Blended Learning: Making it Work in Your Classroom

Blended Learning: Making it Work in Your Classroom

November 16, 2019 15 By Stanley Isaacs


>>Kristin: I can say that the
things I’ve been doing the last two years have really
made a difference, because my kids have scored
the highest in the State on the standardized tests. So what we’re doing
here is working, and it’s helping
them be successful.>>Julie: We define Blended
Learning as the combination of digital content and activity with face-to-face
content and activity. It sounds easy to
Blend, but it really, it looks very different
in every classroom. So if a teacher is using
something that works really well in a face-to-face situation,
they should continue to do that because it works well. If they can find something
else that works better, is more efficient or more
effective that’s digital, then that would be implemented.>>Kristin: What I have online
could be completely different than what the biology
teacher has online, or what the physical
education teacher has online. It just depends on what you
need those kids to have in order to understand what
they need to learn.>>Mickey: Okay, go
ahead get the laptops. And actually anybody that’s in
a small group come over here, I need you to get a iPad.>>Why I wanted to go to a
more Blended environment was so that I could figure out a
way to differentiate instruction within the biology classroom,
and I wanted a way to be able to work with students
in small groups, while other students are still
engaged in content learning.>>There are three activities. One’s assorted sentence
activity, one is an online interactivity and one is small group that’s
going to be working with me.>>Okay, slide to the apps,
and open up Educreations, because we’re going
to fill in this chart, because this is going to get
us practicing base pairing between DNA and RNA and
reading our photon chart. Okay, so what goes G?>>Student: C.>>Mickey: C. So I’m
going to put G and C together like this, right?>>Shelton: I’ve like
probably learned more today just by doing this than I
have the whole week that we’ve been doing this.>>Kristin: And we looked at the
research about Blended Learning. We’ve defined it, and
then we had to figure out what would it
look like in my class. And so that’s when I went,
“Well, I actually want to use it more as
a tool for the kids for like supplemental
materials.” There’s always practice
problems. Or you can go listen to
somebody talk about the topic. But the kids started to say
that, “We don’t want to listen to somebody else; we
want to listen to you. And we need your help, and
we want to hear your voice.” So I started to go, “Okay,
well, how can I do that?” And so our technology
person said, “Have you seen this
app on the iPad?” And me, not knowing anything
about technology, went, “I have no idea what
you’re talking about. Teach me.” So we went through a
process of me learning how to use the ShowMe app, and
then I started making podcasts and it gives me a chance
to be in their homes, wherever they are 24/7. It’s Virtual Weller,
is what we call it.>>”That will correspond
to six to nine, like it has in the
rest of the problems.”>>Luis: The podcast
like helps so much. It’s like as if she’s
actually there, and she just go through it again, and you can
like finally understand it.>>Kristin: I see them,
they’ll plug in, I look over and they have it
on their phones. They have it on their tablets,
they have it on computers. They do podcasts for
me during class time. I will have specific
problems I want to see, just like do they
understand the basics of what we talked about today?>>Student: Forty, all
right, 60 plus 60. Divide 40 to get C by itself. And C…>>…equals to 45.>>Class: Yay! [applause] Oh, yeah!>>Kristin: All right.>>For me classroom time, direct
instruction, investigations, discovery, that’s all
still part of teaching. It’s not all online. A lot of the face-to-face stuff
is still the most important thing to me. The online tools are there to help make understanding
even better, even more rich of an experienced for the kids.>>Julie: We really wanted the
focus to be on the teaching and learning part, and
on the digital tool as a secondary thing.>>Mickey: Kids don’t always
get it the first time, or the second time,
or the third time. And this allows different
ways for those kids to get it. The pass rate for my kids the
first year was 75 percent; and the second year
was 93 percent. The state average is
somewhere around 60 percent. So something’s working
for these kids.