would put students in virtual courses to overcome crowded classrooms From wire service reports Read more by staff and wire services reports November 21st, 2012 The proposals are part of an education reform agenda pushed by Mayor Ted Gatsas following an outcry over crowded classrooms. Could technology help solve the problem of crowded classrooms? The Manchester, N.H., school district is poised to find out as soon as next semester, when it plans to offer virtual classes that students at the three high schools would be able to take without physically being in the same room as a teacher. Superintendent Thomas Brennan has presented the plan to the school committee in the form of a report titled “Maximizing Educational Opportunities.” Under Brennan’s plan, students also would be able to take college-level courses through the University of New Hampshire-Manchester. Gatsas wholeheartedly agreed.
How to Create Engaging eLearning Content - LearnUpon Caroline | Posted on June 3, 2014 in Course Content, Success | No Comments eLearning courses come in various shapes and sizes, from pdf documents to video tutorials, so how can you ensure the content you create engages your learners? Here are some tips to help you prepare, create and deliver engaging online courses. Prepare Regardless of whether you’re creating your own content or you’re investing in an instructional designer to do so, you are going to have to outline a plan for your course content. Create You’ve finalised the course structure and identified the content you need so now it’s time to start creating that content. Deliver Before you rush to enrol learners make sure you test the course in different browsers with different user types to identify content related and technical issues. Finally eLearning course content is a moving target.
Five-Minute Film Festival: 8 Interactive Video Tools for Engaging Learners It's no secret that I am a passionate advocate for using video in the classroom. When used well, videos can help students make connections to people and ideas beyond their usual frame of reference. That's why I've been really excited to see a wave of new (and mostly free or low-cost!) tech tools recently that enable teachers to take favorite clips and make them more valuable for educational use. Whether you use videos to flip your classroom or you just appreciate the power of video to engage kids, maybe one of the tools in my playlist below will help you go deeper in 2014. Video Playlist: Tools to Enhance Videos for Learning You may notice my playlist below looks a little different this time; I'm embedding using a great tool called Huzzaz, reviewed below. More Resources on Using Video in the Classroom Reviews and Guides for Interactive Video Tools Sources and Ideas for Using Videos in the Classroom
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? 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. Catlin Tucker, an English teacher in Windsor, Calif., who integrates tech into her students’ school and homework, takes full advantage of what the technology affords her. That might be easier said than done. Related