Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Being open to experiment with blended learning

I've gone from being extremely excited and enthusiastic about blended learning to being completely on the verge of giving up. My biggest lesson was as with anything in education, what worked well with one group of students, may do quite the opposite with another. As mentioned in this previous post, blended learning continues to have its ups and downs for me, but it's important for teachers to give students a voice and choice in the way they blend learning. The following examples are available through D2L, which is the LMS supported by my school board.

Primary - Grade 1 Math

A simple search in the OERB led me to this activity. The link will work for you if you have access to the LMS through elearning. I did not use the LMS when I taught primary, but I also didn't use much online content (shock!) at that time. I've seen primary teachers use D2L as their one stop shop, for videos, ministry content, other links such as Prodigy and Dance Mat. 

This example would enhance learning and teaching as it would give students extra review of Math concepts, at home or at school during a centre. I've also used activities from the OERB with IEP students who have a modified program and embedded the learning object right into my D2L widget. If I conditionally release the widget to just that student, no other student will be able to view it.

The following examples are from a presentation I've shared about getting started with blended learning using D2L.

Junior - Grade 5/6 Lit Circle discussions

My class two years ago loved doing lit circle discussions online, possibly because both D2L and lit circles were new to them. They were very engaged, did their work in class and I assessed it as part of their reading comprehension mark. I envisioned them going online at home and discussing the book, but they would usually work on it while I was doing small group instruction. The discussions can be conditionally released to just that group. I would pop into the discussions and give them focus questions and/or feedback about supporting their ideas. Although it could be done face to face, it made everyone's thinking visible and they were also able to more confidently build on each others ideas, especially for those introverted students.

Intermediate - Formative Assessment and Peer Feedback

As mentioned in this previous post about my writing process last year with my grade 7s, using D2L dropbox for writing tasks gave me the opportunity to provide timely feedback all year. Towards the end of the year we experimented with peer feedback in the discussion forums. The example below is how I modelled the revising and editing process, but my students were able to give each other excellent feedback and I was quite pleased with the final products.

Blended learning has been the best thing that's happened to my teaching practice and I hope I continue to be supported by administrators and parents next year!

No comments:

Post a Comment