Tag Archives: blended learning

Blended Learning

This post is part of a #5post5days challenge issued by Carlo Fusco. Please take time to read the other blogs, and join in! Five posts in five days is not the same as one per day, and you can start any time! 1/5 posts available here.

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In this series of posts, I am thinking about what is in our heads when we use language specific to education.

Yesterday, I tackled our ideas of school, images that are often locked in a world that existed when we were there every day as children.

How does our language limit our thinking and our ability to move forward in education so that our children are not experiencing such a disconnect between their lives in and out of school?

Blended Learning is a more recent buzz phrase that has been defined in Ontario to mean everything from “using the provincial LMS in a f2f class” to “combining digital media with traditional classroom presence”.  Usually this is with the purpose of giving students some flexibility with regard to the time and place they “do their work”.

But are we just doing traditional things online?

Is using the dropbox to organize and secure student assignments so we can check “upload dates” against due dates, and so we can use an online originality checker, really moving forward?

 

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Aaron Burden on Unsplash. Image is linked to original.

 

We can leverage digital tools to completely change what is possible in schools.  Alan November shares 6 questions to ask ourselves when we use digital tools in f2f classrooms:

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Alan November. Image is linked to original post.

 

If blended learning is just a place to post news items and gather assignments, are we really transforming our teaching practice?

What other words in education to we need to rethink the definition of?

1. School

2. Blended Learning

3. eLearning

4. Cell Phones

5. Student Success

6. Professional Development

7. Student Achievement

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Watch here for links to other 2/5 Day 2 posts.

Pause by Jessica Weber

Podcast with Alison Bullock by Carlo Fusco

References:

Crafting a Vision for Learning and Teaching Beyond the $1000.00 Pencil: Alan November

Featured image by Giulia Forsythe CC-BY-NC-SA-2.0

Learning that is 24/7

When we consider the factors that impact learning, we have to think about:

1) the characteristics of the individual child

2) the learning that occurs outside of school

3) the learning that occurs while at school

 

As educators, we often believe that we really only have control over the learning that happens in school.

No matter how good our lessons are, if children are not in school, they don’t participate in that learning.  But they could.

We know that attendance has a significant impact on student achievement, as measured in the school setting.  Attendance is a complex issue.  In early grades, custodial care of children is part of the equation.  As children enter adolescence and high school, they begin to have more control over their own attendance, and disengaged students often choose to stay away.

While certainly we want to work to involve our communities and ensure that we all believe our schools are the best places for our children to learn, we do know that there are some factors that we have little control over.

When medical appointments require long drives and the necessity for entire families to miss school, and when a single school basketball game means a full day absence because it is a 6-hour round trip, we need to think about ways to have a bigger impact on the “learning that occurs outside of school”.

Blended learning – using digital tools to support student learning when they are not physically in the building – demonstrates a willingness on the part of the school to support the lives of young people.  Collaborative technologies support synchronous and asynchronous learning for students separated by time and distance.  They allow teachers to asynchronously provide assessment for and as learning in multiple modalities, even when the student is away.

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Students who are travelling become resources for learning as they share what they see with the class back in the building.

Innovative thinking and simple, free, available tools allow us to provide ongoing learning support and empowerment for our students no matter where they are.

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SNCDSB Google Apps For Education Student Summit 2015 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pP3rJl5ORwY

Learning is not confined to a school building.  Technology can transform our thinking about what learning looks like, sounds like and feels like for students and teachers in 2016.

#reimagineschool

#ltelt – Leading Technology Enabled Learning and Teaching.  Are you an Ontario educator looking for help with Blended Learning?  Contact your board’s TELT Contact, a position in each board, funded by the Ontario Ministry of Education.  TELT Contacts engage in regular professional learning to help support TELT in their board.

Featured image shared by Darren Kuropatwa – CC-BY-NC-SA-2.0

Resources

School Attendance, RDSB Research

Future Ready Leadership