An Introduction to Blended Learning

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Objective

Teachers WBAT create an action plan to implement blended learning strategies into their daily classroom instruction.

Big Idea

No need to be afraid of technology! Blended learning models encourage teachers to take small steps to enhance their classroom and curriculum to incorporate more technology to improve student learning!

Teacher Focused Professional Development Lesson: Video Introduction

2 minutes

Educators are so busy trying to meet our students' needs and complete our daily expectations that we seem to run out of time to allow ourselves the opportunity to grow through professional development conferences.  In an effort to provide teachers with quick opportunities to recharge our batteries and focus on making ourselves more effective, I have created a series of three teacher-centered lessons that cut straight to the point and provide you cutting-edge professional development content:

Lesson #1Next Generation Science Standards: As Easy as 1,2,3 -  NGSS are the new science standards being used throughout the United States that focus on the disciplinary core ideas, science and engineering practices, and the cross cutting concepts that interwoven throughout k-12 science curriculum.  

Lesson #2: An Introduction to Blended Learning - the strategy of infusing technology into your classroom, your existing curriculum, and beyond.  

Lesson #3: The SAMR Model - developed by Dr. Puentedura guides teachers through the integration of technology into their curriculum by enhancing current content all the way to transforming how you teach and how your students learn:

  • Substitution 
  • Augmentation
  • Modification
  • Redefinition

All three of these teacher-centered lessons were born out of professional development conference sessions that I have presented, but wanted to offer a "quick" tutorial for those of us that do not have the time or resources to attend a conference.  

 

Video Introduction - Bringing Technology To Your Students

2 minutes

This video clip discusses the value of blended learning in your classroom through the incorporation of technologies to enhance your strengths as a teacher and support the areas of growths for you and your students.  

Teachers are encouraged to use the Blended Learning Participant Handout to guide their progress through this informative lesson as teachers work toward creating an action plan to implement blended learning into their classroom.

Better Lesson has created The Blended Learning Master Teacher Project to explore more in-depth concepts in regards to incorporating technology into our daily classroom instruction.

 

An Introduction To Blended Learning

20 minutes

Blended Learning Introduction and Participant Reflection Handout

Blended learning is an educational program that incorporates online experiences resources to enhance face-to-face instruction for students.  The presentation "Blended Learning - An Introduction" provides the important details that constitute a "blended learning" classroom.  Please use the Blended Learning Participant Handout to guide your progress and record your reflections to each of the presentations that are contained within this lesson.

What is Blended Learning?

Blended learning is a style of teaching that many educators have developed as technology became available to supplement and enhance their instructional practices and improve student learning.  To "blend" curriculum teachers design their course so that students receive a portion of their instruction in a face-to-face (f2f) environment and a portion of their learning occurs through online content delivery.  Every education expert has a slightly different definition of blended learning because each course, each school, and each student's experience is unique.  

Blended learning incorporates teacher expertise, students' curiosity, the face-to-face environment, online tools, and online instruction to produce an engaging and effective learning experience for students.  

Blended learning incorporates the following changes to:

  • Students are more in control of navigating through the course content and creating their own experiences  
  • The class is designed to be more student-centric 
  • The course has a flexible design in respect to the pacing of the course 

 

Blended Learning Video Clip - by Frederic Skrzypek introduces the fundamentals of blended learning:

 

Blended Learning Takes Many Forms

18 minutes

The Blended Learning Models

Just as the definition of blended learning leaves a lot of personal interpretation to the exact pedagogy employed, the varying models of blended learning also provide educators the opportunity to be creative in an effort to develop the optimal learning environment for their students.  Participants are encouraged to continue to use the Blended Learning Participant Handout to record notes and reflections as they progress through the "Blended Learning - Models" presentation.

The presentation Blended Learning - Models goes into detail describing the emerging models of blended learning.  Each program has the potential to be adapted based on available technology, the strengths/talents of the teacher, an d the needs/interests of the students.

The diagram below was developed by Innosight Institute and provides an organized view to identify each of the established models of blended learning.

blended learning graphic organizer

Take notice that the models to the left of the graphic organizer occur in the brick-and-mortar or face-to-face setting (traditional) and the models on the right occur in the online environment.  By gleaning the most effective techniques from each model teachers are able to create the optimal learning environments and experiences for their diverse student learners.  The variety of blended learning models, empowers teachers to create their own personal model based on the physical layout of the school, the available technologies, and the learning styles of the students.
 

Incorporating and Evaluating Web 2.0 Tools

10 minutes

Most teachers have identified their favorite technology that they have already implemented into their classroom instruction and have become stagnant in their methodology.  It is important as classroom practitioners to stay current with newly available technologies, as long as they improve student learning and enrich your classroom environment. Participants are encouraged to continue to use the Blended Learning Partcipant Handout to record their reflections and ideas on how to implement the Web 2.0 Tools.

The presentation Blended Learning - Web 2.0 Tools will guide teachers through an introduction of available Web 2.0 Tools.  The webtools4u2use link in the presentation will take participants to websites that have already identified, vetted, and compiled links for teachers to maximize their efforts in searching for new technologies.

As teachers become more familiar with the available Web 2.0 tools, it is essential for educators to become selective as to which technologies are implemented into their classroom or course websites.  The SAMR Model is a tool to assist teachers in conceptualizing how available technologies fit into their instructional practices.  S.A.M.R. stands for:

  • S - substitution
  • A - augmentation
  • M - modification 
  • R - redefinition

The next lesson in this unit is dedicated solely to the SAMR Model will open educators eyes to the power of technological resources as they relate to our classroom instruction.  

Examples of Blended Learning In The Classroom

5 minutes

              

Action Plan For Implementation

5 minutes

Now that you have completed your introduction to Blended Learning, what are you going to do with your new found information?  The power of Blended Learning has the potential to extend the boundaries of your classroom's four walls and provide your students with access to your class' curriculum 24 hours a day.  Blended Learning encourages students to take control of their education and interact with the curriculum in innovative ways!

It is my hope that this presentation has inspired you to implement Blended Learning strategies into your classroom.  In an effort to organize your thoughts, please complete the Blended Learning Action Plan to take the first step in "blending" your instruction.

Better Lesson has created The Blended Learning Master Teacher Project to explore more in-depth concepts in regards to incorporating technology into our daily classroom instruction.