Monday, February 2, 2015

Blended Learning - what is it, pros/cons, tips and resources

Blended Learning Classroom
The blended classroom is designed to meet the individual needs of student by allowing teachers to personalize instruction.  This strategy can be used for any subject and any grade level.  Blended learning combines face-to-face and online instruction. It allows students to work with teachers in school and have online resources at home. It is similar to the flipped classroom, but with more emphasis on in-class work with the teacher over video/home content. Project Based Learning is a type of blended classroom. Students work on projects at home, and in class. In class, they can ask the teacher for help, and continue on the project at home, with online materials for help. By having online materials available, students have access to support when out of the classroom. Students access some material at home and complete some work at home, while leaving more time during class to get into deeper context with the teachers.

  • Provides for individualized support for the students
  • students can access material at anytime, anywhere, to review the material
  • provides richer, more interactive learning experiences
  • provides more time for collaboration with the students and teachers
  • parents have access to what students are doing - better communication and support
  • studies show it increases student and teacher productivity, improves teaching and learning, and provides more and better data, and helps customize learning.
  • more and more colleges and even workplaces are using this model
  • gives students more time to learn - extends the learning beyond the end of the school day

  • Teachers will need time to create and/or select content.
  • Teachers will need training on using this method of instruction to make it effective
  • students will need to be shown how to access, use the technology and what is expected of them
  • Students need to be able to do work outside of school hours
    • do they have access to technology at home?
    • do they have access to internet at home?
    • do they have other things that take up their time (job, etc.)
    • students need to be self-directed to work at home

Ways technology supports the strategy
  • resources are posted online via class website, LMS (Edmodo, Google Classroom, Schoology, etc). Resources include articles, videos, interactive multimedia, virtual labs, and more
  • Teachers can track which students are using materials at home
  • online materials are available to students anytime, anywhere
  • materials are accessible to parents and specialists to assist the students
  • provides interactive activities, support materials and learning resources
  • multimedia content helps address different learning styles

Example lesson plans and/or videos

  • using videos from YouTube, Discovery Education, Khan Academy as a replacement for lectures - students watch them at home and then discuss them in class. The teacher also answers questions in class and dives more deeply into the content.
  • assign virtual labs to do at home, and then discuss in class
  • projects - work on in class, and at home with more time for collaboration
  • students watch video/read chapter at home, do problems in class with teacher helping
  • Blended Learning, Real Teaching (2 min video of blended learning in use)
PD and resource needs for implementation
  • Teachers need training on the method and how to incorporate it into their classroom
  • Teachers will need time to create and select content to use
  • Teachers will need time to learn how to use technology to support this
  • Encourage teachers to join online communities to gain understanding of what make digital content great.  

Possible data for measuring implementation success
  • Surveys (teacher/student/parent)
  • Lesson evaluations and assessment results
  • Walk-thru data


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