Some blog posts are based on opinions, some are meant to offer practical help. Some are a round-up so you don’t need to spend time finding everything yourself. This series is all about the later. I have surfed the net (do people still say that?) and culled out the best sites, apps, and approaches to TechnoTeaching for you. You can therefore grab a cuppa, put your feet up and click away to find out the best way to update your practice. If you like what you see and want more, you might just need to buy the book (or maybe do that as well).
What is Blended Learning?
Basically ‘Blended Learning’ is the ‘blending’ of online, computer based work led by students with face-to-face learning led by teachers. That is all. There are a range of approaches and strategies that fall into ‘Blended Learning’ like ‘Flipped Classrooms’ and new 1:1 Wireless Streaming. Here is a quick overview of each.
THE approach that is taking education by storm is the ‘Flipped Classroom’. Started in 2007, this blended style of accessing the ‘lecture’ notes at home (online) and working on the more practical elements of a lesson (in school rather than at home). Today more and more teachers are wondering how they might adapt it for their practice. Many enjoy working more 1:1 with students in the lesson than ‘lecturing’ at the front of the class. The idea is that when students need to listen, they can do this at home watching videos and podcasts. When they need a teacher to direct and guide their skills face-to-face, they can have that opportunity during class time. To find out the basics, go here. Fancy seeing some examples of real ‘flipped classrooms’ or related definitions and acronyms? (Yeah you do.) Try this on for size.
OK. How do we take this further? Make it Flipped Classrooms 2.0? Let’s say you want to use YouTube as a means of hosting your lecture notes online. Okay so far, but how can you support students further? You can show them how to get online homework support using some brilliant apps and sites that support making notes whilst viewing YouTube. These additional tools make life a little easier for those who are thinking of updating their desktop. For an example go here. Or see Video not.es to make not.es whilst watching video (geddit?).
LMS (or Learning Management System) is the new term for pure online distance learning. More and more schools are looking at this type of resource <?> as a way to extend Blended Learning. We at TT HQ have encouraged you to try Edmondo for years for xx, but more realistically you are probably using Google Apps like Google Classroom or Schoology for getting online content for 24:7 access. LMS can be used in class with students, and outside. You can create both class/group environments or have individualised spaces for each learner. For example, you can either create a class area in Google Classroom or Schoology to upload teaching resources to or for students to find their independent work. Or you can ask your students to all create their own Edmondo ‘page’ and link these together for both class and homework. What’s not to like?
In conclusion, as you can see, blended learning is evolving. Part of the reason why is that business and educators are starting to see the possibilities this approach offers. The modern teacher needs to access both content and learning aids online. These examples (above) illustrate how you can ‘blend’ both student-led and teacher-directed work.
But what if you want to promote more freedom and ownership for your students when it comes to learning? Watch this space and in the next blog we will discuss 1:1 Wireless Streaming and Augmented Reality in the classroom. If you are using an edtech that you think others should, let us know. Or if you want to bring in more innovative/ new technologies into your teaching and want some help, just ask TechnoTeachers for help!
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This is where Jules and Nic will post articles, links to interesting sites and things that we think our TechnoTeachers will like.