What Blended Learning means to me!!

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Blended learning and the integration of technology, in my eyes, is very important for the success of our students in the classroom.  The idea of blended learning became more and more popular ever since the idea of progressiveness was introduced to the world. Incorporating values and principals from progressive educational theories such as Dewey, Montessori, Piaget, ect.,  who believed in more of a student centered approach of teaching, has definitely shaped and continues to shape the type of education that exists today. In saying that, I believed that the main purpose of education is to prepare young children to become successful members of society. As well, to use their interests and to help motivate and guide them in a direction in life that can allow them to be successful. However, I also believe that a teacher should be using a variety of philosophies to accomplish this. In other words, using a blended learning approach, is how I believe students will be successful in the classroom. The Video: What is blended learning? that Alec showed described blended learning in a way that really stuck with me. Basically, they said that blended learning is the combination of the best teacher and computer instruction. Therefore, for my response this week, I am going to reflect on the pros/cons of blended learning, as well discuss my own experiences with blended learning.

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We had great discussions in our zoom session this past Tuesday about the history of blended learning as well the pros and cons . During these discussions, I was jotting down notes on the ideas and information that was being talked about. This includes the pros and cons of blended learning. In the chart below are these ideas. A couple of the ideas came from the zoom chat. I will be sure to credit those who shared their ideas!

Pros

Cons

  • Personalized learning
  • Small group instruction
  • Student driven (Kyla M)
  • Empowered learners (Wendy)
  • Opportunity (Kelsey)
  • Not being able to meet curriculum guidelines
  • Technology changes, hard to keep up
  • Hard to teach an old dog new tricks
  • Cost of putting technology in school
  • Lack of PD

There were many other ideas discussed however those stood out most to me. Do you have any ideas to add?! In the end, I believe that the pros and cons even out, and that blended learning is still the way to go to make our students successful.

In terms of the blended learning and integration of technology in my own classroom, I do my best with the time, materials, and resources I am given.

By using the classroom computers and school tech carts, I try to use as many applications and suites as possible. For example, and as Kyla talked about in her blog post this week, I have used google classroom in the past. It is super easy to use as well I found it kept the students online work organized. I also have been trying to incorporate more experiential learning into the classroom. I find giving the children additional time to explore inside and outside the class can create richer learning experiences for them.

I have been faced with a few challenges when trying to do this. Drawing from the challenges I presented already in the post, I would say the lack of PD, the resources provided, and availability

of technology is most challenging for me. I am currently without a data projector in my classroom and still in the process of getting one (4 months later). Overall, I believe that it is important for students to have the opportunity to be exposed blended learning opportunities as well technology.

On a side note, Alec showed this theorist chart in another class. I LOVE it and have used it several times when learning and writing about all the educational theorists out there. Click the link to view it more clearly (learning-theory).

 

Thanks for reading!

Amy 🙂

4 thoughts on “What Blended Learning means to me!!

  1. Dean Vendramin says:

    Great blog. I really think we are doing our students a disservice if we don’t introduce them to 21st Century skills and ways of learning. I work with some amazing teachers that still ‘kick it old school’. They do great work and are convinced that their trusted and true ways of delivering content are still the best. But although our students are ‘digital’ natives many still have no clue how to harness, respect, and focus with powerful 21st Century learning opportunities. Unfortunately, I do see some ‘younger’ teachers still grab a binder and follow that binder to a ‘T’ without attempting to offer students learning experiences that will affect their present and their future. Blended/online learning opportunities will only increase as time moves on. Universities and industry will expect students to be able to train and learn in these environments. The term ‘life long learners’ is and will continue to be a critical skill to prepare our students for a future that will be filled with change and opportunity. Thus, providing students with rich blended and online experiences is both worthwhile and necessary. I was also interested in why people thought that the curriculum guidelines might not be able to be met in this environment. Great post. Thanks for sharing and thanks for making me think.

  2. Shelby Mackey says:

    Thanks for sharing Amy! I love the pros and cons list you made and I completely agree with you. I think the pros and cons of blended learning balance out as well and I think it is a disservice to our students to keep them in the dark about the types of technology there are out there and using them properly. They need 21st century skills to develop in a 21st century world!
    Another point that hit home with me was your undoubted frustration about not having a working projector in your classroom! I dealt with a similar issue last year and the process of getting a new one was grueling! It completely affected how I wanted to teach so I can image your pain right now. It forced me to become more creative with lesson delivery so it wasn’t a complete loss but still is inconvenient! I used google classroom to help me out and it worked lovely. I agree that it is very easy and now I’m trying to figure out how best to use it for a more blended learning process in my classroom. What types of experiential learning activities have you done? Did they work well?
    Again, thanks for sharing your ideas!
    Shelby

  3. pdlefebvre1971 says:

    Hi Amy and thanks for the post. You highlight the pros and cons very well. It does ask the question, how do teachers deliver blended learning if they do not have the resources or support to do so? You do need PD and continuous support for this initiative to be successful. I also like your use of progressive teaching as our learners are also changing and we as educators must be open to newer and more effective means of engaging our students.

  4. bradraes7578 says:

    PD is such a hard thing for divisions to put on… how do they pick on presenters? Should divisions mandate teachers to use certain platforms? Our division encourages google, and even sets up accounts for all employees/ students….

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