Blended Learning is getting a lot of attention because of it being an inexpensive teaching approach that appears to be bringing success in the form of test grades. Traditional classrooms often include a variety of teaching materials and best practices. Typically we have places for kids to sit in order to work independently or in groups. The teacher is often found in the front, side, or back of the room. The teacher instructs students on the day's topics. The use of Cooperative Learning has encouraged students to collaborate and work together to complete a variety of tasks.
But many students did not learn. Traditional teaching methods are not working for them.
Blended Learning is the term given to the teaching approach that combines face to face contact with online computer based instruction. Students with computers and Internet access at home will receive instruction via the computer. Lessons and student work can be managed by programs like Google Drive (Google Apps in Education), Edmodo, Moodle, and BlackBoard,
One term used in relation to Blended Learning is the "flipped classroom". This term literally means that work traditionally done in the classroom is now done at home and work done at home is now done in the classroom. How many times has a student encountered difficulty with their homework? Who is available to help, guide, explain, suggest and so forth when the student is at home?
Blended Learning environments seem to take the best of the classroom joined with the best of online learning. Are there signs of Blended Learning in your school District? Feel free to comment and share. It is interesting to see some of the concerrns and results that people are getting. Colleges are using the model. Penn State, for example reports that technical skills and trouble with technology proved to be an issue for about 33% of the enrolled students.
A middle school teacher I know will be implementing blended learning during the fourth quarter of this school year. She is doing a lot of research, checking out online resources that may prove to be of help in accomplishing lesson recordings and such. This is a great topic for continued discussion. I hope you will decide to comment.
There's more to come as I continue to explore how Google Drive can be used in a Blended Learning Environment. Feel free to share what you've learned.
My instruction right now is for the most part online. My students are not in the regular classroom for part or all of the day for various reasons. I use Google quite a bit for work and communication, along with Edmodo, Compass Learning, Schoology, and Edgenuity. Our district uses TCI for social studies and I've been able to use the online tools to align my instruction with the classroom. I've had a lot to learn in the last 6 weeks.
I am investigating more of a blended learning model because I don't know where this experience will take me. I may end up back in the classroom and would like plenty of ideas on combining my online and traditional classroom tools.
I am working closely with a 7th grade geography teacher for 2 of my students. Her team is beginning to use more blended learning and I'm enjoying being a part of that.