When I worked at an elementary school, many teachers used Thinkquest Projects as a blended model of learning. Students each have a login and they created their own profile. The student's profile picture was a self-portrait that they drew.
Students would participate in a classroom project that would include questions, links and other interactive components. The project could be teacher directed or student directed.
One of the best parts is that students have the ability (if turned on) to interact with students all over the world. So not only were students participating in an online learning environment, but they were also participating on a global scale.
We have several teachers using Wonderopolis to extend learning beyond the classroom. If you want to see one example from a 5th grade classroom in the Columbus, Ohio, area, check out Maria Caplin's blog:
In considering the blended learning model, I read an article in eSchool News that had some good points about incorporating this method of teaching. I recommend reading--"Important considerations for blended learning"--by Laura Devaney, Managing Editor.
Even though this discussion is geared toward using blended learning with elementary students, the model can be used to teach students at any grade level. I was impressed with the points Michael Griffie (a high school principal) made in his blog post "Understanding The Human Element of Blended Learning," January 8, 2013.
As Griffie states, "Many of the topics discussed (in his post) revolve around the necessity of human capital in a blended learning classroom. As our school culture continues to form, it becomes more evident that our purpose is to equip our students with positive behavior and self-determination. Our blended learning program aims to leverage technology to achieve this purpose."
How can blended learning help bridge the achievement gap between those students who are living in poverty and those who have considerably more affluence and privilege?
Is student behavior a factor in using a blended learning model?
From what I've recently learned, there are several models for a blended learning environment. In a school in Pasco County Florida, with 82% free and reduced lunch, there is a station rotation blended learning environment. The big difference between this model and a flipped classroom is that students rotate to a computer station to get instruction from the Internet. They do not have computers or Internet at home. This teacher reports a difference of 20% in test scores compared to other teachers at the school using traditional classroom practices.
Hi Lynne Hoffman,
I read "Understanding The Human Element of Blended Learning" blog post you posted earlier in this discussion. Is blended learning a form of differentiated instruction using different delivery formats to enhance student learning based on Bloom's Taxonomy of Learning? Am I right on the concept of blended learning?
According to an article by Valerie Strauss in The Washington Post ("Three fears about blended learning") published September 22, 2012, blended learning is "some mix of traditional classroom instruction (which in itself varies considerably) and instruction mediated by technology. The latter can be one student with a tablet or laptop, or small groups of kids working together on devices."
In other words, blended learning combines traditional approaches to learning with technology to give students a more hands-on experience.
In my thinking, this definitely could be used as a technique to differentiate instruction as well as teach Bloom's Taxonomy of Learning on multiple levels depending upon how a learning activity was structured.
However, I think differentiated instruction is more of a framework for teaching that offers students a variety of methods to acquire the same content. The student's learning style dictates the most effective method for teaching and assessing the student's progress with the ultimate goal being to make certain all students learn effectively regardless of differences in their ability.
I do believe that both blended learning and differentiated instruction have the same philosophy to place students at the center of teaching and learning.
I would like to read how others would answer your questions. Thanks for asking about this distinction.
I may be a bit different, but currently I am doing more of a distance learning program with my students you might say. I am working with students who are temporarily out of the classroom for all or part of the day. Most of my students only miss a part of the day, so I work with teachers on bridging the classroom and online environments. I use Edgenuity, Compass Learning, Edmodo, TCI online, and soon will be learning Schoology. If anyone is doing something similar, I am at the ground floor of this exciting new program.