Designing A Balanced Blend

Designing A Balanced Blend

 

 

The foundation for a successful blended learning implementation in the classroom is a clear and consistent understanding of various blended learning models and how one or more of these models may be implemented.  This foundational knowledge of blended learning models and the research that supports them should be an important part of a professional development program with educators and can spark conversations based on a common understanding. It's time to change the way we learn. A well-designed course to promote professional learning for a new culture of learning will have a positive impact on my innovation plan.  Educators will evolve and change their role to a guide and facilitator within the blended classroom. The course I am designing will set everything in place to guide my innovation systematically.  Key information will be examined on how blended learning can enable a personalized approach giving students control over the time, place, path and pace of their learning.  I will drive this learning environment with my overarching (BHAG):

 

 
 

 
 

Learners will use a blended environment to align technology-based approaches to deliver educational strategies to ensure all students have access to high-quality educational opportunities.

 
As a past educator in technology, this is not my first course to design. Several years ago, technology was not included in the software that would guide teachers in their lesson planning and aligning goals for a course, for example, CSCOPE. Today there is more focus on learning, to have a well-designed course for professional learning one of the resources I used was “A Self-Directed Guide to Designing Courses for Significant Learning” by Dee Fink (2005). Fink suggests that we engage in "backwards design" of courses beginning with the outcomes as a result of the course, and working back towards the beginning to teaching and learning activities including assessments. Backwards design makes sense when you really think about it, but so often I always did the reverse. The guide provides a systematic process for designing courses. I analyzed the situational factors, formulated learning goals and designed the feedback and assessment procedures, and select the teaching and learning activities.

Nature of the Subject
There is a distinct difference between classrooms that simply have a lot of technology in them, and a true blended learning classroom Skauge, T. (2016, February 22). Highlighting the difference is important.  Blended learning is the combination of different learning techniques. Blended learning is divergent. Divergent thinking is a problem-solving approach wherein learners are encouraged to consider a variety of different solutions and strategies to find out which one will work best for the particular problem or challenge. In the beginning, the was some controversy over blended learning.  There was always a concern for kids spending too much time on the computer.  Schools are now experimenting with the controversial teaching method that leaves students in front of monitors for nearly three hours a day.  This controversial teaching method, however, is having a positive impact on the transformation of classes.

Characteristics of the Learner
There are several characteristics of students that are at risk. Work, family, or other outside demands often compete with a student’s schoolwork and can lead to a decision to drop out of school.  Online and blended programs do not only target students at risk, but it also offers a broad range of online courses and services to reach a variety of students, from struggling to gifted, who seek personalized learning pathways. It will provide all learners an opportunity for their optimal success.

Characteristic of the Educator/Facilitator
For most of the twentieth century, our educational system has been built on the assumption that teaching is necessary for “learning” to occur. Education is characterized as a process of transferring information from the teacher to the student. In the new culture of learning the point is to embrace what we don’t know and ask questions to learn more.   Blended learning empowers students to take ownership of their learning and modify experiences according to their needs. The move to blended learning can be a challenging transition for teachers. Teachers will have concerns for the unknown, and they may feel like technology is replacing them. Several will be unfamiliar with tools and the lack of control over pace or content. It will be important to answer any questions and share who we have available to help leverage ways to support blended learning.  In blended learning, teachers can be characterized as learning facilitators, guiding students to the resources and learning activities that are most appropriate for their needs Kish, M. (2015, August 15).

Application Goals
There are several ways to approach the topic on how to integrate blended learning. My plan is to guide educators to lead the way for students to become highly engaged in their learning and become better students, and shift into a different way of learning. Educators will create an educational environment that allows the student to analyze, evaluate and engage in multiple levels of critical thinking.  Students will do an inquiry or project-based learning that empowers them to imagine and create with their facts, ideas, and conclusions. Students can acquire more factual knowledge when it is connected to meaningful problem-solving activities. Educators will equip and enable students with memorable educational encounters of their career.

Integration Goals
My desire is a professional learning program, redesigned to integrate emerging technologies and practices for a blended environment. My goal is to foster technology enhanced pedagogy using an experiential learning framework. Educators will be equipped to utilize digital content that actively engages students in learning and supports teachers in building meaningful connections among the digital coursework.

Human Dimension Goals
Educators will be enabled to engage as deep learners in their profession and reflect on their knowledge. They can use technology to focus on mastery of key skills. Finally, educators will learn how blended learning will help them to interact with others in the same field through professional learning communities.

Caring Goals
My goals is for educators to understand how blended learning will improve relationships with their students. They will learn through blended learning they can motivate students and have a positive impact on their performance.

"Learning-How-to-Learn" Goals
Learning how to learn can be difficult. Blended learning will enable educators with a variety of techniques, including best practices.  Educators will also analyze how they can learn from other educators through collaboration and by gathering feedback from one another.

References

By identifying and meeting individual needs, students can be equipped to participate in. (n.d.). Realizing the Potential of Blended Learning: Beyond Personalized to Active Learning. Retrieved from https://www.apexlearning.com/resources/white-papers/201601/realizing-potential-blended-learning-beyond-personalized-active

 
Kish, M. (2015, August 15). Empowering Students and Teachers with Blended Learning - P21. Retrieved from http://www.p21.org/news-events/p21blog/1723-empowering-students-and-teachers-with-blended-learning
 
Loomis, K. (n.d.). PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FOR MAKING THE SHIFT TO BLENDED LEARNING. Retrieved from https://conference.iste.org/2016/program/search_session_detail.php?id=100554752
 
Skauge, T. (2016, February 22). 3 Essential Aspects for a Blended Learning Professional Development Session. Retrieved September 13, 2016, from http://blog.edmentum.com/3-essential-aspects-blended-learning-professional-development-session
 

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