Blending It Together
Blended learning is an innovation that has the chance to transform the educational system. I have put together all of the resources that I have created and utilized for introducing, supporting, implementing, and encouraging blended learning in the classroom.
This document is an introduction and proposal that I created to implement blended learning in the classroom. It defines how blended learning which is a disruptive innovation can be used to transform an entire schools’ classroom experience.
My literature review discusses current trends in emerging technologies that have and will continue to have a large impact on learning environments such as blended learning. The information in this document supports the implementation of blended learning in K-12 schools and higher education.
This is my preliminary outline for implementing blended learning in the classroom. It has been designed to be implemented in a 5th grade self-contained classroom, but it can also be modified to meet the needs of other learning environments.
This video clip is a digital story will hopefully encourage school administrators, teachers, and parents to embrace the innovation of blended learning. This link also includes a reflection of the process of writing, recording, creating, and editing the video clip.
All of these documents can be found on my E-Portfolio site: Miss Tyna Williams
Understanding and embracing change, introducing the idea of disruptive innovation, and incorporating technology can be difficult to achieve at first. So, I have included an annotated bibliography of titles of books written by distinguished authors and experts in those areas. I recommend that these books are researched to further understanding and comprehension of such topics.
Blended: Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools by Michael B. Horn and Heather Staker (2015), ISBN: 9781118955154
Blended is a guide for designing, implementing, and assessing blended learning and its techniques in K-12 schools.
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D. (2008), ISBN: 9780345472328
Mindset discusses how the power of our beliefs can strongly affect what we want and whether we succeed in getting it.
A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change by Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown (2011), ISBN: 9781456458881
Thomas and Brown help the reader understand and embrace change brought about by digital technology.
Leading Change by John P. Kotter (2012), ISBN: 9781422186435
John P. Kotter explains the eight-step process for managing change with positive results for leaders and organizations.
Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learnsby Clayton M. Christensen, Michael B. Horn and Curtis W. Johnson (2011), ISBN: 9780071749107
Horn, and Johnson discuss education in terms of Christensen’s theory of disruptive change using a variety of real-life examples that encourages new ideas, outside-of-the-box strategies, and success stories.
What Connected Educators Do Differently by Todd Whitaker, Jeffrey Zoul and Jimmy Casas (2015), ISBN: 9781138832008
Whitaker, Zoul, and Casas explain and demonstrate how being a connected educator―by using social media to connect with peers—greatly enhances our own learning and our success in a school or classroom.
The information and resources that I have compiled is only the beginning argument of the long standing battle between the traditional vs the modern, pencils vs computers, and tradition versus innovation. I argue that it is not necessary to just discontinue one or the other but just simply balance them both in the K-12 classroom.
I propose that we get the best of both worlds by implementing blended learning in the classroom. And the first step in achieving this is getting informed. I have only touched the surface of this controversial topic, but trust me I will not stop and I suggest you get on board and let’s sail away to endless possibilities with blended learning.
In this blog I my main purpose is to tell a story, persuade, and talk to my professional peers. How can I be professional yet personal at the same time? I was asked by my professor to create a digital story narrative that included a personal moment at least that was my take on the assignment. So my plan talks about blended learning and implementing the station rotation model. Working through all the thoughts in my head I had to think about how can I show from personal stand point the importance of taking a chance in order to reach a goal or make learning accessible.
I went back to when I decided to return to college in 2012. Hopefully my audience will see how mixing online, face to face, and technology all together is engaging for students.
My Digital Story
The first step in creating my digital story was to put the narrative into writing. To me that was pretty easy. The hard work was putting all these thoughts in my brain on paper and choosing the right words and then when I record it to use the right tone. When I recorded my narrative I used Samsung recorder on my phone and emailed it to myself and put it in the PowerPoint. Below you can see my script but remember when I actually recorded the script may differ because I ad lib:
My Digital Story Script
I was at a standstill. I just couldn’t decide which way to go. Due to personal reasons I had to quit college way back in 1998. I always wanted my degree but how could I do that now as a full time working adult. After doing my research I found an alternative right here in my own back yard at Lamar university. I could go on campus, go to class online, and work full time. Believe me my first day I was nervous. I was the older student and I wondered if I would remember what I learned in college way back when. But in the end I walked out a college graduate of Lamar university in 2014. I was able to have a traditional class setting, an online setting, wrapped up all in one. And I could work full time. So the question is why not blend face to face instruction with online instruction for our students today. We all know that students don’t learn the same way. But why choose to stick to the same traditional methods of instructions cause that can get really boring. We all can see how much today’s students are literally hooked on technology. We see how excited they get by literally touching an iPad, computer or even their cell phone. They are practically a match made in heaven. So why not use that same technology to help students learn in today’s education world. We have the opportunity to enhance our students learning environments. We can get them ready for the future so let’s simply just do it.
The second step was to gather my pictures and create my PowerPoint. I created my PowerPoint and then I inserted my recording of the script.
My last and final step was to upload my PowerPoint to YouTube.
This blog is the outline to my implementation plan for my Innovative Plan and is designed to be implemented in a 5th grade self-contained classroom.
Step 1: Create a Success Environment
- Blended learning, Station Rotation Model, Online Instruction, Teacher-Led Instruction, Collaborative Station Activites
- 5th Grade
- Reading and Language Arts, I-Station, Benchmarks, other assessments
- Math: Universal Screeners, I-Station, Think Through Math , Benchmarks, other assessments
- Grade Level Chair
- Grade Level Teachers
- Paraprofessionals, Volunteers
- Technology Teacher
- Administrative Team (Principal, AP, Counselor)
- Primary-Leadership Team (Coordinator, Technical Support, Teacher)
- Secondary- Assistant Principal, Principal
- School budget, PTA, Community Sponsors, Business Partners
Content and Equipment
- Premium Content
- 5 computers per classroom
- 5-8 IPads per classroom
- Classrooms, Wi-Fi, computers, iPads, headphones, outlets, cables, and carts
Step 2: My Plan
Strategy and Timeline
- 2016-2017 Academic Year
- 1stSemester, 1st-3rd Six Weeks, Create Conditions for Success
- 2ndSemester, 4th -5th Six Weeks-one content area, 6th-7th Six Weeks-two content areas, 8th-9th Six Weeks-three content areas
- 2017-2018 Academic Year
- Create school day schedule for full implementation of content areas
|Instructional Model: Station Rotation|
|Number of students per group||Online instruction||Teacher-led instruction||Collaborative activity/station||Collaborative activity/station|
|Reading||4-5 students max.||Computer||Mini lesson||IPad||Previous day’s learning objective|
Steps 3 & 4: Implement and Improve
|Impact Measurement and Professional Development|
|Horizontal Team Meeting||E-mail , Training done by Leadership Team||Vertical Team Meeting; Campus-wide Instructional Staff Meeting||Campus-wide round-table; Sharing and Modeling Best Practices by Instructional Staff|
|Yearly: Campus-wide Instructional Staff Meeting|
|Review strengths and weaknesses, short-term and long-term goals, immediate versus gradual changes; Review multi-year budget; Review culture (values, improvement, good habits, concerns and questions, support, collaboration, mastery, execution)|
|Sources of Measurement|
|Eduphoria, I-Station, Think Through Math and Google Drive|
Digital Learning Now!. (2013). Blended Learning Implementation Guide Version 2.0. Retrieved from http://digitallearningnow.com/site/uploads/2013/10/BLIG-2.0-Final-Paper.pdf
Horn, M. B., & Staker, H. (2015). Blended: Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools(First ed.). San Francisco, California: Jossey-Bass.
There are a lot of trends uses of emerging technologies that have a large impact on learning environments in K-12 schools. I’m going to blog about how all those emerging technologies have an impact on my innovative plan (Innovative Plan) featuring the station rotation via blended learning. There are many reasons why blended learning is making its way into classrooms across the country. Teachers, parents and students alike recognize the benefits with a mix of online and in classroom, teacher-led learning. These benefits include:
- Parent involvement – Parents have a greater ability to participate in their children’s education. With online learning, parents are able to interact and view their child’s progress as well as see what is being taught day in and day out.
- Convenience and flexibility – A blended learning approach students are offered more flexibility. If they are sick, if there is a snow day or if a family takes an extended vacation, online learning can offer a convenient way to learn away from the classroom cutting down on the amount of make-up work or missed instruction a student has to deal with when they return to the classroom.
- Personalization – By far one of the most touted benefits of blended learning is the ability for personalization. Students can learn at their own pace and advance as fast as they want, not having to be held back by others in the classroom that may be at a different level. Similarly, if a student needs extra instruction in a certain area, blended learning ensures that that student is able to gain the extra instruction they require and grasp the concept before moving along to the next level.
- Ability to teach to all learning styles in one classroom – For teachers this is one of the greatest benefits of blended learning, teaching to all students no matter what their learning style.
Shawn Rubin, director of blended learning for the nonprofit Highlander Institute sums it up perfectly in an article in The Hechinger Report, “When it’s done right, the student is at the center of everything and becomes the driver of his or her own learning. The most difficult job for any teacher is how to differentiate instruction. That means understanding how each student learns best, meeting students where they are and helping them grasp a concept or master a skill at just the right moment. A smart use of technology and ed-tech tools can help teachers figure out how their students are doing day to day, hour to hour, even minute to minute. Blended learning can provide teachers with crucial feedback that enables them to intervene with greater precision and effectiveness and customize learning for their students (Jordan, 2015).”
The station rotation includes online instruction, teacher-led instruction, and other collaborative activities and stations. The station rotation model works anytime and anywhere. Anthony Kim of EDSurge says that “Station rotation works well within the constraints of existing school buildings. You don’t need different sizes and shapes of classrooms to implement a rotational model. You can do it in classrooms today. It is understandable to teachers. Station-based learning is not a foreign concept, and is a great way to dip your toes in the water and explore the benefits of better differentiation through digital content. It’s also a change that is feasible to implement at any point of the year because it doesn’t have space requirements. With the right support and tools, a rotational model works for any teacher. It enables teachers to use data to change how they are teaching and in a way that is sustainable. It allows teachers to make decisions about what groups students should be in based on where they are in mastering a given concept, and it lets them re-group constantly, and differentiate all the time. A rotational model can also work in any subject. In fact, multi-subject implementation can build habits and cultures for both students and for teachers, vs. a single-subject implementation. Teachers can collaborate, administrators and leaders can provide coaching and support. If blended learning is happening in most or all classrooms in a given school, it becomes a new way of teaching and learning across the board, rather than an isolated event (Kim, 2014).” I believe this plan will improve the education system on the elementary level in specific content areas.
Michael B. Horn and Heather Staker’s (2015) Blended: Using Disruptive Innovations to Improve Schools is a blueprint for designing, implementing, and assessing blended learning and its techniques in K-12 schools. They define blended learning as any formal education program in which a student learns at least in part through online learning, with some element of student control over time, place, path, and/or pace (2015, p. 34). Second, the student learns at least in part in a supervised brick-and-mortar location away from home (Horn & Staker, 2015, p. 35). And third, the modalities along each student’s learning path within a course or subject are connected to provide an integrated learning experience (Horn & Staker, 2015, p. 35). The rotation model consists of any course or subject in which students rotate—either on a fixed schedule or at the teacher’s discretion—among learning modalities, at least one of which is online learning (Horn & Staker, 2015, p. 38). Students will do the rotation model within a contained classroom or even a group of classrooms. Students rotate through all of the stations which include online instruction, teacher-led instruction, and other collaborative activities and stations. Below is an example of a station rotation model:
Mary Meeker, a partner at Venture Capital (VC) firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers (KPCB), reports in Internet Trends 2014 at the Code Conference that personalized education is “ramping.” Meeker explains that people learn in different ways and that the Internet offers many options—on their own terms and at a low cost—to many, with real-time feedback (s. 26). In that same report, Meeker mentions that more than 25 million people use the Duolingo application to learn new languages. Meeker also states that online courses help the learning process for both teachers and students. Mary Meeker supports transformation in students’ learning environments in emerging education-related technologies, like blended learning.
EDUCAUSE Center for Analysis and Research (ECAR) provides user data, higher education technology trends and practices, and collaboration opportunities for IT professionals and higher education leaders. ECAR has surveyed undergraduate students and faculty annually since 2004 about technology in higher education. ECAR has collaborated with various institutions to collect responses from tens of thousands of undergraduate students and faculty across 13 countries. According to Dahlstrom’s (2012) ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, students say that blended learning environments are not only the norm, but also best support how they learn. In a report by ECAR, 75,000 students were surveyed and said they learned best with a blend of online and face-to-face work (Dahlstrom et al., 2014). Today’s students have more internet devices now than ever, and they are ready to use them for academic purposes. The ECAR studies also present the challenges in the practices and uses of emerging technologies which include but are not partial to limited mobile-friendly resources and activities, limited professional development and training opportunities (Dahlstrom, 2012), infrastructure barriers such as lack of charging outlets and/or charging stations and insufficient network access, privacy issues (Dahlstrom et al., 2013), and the potential for distraction (Dahlstrom et al., 2014).
Johnson, Adams, and Cummins (2012) find that education paradigms are shifting to include online learning, hybrid learning, and collaborative models, the cost of technology is dropping, and that there is a new emphasis in the classroom on more challenge-based, active learning (p. 7, 8). That same report also emphasizes the need for students to get a well-rounded education with real world experiences and informal in-class activities as well as learn to learn outside the classroom (p. 9). They also feel that the role of the teacher needs to be reevaluated. Teachers are increasingly expected to be adept at a variety of technology-based practices for content delivery, learner support, and assessment, to collaborate with other teachers, to use digital strategies in their work with students, to act as guides and mentors to promote student-centered learning, and to organize their own work and comply with administrative documentation and reporting requirements. Students, along with their families, add to these expectations through their own use of technology. As this trend and challenge gains popularity, many schools across the world are rethinking the primary responsibilities of teachers (Johnson et al., 2014, p. 6).
Let’s not forget about the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). An organization dedicated to supporting the use of information technology to aid in the learning and teaching of K-12 students and teachers. ISTE has continued to support educators as they navigate decisions about curriculum, instruction, professional learning and technology. In 2007 the ISTE published a book Web 2.0: New Tools, New Schools, authors Gwen Solomon and Lynne Schrum. They say that students are strong believers in the power of technology to enrich their learning experiences. They also say that students have ideas about their futures that include using technology tools for learning and preparing themselves for a competitive job market (p. 27). There solution to this is using collaboration and communication tools with educational methods that also promote these skills—such as project-based learning and blended learning—to help students acquire the abilities they need for the future (Solomon & Schrum, 2007, p. 18).
Teaching and Learning with Technology by authors Judy Lever-Duffy and Jean B. McDonald (2011), provides a look at the range of educational technologies available for use in today’s classrooms, and the many ways technology can be used to effectively improve teaching and learning. One of the ideas that Lever-Duffy and McDonald explore is virtual reality worlds in education. There is a tremendous potential for teachers and students to be able to take a full-immersion field trip to another country, the bottom of the ocean, another planet or even inside the human body (Lever-Duffy & McDonald, 2011, p. 371). Check out Google helping with virtual reality:
Last but not least, the U.S. Department of Education has established that students who took all or part of their class online performed better, on average, than those taking the same course through traditional face-to-face instruction (Bakia et al., 2012, p. A-12). The department also confirmed that instruction combining online and face-to-face elements had a larger advantage relative to purely face-to-face instruction than did purely online instruction (Bakia et al., 2012, p. A-12).
In conclusion, this document and its finding conclude that the use of technology in education is on the rise, and the adoption of blended learning in K-12 schools and higher education is not only growing, but it is also changing the way students learn. Although many drawbacks like elevated control costs, lack of training, and limited infrastructure limit the implementation of a model like blended learning, they do not outweigh the rewards. The Station Rotation model, has proven to provide equal or greater academic and social achievement results. Students learn through a blended learning model than through face-to-face instruction only. The goal here, is to improve students’ learning experiences and environments. I believe my plan will do just that.
Bakia, M., Shear, L., Toyama, Y., & Lasseter, A. (2012). Understanding the Implications of
Online Learning for Educational Productivity. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Education. Office of Educational Technology. (PDF). Retrieved fromhttp://tech.ed.gov/files/2013/10/implications-online-learning.pdf
Dahlstrom, Eden. (2012). ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology,
- 2012. EDUCAUSE Center for Analysis and Research (ECAR). Retrieved fromhttps://library.educause.edu/resources/2012/9/ecar-study-of-undergraduate-students-and-information-technology-2012
Dahlstrom, E., Brooks, D. C., & Bichsel, J. (2014) 2014 Student and Faculty Technology
Research Studies. EDUCAUSE Center for Analysis and Research (ECAR). Retrieved from https://library.educause.edu/resources/2014/10/2014-student-and-faculty-technology-research-studies
Dahlstrom, E., Walker, J. D., Dziuban, C. D., & Morgan, G. (2013). ECAR Study of
Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2013. EDUCAUSE Center for Analysis and Reaserach (ECAR). Retrieved fromhttps://library.educause.edu/resources/2013/9/ecar-study-of-undergraduate-students-and-information-technology-2013
Horn, M. B., & Staker, H. (2015). Blended: Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools
(First ed.). San Francisco, California: Jossey-Bass.
International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). (2015). ISTE 2015 Annual Report.
Johnson, L., Adams, S., and Cummins, M. (2012). NMC Horizon Report: 2012 K-12 Edition.
Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium.
Johnson, L., Adams Becker, S., Cummins, M., Estrada V., Freeman, A., and Ludgate, H. (2013).
Knewton. (n. d.). Blended Learning: A Disruptive Innovation. (Infographic). Retrieved from
Lever-Duffy, J., & McDonald, J. B. (2011). Teaching and Learning with Technology(Fourth
ed.). Boston, Massachusetts: Pearson Education Inc.
Meeker, Mary. (2014) Internet Trends 2014-Code Conference. Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers
(KPCB). Retrieved from https://techcrunch.com/2014/05/28/heres-mary-meekers-big-deck-on-key-internet-trends/
Solomon, G., & Schrum, L. (2007). Web 2.0: New Tools, New Schools (First ed.). Eugene,
Oregon: International Society for Technology in Education.
Jordan, J. D. (2015, July 9). What’s Next: Blended Learning 2.0. Retrieved September 9 , 2016, from The Hechinger Report: http://hechingerreport.org/whats-next-blended-learning-2-0/
Kim, A. (2014, June 3). Rotational Models Work for Any Classroom. Retrieved September 9, 2016, from EdSurge: https://www.edsurge.com/news/2014-06-03-opinion-rotational-models-work-for-any-classroom