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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

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

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.

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

11 Essential Tools For Better Project-Based Learning - Getting Smart by Guest Author - blended learning, EdTech, PBL “11 Essential Tools For Better Project-Based Learning” by Katre Laan from myhistro.com first appeared on TeachThought. The rise of technology used in classrooms has made learning much more interactive. The emergence of iPads to browser-based tools in project-based learning, take teaching to a new level in the 21st century. Even the current trends in education include the use of new technology, from collaborative projects to blending traditional textbook teaching with innovative tools. For students, the core aim of project-based learning is to put theory into practice and gain new skills throughout the process. A major advantage of digital tools used is better engagement in the classroom. Browser-based tools and several apps used in education are especially useful for researching, storytelling and collaborative video making. Handy mobile devices allow students to be inspired when outside classroom by creating and sharing ideas and creations instantly. 1) Mindmeister 2) Glogster 3) Myhistro

37 Blended Learning Resources You Can Use Tomorrow 37 Blended Learning Resources You Can Use Tomorrow by Dr. Justin Marquis Remixing the curriculum – compiling resources from a variety of sources such as free online texts, proprietary information from publishers, and self-created media such as podcasts – is starting to push its way into K-12 and higher education. Gathering the Ingredients Before Remixing Like any course development process, there is a good deal of research that goes into remixing the contents of a new or existing class curriculum. Consider including a small selection of remixed materials at first and expand each time you teach the class. Free Courseware Free Online Texts Video Resources Remember, as will all sources from the Internet, you will want to confirm the validity of each one that you choose to include in a class. 37 Blended Learning Resources You Can Use Tomorrow is a cross-post from onlineuniversities.com and Dr.

14 High Schools Worth Visiting - Getting Smart by Tom Vander Ark - DigLN, edreform, EdTech An international school administrator recently wrote: “I have been here for about two months now and am enjoying the challenge. Much of what we are faced with in education is the same, but there is the international context that is terribly interesting. One of the characteristics of this system is that the high school is stuck, much like many of our high performing suburban high schools in the U.S. And as such, I’m pushing them to get outside of their own comfort zone and challenge old assumptions to do something different. As a result I am going to take a small R&D core team from the high school to do a ‘walk-about’ and look at some of the best practices of true high school reform.” Below is a list of high schools worth visiting: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 14.Bay Blends. This blog first appeared on EdWeek.

13 Real-World Examples Of Blended Learning Blended learning—which combines traditional, face-to-face instruction with technology-based learning—is considered by some to be education’s next big thing. Salman Khan has made a name for himself with the method through his Khan Academy , which is used in around 15,000 classrooms to augment the learning experience. Many school districts and even colleges have shown improvement when blended learning is implemented, with some underperforming schools even performing complete turnarounds. 1. Manchester Superintendent Thomas Brennan’s “Maximizing Educational Opportunities” report presents a plan for blended classrooms where students can complete courses through the Virtual Learning Academy Charter School and “remote classrooms” that would allow students to virtually participate in courses at any one of the district’s three high schools. 2. Earlier this year, New York teacher Sam McElroy blogged about a year of blended learning under the iLearn NYC Program. 3. Dr. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.

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