Lessons Learned about #Blendedlearning implementation at #FallCUE

The panel discussion at Fall CUE about blended learning implementation provided some wonderful insights. The resources from the session can be found here. The assembled panel of Barbara Bray, Diane Darrow, Randy Kolset, Elizabeth Calhoon-Brumbaugh and Susan Stewart focused on the importance of professional development as teachers implement blended learning and the importance of coaching, nudging and encouraging.

The tweets below provide some of the insights shared:

#FALLCue Live! #BlendedLearning and #CE14 Join Us from a Distance!

Slide1Connected Educator Month continues through the end of October. If you have not yet checked it out, see the calendar here and type in “blended learning” in the search and you’ll find all of the blended learning related session in the next week.

In support of Connected Educator Month, CUE is making a number of their Fall CUE keynotes and selected sessions live streamed for anyone to join on October 24 and 25 2014. If you join, please use the hashtags #FallCUE and #ce14 via Twitter to ask questions via the back channel.

All of the info about registering and joining the live streamed events can be found here or here.

Of special interest may be the Blended Learning Panel entitled “Launching and Maintaining a Blended Learning Program” that will discuss personalized learning and implementation of blended learning activities. This session will take place on Friday, October 24, 2014 at 1:15 EST / 10:15 PST. More information on this specific session can be found here. Participants from a distance can be part of this session and the conversation by logging into the session’s Today’s Meet to share ideas and ask questions.

The keynotes include presentations from Lucien Vattel and Diana Laufenberg.

Friday, October 24, 4:00 pm PST / 7:00 EST: Lucien Vattel. We Learn Best When We Experience, Interact and Connect

As an education trailblazer and game development visionary, Vattel is at the forefront of a nationwide crusade to revolutionize learning in the classroom and beyond. Vattel is the CEO of GameDesk, the Los Angeles-based interactive curriculum creator and digital publisher, which is transforming the traditional school model into a hands-on, digitally-charged ecosystem for students to discover and nourish their greatest gifts all while embracing STEM skills through game-based learning. Building on this methodology, Vattel founded and is Co-Director of PlayMaker, a next-generation, choose-your-own adventure middle school program designed to help teachers and students transcend the confines of textbooks and chalkboards. After securing the largest contribution in AT&T history, Vattel currently leads the design and development of a Los Angeles-based digital learning center and fully comprehensive online portal for educators.

Saturday, October 25, 3:30 pm PST / 6:30 EST: Diana Laufenberg. Creating the Classrooms We Need
Her keynote, ‘Creating the Classrooms We Need’ will discuss how our schools hold immense potential for authentic and experience-based learning in this age of information surplus. Since educators are teaching and students are learning in a landscape where students no longer have to come to school to get their information, never have educators had such amazing opportunities to think creatively about their practice. Never has it been so important for educators to provide students with innovative and dynamic learning. Laufenberg’s keynote will provide practical classroom examples of activities and assessments and will challenge audience members’ thinking on what it means to teach and learn in today’s schools.

The topics of other concurrent sessions being streamed include:

  • The Great iPad vs. Chomebook Showdown 2014
  • Launching and Maintaining a Blended Learning Program
  • How Good Ideas Spread
  • YouTube – Engage, Educate and Inspire Your Students with Powerful Video
  • Creating Spoken Word Poetry to Inspire Social Change
  • Minecraft Projects for Every Classroom
  • Going 1-to-1 with Chromebooks
  • Level Up! Classroom Gamification for Even the Non-Gamer

Looking forward to seeing you online or via Twitter with #FallCUE and #CE14 hashtag.

Common Core leads to #blendedlearning teaching at #FallCue

Whether your state has adopted the Common Core or not (or adopted it and then changed its mind), the national conversation about common standards across the U.S. continues. This 3 minute video provides some quick rationale for some of the many reasons for the adoption and implementation of Common Core standards.

The Common Core Assessments have been piloted and in spring 2015, students will be taking the common core assessments for the first time “for real”. This image below shows how common core assessments and the use of technology will provide ongoing measures that can better guide teachers in their instruction. I particularly appreciate the content and delivery rows that show the shift into more authentic assessments for students.

Slide1

The shift to common core assessments is similar to the shift in teachers moving to becoming blended learning teachers. And the reasons to do so are the same.

  • Effective blended teaching uses ongoing data to inform teacher instruction to better personalize learning, while common core assessment data will also better inform instruction and provide teachers with more granular feedback.
  • Effective blended teaching utilizes technology to engage learners, while the common core assessments utilize technology to provide complex tasks utilizing multimedia and interactivity to provide more authentic assessments.
  • Effective blended teaching empowers a more student centered classroom with students taking on more control of their own learning, while the common core assessments engage learners while taking the assessment to better challenge their thinking beyond rote memorization of facts.

After thinking about the importance of blended learning for several years, I’ve come to realize that the goals of the common core assessments are the same – to engage learners, to better personalize learning, and to provide ongoing data for teachers and students that cause students to be more college and career ready.

There are several Fall CUE sessions that will address both blended learning and the common core as it applies to a math classroom. First this blended learning panel will address the implementation of blended learning. Then, this session about blended learning and the common core, co-presented with my sister who is a fifth grade teacher, will explore the importance of common core and blended teaching in the math classroom.

Overall, blended learning, like the common core implementation is a journey that causes all educators and students to better understand teaching and learning so that students leave high school more prepared for college and the work force.

Tips for Administrative Support and Leadership for #Blendedlearning Implementation #ce14

As part of the blended learning strand for Connected Educator Month, a unique panel of experts provided recommendations for leadership and the implementation of blended learning programs in a recent webinar. The Recording and Slide Deck from this webinar and other CEM blended learning strand activities can be found here.

Slide1

First, Anna Gu from the Christensen Institute shared the important conversation she and Michael Horn had with California superintendents about barriers encountered by superintendents who want to implement blended learning. They then produced the document, “Knocking Down Barriers: California Superintendents and Blended Learning.”  In Fall 2013, the Christensen Institute convened a group of superintendents to talk about how to overcome hurdles that inhibit the implementation of blended learning. The conversation fell into two categories: how to redesign teacher roles and how to manage the technology infrastructure. The leadership in the area of redesigning teacher roles requires administrators to deal with teacher contract issues and overall, have open ongoing conversations with teachers about their changing roles and how that may impact the teacher. One other area that schools may find barriers is the use of curriculum materials in both print and digital format. There are “perceived barriers” that keep leaders and teachers from moving forward toward blended learning goals. Identifying these “perceived barriers” and talking about these are important for the implementation of blended learning goals.

Brian Bridges from California shared the importance of longitudinal data and ongoing surveys of schools to understand how blended learning is being used. He oversaw the collection of data from California schools about blended and online learning called the eLearning census. The questions asked are an important guide for other districts and schools to consider as they gather further information about blended and online learning. Over three years, the eLearning Census in California provided some important data to show the increase in use of blended learning. Some of the other important insights provided from the surveys indicated the importance of planning ahead with input from more stakeholders regarding the blended learning implementation and provide more ongoing professional development From a leadership perspective, ongoing data and surveying of stakeholders helps to provide important information and survey metrics that can inform implementation. One of the initiatives in California under the leadership of Brian is the eLearning Strategies Symposium which will take place December 12 and 13, 2014 in San Mateo, Ca. All are invited to attend.

Anne Pasco from Huntley High School in Huntley Illinois shared how their high school implemented blended learning three years ago. At the leadership of the superintendent, the district decided it was important to have a school of choice. They started small with 3 teachers in the first year, with students taking the blended course in the first or last period of the day. The program has now grown to one-third of their school and students can take a blended class at any period during the day. When students do not have to attend their classroom, students can go to stay in commons area of the school, the learning resource center or leave campus. Common assessments in all of the subjects have shown that students do equally well in the blended and the traditional classrooms. Student surveys show that they take more responsibility for their own learning and they like that. Overall, leadership and teacher support systems have grown in a variety of ways including a better understanding for counselors in conversations with students. Students may take either a traditional or blended learning class in this traditional high school.

Travis Phelps works at St. Justin Catholic School in Santa Clara, Ca as part of the Drexel Initiative in the Catholic Diocese of San Jose. The blended learning implementation has taken place at the 8th grade level. The important aspect of blended learning is to start small and build. Overall, he shared the importance of having teachers who are flexible in teaching and with the use of technology. He and other teachers have participated in blended teacher training provided by the University of Santa Clara. He also mentioned the importance of having a supportive principal in implementing blended learning. In addition, he talked about one metric to use regarding teacher implementation is the SAMR model, which is a metric that can be used with teachers to help them understand their implementation level and direction they are heading.

Overall, the important leadership principles shared by the panelists for implementing blended learning included:

  • Start small and build
  • Get input from a variety of stakeholders as the implementation begins and continues
  • Provide a culture of innovation and empowerment support systems for teachers
  • Provide a reliable technology infrastructure
  • Have ongoing feedback from stakeholders in the form of surveys indicating amount of use and student surveys about their learning
  • Identify variety of ongoing metrics by which to measure progress of blended learning implementation

#Blendedlearning teachers talk about blended teaching #ce14

Earlier this week, a group of teachers shared their insights about blended learning as part of he blended learning strand for Connected Educator Month. The recording is here and the slide deck is here. All of the blended learning strand archives for CEM can be found here. Register here or here for the final two webinars dealing with administrative and support systems in blended learning programs.

Panel members included the following:

Each of the panel members shared important insights regarding blended learning. Haley Hart shared this slide that really characterizes how a teacher teaches in a blended learning program.

Slide2 The important aspects of this graphic show that blended learning teachers use a course management system with 1-to1 technology devices and use student data on a daily basis to inform instruction and customize learning for each student. A majority of the content is online.

Meghan Jacquot shared that at the SF Flex Academy, teachers and students work together to identify what students need to learn. Student curriculum changes on a weekly basis depending on what students have accomplished the previous week. The teachers wait to look at the student data and then prepare the curriculum based on the needs of the students. Overall, the teacher became more of an academic coach.

At the PASE Academy in Southeastern High School, Haley Hart became part of the implementation of blended learning. The academy allows students to move at their own pace. With students on computers on a daily basis, this allows students to provide data to the teacher on a daily basis and are not governed by a bell. Students identify how much time they will spend each day on different subjects, so a student might do English all day on Monday, but science all day on Tuesday. Overall, the student takes on more control of their learning. Here is what their open space looks like at PASE Academy which includes a large room and smaller conference rooms.

Slide1

Jeff Gerlach at Michigan Virtual University who taught in a blended learning 7th grade social studies class, shared how blended learning is really a journey. He shared how a blended learning classroom provides greater feedback to students because of technologies used like Google docs or WordPress. With the technology, it is much easier to collect rich data from students and better inform teaching. Jeff wrote about his experience here.

Brian Thornley who teachers Algebra II discovered that with blended learning, almost everything can be taught via online resources. The data allows him to know where students are struggling and can then focus on those areas to better address student needs. Students at his school, if they are doing well in the blended learning Algebra II course, they can then focus on other things. He admitted that becoming a blended teacher caused him to have to give up some of the control to students. But, he realized how students taking more control of their learning caused him to focus on other things. Overall, he has found that students in his blended learning classroom are learning other important skills such as time management and technology use as it is applied to learning.

Dr. Lesley Farmer who teaches in a blended environment at the college level shared some important data that has come from research by Educause and the 2011 ECAR Report that provided important information about what makes an effective blended learning environment. Blended environments at every level cause students to take more responsibility for their learning, provide deeper learning, and more optimal use of time. The Educause reported that three factors caused student success in a blended environment:

  • The strongest predictors of how students rate their institution in its use of technology
  • –their instructors’ effective use of technology
  • –their instructors’ use of technology frequently enough
  • –the seamless integration of technology into their courses
  • These three predictors alone accounted for approximately 54% of the variance in students’ perceptions of their institution’s effectiveness in using technology.

The image below shows how these factors provide academic benefit by 1) Giving students access to resources and progress reports online; 2) Making students more efficient in their work; 3) Facilitating connections with others; and 4) Making learning more engaging and relevant.

Slide3

#ce14 #blendedlearning strand continues – Are you connected?

Have you participated in some part of Connected Educator Month? If not, you should. It’s a great opportunity for all types of educators (teachers, parents, future teachers, administrators, thought leaders) to participate in all of October events. You can be part of a tweet up, listen into a webinar, post in a discussion board or read a blog. All relate to education and how connecting like this models how we can connect to our students and ultimately, improve student engagement and achievement. Check out the CEM Calendar of Events. At least sign up to receive the CEM newsletter [right side of the page]. The Connected Educator Blog provides opportunities to connect with others such as this blogpost about how to start a blog. The other day, I joined in a Tweet Up that included Secretary for Education Arne Duncan.

The Blended Learning Strand for Connected Educator Month continues.

Slide1

The ongoing activities can be found here and here.

The first week, our panel better defined “blended learning.” Listen to the recording here or view the slides.

The second week, our expert panel of teachers shared how blended learning looks in a classroom. Here is the recording and the slides.

Next up will be the administrative perspective. Register to join the webinar here.

Ongoing activities include a discussion board at Linked In and the ongoing Twitter activity with the hashtag #blendedlearning.

Overall, lead, participate or contribute to the Connected Educator Month blended learning strand:

  • Panel Discussion Webinar (Mondays – 7:00 EST / 4:00 PST) – Registration and Recordings below
  • Discussion Board Weekly Conversations – Join here via Linked In (All week) – Contribute to the discussion
  • Tweet Up as a follow up to the panel discussion – (#ce14 #blendedlearning) (Tuesday – 8-9pm EST / 4:00-5:00 PST) – Tweet Up Page here
  • Weekly blogpost – posted each week in response to the discussion topic. – Create your own blogpost and tag it #ce14 #blendedlearning 
  • Pinterest Board - See the list and add your own.

#BlendedLearning Continuum and Rocketship Si Se Puede

I am gradually writing about California schools I have visited in the past year and applying the “From Textbook Enhanced to Online Teaching and Learning Continuum” to each school in an effort to better clarify what blended learning looks like. I wrote about the list of schools here.

School: Rocketship, Si Se Puede Academy (K-5, Charter, San Jose, Ca. Opened in 2009. 658 students).

  • Students attend all day
  • Blended Learning Models: Rotation and Flex.
  • Spending per student: $8,382 (according to School Report Card)

Rocketship Charter schools have been the trail blazers in the use of blended learning. I had heard about Rocketship schools for years and was pleased to be able to visit. Upon walking into the school, the first thing that becomes evident is that there is a strong culture in the school, very much focused on learning. Students wear uniforms to school and appeared engaged in learning in the classrooms I visited including the computer lab. Teachers were passionate, enthusiastic, and systematic in delivering instruction to students.

Computer Use/Blended Learning: Students in grades 1-3 participate in a rotation station model of blended learning in that they rotate into a computer lab each day, specifically for use of math and reading software programs. Grades 4 and 5 were in one large room that included computers and several teachers and instructional aides. As of the 2014-15 school year, Rocketship switched back to a computer rotation model for grades 4 and 5.

Blended Learning Continuum: Based on the “From Textbook to Online Teaching and Learning Continuum”, Rocketship Si Se Puede is primarily a “Web Enhanced” School. This school could move to the blended learning column by employing a learning management system such as Edmodo or Moodle and more of the teacher instruction was viewable via the Web (e.g. online newsletters, teacher videos, etc.). It is possible this school does employ these types of strategies, but they were not visible during the visit.

RocketshipContinuum2

Find detailed continuum information here.


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