Blended Learning: Redefine Your Classroom

There are a lot of definitions of Blended
Learning that are floating around. To put it simply, I think it’s any formal education
plan, that involves an online component, delivering information, or receiving information, that
allows the student, in some way, to have control over that experience. The most simple way to define blended learning
is the combination of face to face and online instruction. People might confuse blended learning with,
you know, if I’m using iPads in the classroom, or if I’m using technology then this is blended
learning. I would just say that if you’re using technology, that’s fantastic, but blended
learning really, its something more specific. It’s leveraging technology to completely change
your role in the classroom. Blended learning is kind of like this umbrella
term; underneath, there’s lots of different flavors or kinds of blends. The most common
is what we call the replacement model. And that’s where we take a portion of the time
that’s traditionally done face to face and you use online instruction during that time. In a K-12 setting it might mean that you’re
working with a software program that gives some basic feedback and basic guidance to
the student. Then you’re pulled out by an instructor to give targeted help to the student. The beauty of technology is that it gives
us data. It’s really good at delivering data to students, and then it’s really good at
delivering that student data back to the teacher. And when the teacher has that data, we can
level our instruction appropriately to where those students are at. When we design a blended environment, we want
to take advantage of the strengths of the machines that are involved. We also want to
take advantage of the strengths of the humans that’s involved in that environment. Machines
can present information really well, they can provide feedback at any time of the day
or night. Whereas humans bring more of the emotion into the learning environment, the
passion… You’re able to create a different dynamic
of relationship, that instead of being an instructor that has to be efficient with them,
you can be a coach and a mentor that can spend more time with them at their level, and find
ways to talk about what’s meaningful in their life Something that a computer cannot do. In a face to face classroom with a limited
amount of time, it’s difficult to get participation from every person in the classroom. Blended
learning allows us to provide more of a personalized learning experience for the students. Sometimes
people think of online as being very impersonal, and it can be if it’s just interaction with
content. But we can create personal interactions online with students that are targeted and
focused to the feedback that they need. If we’ve learned anything over the last few
years trying to improve our education system, its that blended learning gives us the opportunity
to mentor, to connect, to inspire, and to empower our students. It’s important to have both the emotional
engagement, and the cognitive engagement. The emotional engagement is the things of
the heart; the passion, the motivation, the excitement about the learning. And the cognitive
engagement is the amount of energy that you’re willing to put into the hard task. Blended
learning that works well, is blended learning that’s doing both of those things. I really believe that blended learning gives
us an opportunity to reach those goals as educators, to increase the rate of learning,
increase the depth of learning, and provide students mentorship in life.

5 thoughts on “Blended Learning: Redefine Your Classroom

  • I chose this video because I liked the way it explained how blended learning could impact a classroom in a positive and beneficial way for the students. Students learn in a variety of ways and incorporating technology is a crucial part of today's education. Being able to keep the emotional aspect of a teacher in the face-to-face realm and yet add in the virtual component of the technology piece, is an exciting way to teach and direct student's individual learning and needs!

  • I found this video to be helpful in differentiating the use of technology in a classroom compared to blended learning. Blended learning is NOT just integrating technology! I also liked that the video highlighted how blended learning can benefit students AND teachers. Empowering student ownership over learning while providing individualized instruction is the future of education.

  • I liked the fact that the presentation foregrounded the convergence of the instrumentality of the machines (technology) and the human element in blended learning. It came out clearly to me that the human element, given the emotional dimension it brings, points to the social presence that is part of the CoI framework to which I subscribe as an educator.

  • I liked this video because it talked about the human and emotional part of blended learning. being just as important as the technology part. It also showed how this model can give data to help the students and the teachers. It is important that the student can move at there own pace. I feel like blended learning could really help in my classroom.

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