Posts Tagged 'blendedlearning'

Top 5 #BlendedLearning Infographics

Listed below are some of the best blended learning infographics from the past year. They all focus on better understanding blended learning. The entire list can be found here. And another blended learning collection can be found here.

Listed below are the direct links to the infographics and then the info graphics below. Direct links:




Top 5 #BlendedLearning Reports from 2014

The past year produced a plethora of reports about blended learning. However the top 5 not-to-be missed reports provide thought provoking writing and thoughts about the implementation of blended learning. Ultimately, teachers are the ones that impact blended learning, and how teachers apply the tools and strategies and pedagogy of blended learning is what empowers student learning and increases student achievement. The entire list can be found here.  But here are my top 5 (in no particular order):

  • Handbook of Research on K-12 Online and Blended Learning. (Nov. 2014) This 500-page report provides the most up-to-date research and policies about blended and online learning. Find all of the research, reports and important papers documented all in one place.  The report researchers Kathryn Kennedy and Rick Ferdig have long been involved in researching online and blended learning, especially at the K-12 level.
  • Reimagining Teaching in a Blended Classroom (Dec. 2014). This report by TNTP focuses on the importance of every child having a quality teacher. This report provides excellent charts and idea about the skills needed by a blended learning teacher. Ultimately, teachers in a digital world need to be researchers and developers, integrators and guides. The TNTP organization is focused on teaching excellence and their researchers provide important thinking about what teaching should look like now and in the future.
  • Blended Teacher Competency Framework (iNACOL, Oct. 2014). This report provides a framework and shows the mindsets, qualities, adaptive skills and technical skills needed to be a blended learning teacher. The graphics and visuals presented provide important ideas of the skills needed by blended learning teachers.
  • Understanding and Supporting Blended Learning Teaching Practices from Education Elements (Oct. 2014). This report explains the transformation that takes place when blended learning is implemented. Highlights several schools where blended learning is being implemented. Shares a useful blended learning rubric for teachers that includes classroom culture, classroom management, planning and delivery, assessment and analysis and classroom technology.
  •  Knocking Down Barriers: How California Superintendents are Implementing Blended Learning (Sept. 2014). This policy brief by the Christensen Institute identified many of the barriers to blended learning and 11 tips for implementing blended learning for administrators. They brought together seven California superintendents to talk about the barriers to blended learning and then offered some solutions. The policy landscape and barriers in California is similar to every other state so the ideas in this brief are useful to administrators and teachers alike.

And, if you have not done so yet, join the ongoing conversation about blended learning by joining the Blended Teacher Network.



Getting Classroom Observations Right and #BlendedLearning Classrooms and Productive Chaos

Education Next recently published the article, “Getting classroom observations right.” The article, among many indicators of effective teachers discussed how teacher success is partially determined by the evaluation and observation systems in place in four urban school districts. They found that districts that integrate in a number of factors into the teacher evaluation system – including classroom observations, teacher identified criteria and school wide student achievement – lead to greater student achievement overall. While those school districts they studied that only used student test scores as the only measure of teacher effectiveness revealed that student achievement did not increase.

We know that in education – face-to-face, blended or online learning – that the teacher is the key to student learning. In a blended learning classroom, the teacher is the motivator, encourager and guide for students to learn concepts with the help of technology. The same is true in an online learning classroom. The way the teacher interacts with students directly impacts how engaged students are with their learning.

Currently, classroom observations focus on the teacher and how the teacher teaches in the face-to-face classroom. As blended learning is implemented in more classrooms across the U.S., what is observed in a classroom will have to change. A recent article in eSchool News talked about blended learning teachers in Idaho and how a blended learning classroom is “productive chaos.” It is challenging for an observer to know how to observe a classroom that looks like “productive chaos.”

In New York City a few years back, a principal shared with me about one of his experiences in observing a classroom that had implemented blended learning. In New York City Schools, a quality assurance officer accompanies new administrators in the observation of classrooms. Together, they observe classrooms and then compare notes after the observation. In this one case, the quality assurance officer and the new principal observed a blended learning classroom. The principal observed engaged learning, excellent use of technology and ongoing data analyzed by the teacher. The quality assurance officer saw just the opposite. That is the challenge of observing a blended learning classroom: new guidelines need to be developed to guide administrators and others in how to best observe a blended learning classroom.

Recently, the TNTP issued the working paper entitled, “Reimagining teaching in a blended classroom.” The diagram below is one aspect of thinking about how observations of blended learning teachers will need to change. The authors identified a blended learning teacher (as different from the traditional teacher) needing to be a researcher and developer, integrator, and guide.  Something for administrators and classroom observers to think about.


#BlendedLearning Research and Resources

The term, “blended learning” grew out of online learning and was first introduced in literature at the college level in 2004 and then at the K-12 level in 2014. The first K-12 online school opened in 1994 with the bulk of online programs opening in the mid 2000s. The first blended learning school is difficult to determine, but many suggest it was Rocketship Charter Schools that opened in San Jose, Ca 2007. It is important to note that the field of K-12 online learning began approximately in 1997 and the field of blended learning began approximately in 2007. Research in the fields of blended and online learning is emerging as you can’t study or research or evaluate something that does not exist. In addition, you can find ongoing research on my website here.

Listed below are resources that have developed in the field of blended learning.

Case Studies

Blended Learning Guides and Reports

Blended Learning Webinars

Blended Learning Videos


WebsitesTwitter Hastag for Blended Learning – #blendedlearning

Blended Learning (and Teaching) is Messy #blendedlearning

This post from Jill Thompson reminded me I had been wanting to write on this topic for awhile. She points out that there is a difference between technology integration and blended learning. I couldn’t agree more. This is why I have hopefully helped to clarify it with this “Continuum from Textbook Enhanced to Online Teaching and Learning.” In addition this presentation entitled “Blended Learning, How do you know it when you see it?” was by my colleague, Allison Powell and myself which may help clarify blended learning a bit more. It is difficult to just talk about blended learning without also observing it.

iNACOL has produced two documents recently to help clarify what blended learning is for the field. The first is “Mean What You Say: Defining and Integrating Personalized, Blended and Competency Education“. This document points out that in order to really personalize learning, it has to be a blended teaching approach. It would be very difficult for a teacher nowadays to personalize learning, but not also be a blended teacher. A blended learning teacher not only uses the technology to enhance student learning, but also transforms in their teaching pedagogy and curriculum design in a way that causes more student involvement and engagement in their learning.

The second document is the “A Roadmap for Implementation of Blended Learning at the School Level”  that was completed in collaboration with the New York Public Schools, iLEARN NYC initiative.  This was written  after observing, interacting and interviewing teachers and administrators in blended learning schools throughout New York City.  Many school administrators may especially appreciate the rubric and observation tools found at the end of the document.  The purpose is really to identify how blended learning looks at the school and classroom level. This Blackboard Collaborate recorded webinar , “A Day in the Life of a Blended Learning Teacher” also further clarifies blended learning from a teacher perspective.

iNACOL is now in the process of refining this roadmap so that it is more national in scope and may provide guidance for blended learning schools throughout the U.S. and the world about the implementation, monitoring and sustainability of blended learning programs.

Happy Digital Learning Day! #DLday

I can’t think of a better place so spend Digital Learning Day than at a school – whether it is a building, a blended learning environment or online.

Today, I was fortunate to be at the Bronx Arena High School in the Bronx. iLearnNYC Implementation managers Britt Neuhaus and Gerard Zoehfeld organized a cohort meeting to take place at the Bronx Arena School. Cohort meetings invite members of each cohort to attend a professional development day focused on blended learning.

bronxarenacohortmeetingFeb2012 In addition to information shared by Bronx Arena principal Ty Cesena, Bronx Arena students toured three different groups around the school – visiting classrooms and talking with students. Bronx Arena High School are for students who are over aged and under credited students who have not yet earned their high school diploma. In each classroom, we saw each student on the computer, the “teacher’s area” was somewhere central in the classroom and the teacher was either circulating around the room or meeting with individuals or small groups of students. The school has a course management system that they developed with content developed by the teachers. This is the content that students are using for their learning.

As part of our observation, we were asked to look for evidence of blended learning around these types of facilitation modes:

  • One-to-one support
  • Small group mini-lessons
  • Small group discussions
  • Conferencing
  • Whole group instruction
  • Peer to peer interaction
  • Teacher circulation

In addition to the observations and discussions, we invited three principals to be part of a “Conversation about Implementing Blended Learning.”  This digital learning day activity information can be found on the iLearnNYC wiki. The three principals are all at schools where blended learning is being implemented in a variety of ways. Peter Oroszlany is principal at Mott Hall V, which is a school with grades 6-11. They have begun to implement blended learning with science teachers in grades 6, 7 and 8. PJ Murray is principal of Olympus Academy, a transfer school for students who are over aged and under credited student. And Ty Cesena is principal of Bronx Arena High School, also a transfer school.   They were asked a series of questions.  The common information that was shared if you are planning to implement blended learning is:

  • All students need to have their own computer or device
  • Start small and build
  • Build relationships with teachers and check in with them on a daily basis
  • Provide time for teachers to plan and discuss how blended learning is working as related to student outcomes (all schools have dedicated time for teachers at least once a week)
  • The teachers now spend more time circulating around classrooms interacting with students both individually and in groups more when there is blended teaching.

The entire conversation was U-Streamed and recorded. Enjoy watching the conversation here.  (Those of us involved in the recording, now realize that we should have had a microphone for the speakers, so the audio is a little quiet in spots).

The questions answered by the principals were as follows:

  1. When you first started blended learning at your school, what did you do to support teachers at your school to move in this direction – to buy-in to blended learning?
  2. Now that blended learning is functioning in your schools, what ongoing strategies/professional development takes place to support teachers?
  3. What measures (formal and informal) are you using in your school that indicate blended learning is being successful?
  4. How has the teacher experience different since you have shifted to a blended model?
  5. What other tips would you offer an administrator who would like to have their school shift to blended learning?

Happy Digital Learning Day!

On the way to #VSS12

Today I travel to the Virtual School Symposium in New Orleans.  I am looking forward to seeing the people I have seen at the many previous VSS conferences and hearing about their progress.  One of the great things about VSS is that you don’t have to explain to others why online learning is important for students. VSS is a great place to relax and enjoy hearing about what everyone else is doing, to hear the same stories about start up and maintaining a program, and a chance to share with others about your own online or blended learning program.

VSS is a great place for:

  • Sharing stories
  • Learning new ways to engage online learners
  • Learning new ways to manage your time as an online teacher
  • Hearing about how online and blended learning have impacted student learning
  • Thinking about the future of online and blended learning
  • Learning new and better ways to maintain the quality of online and blended learning programs
  • Hearing about the latest and future trends
  • Learning about the things you want to learn about

Everyone at VSS is there to share ideas and to listen to one another – and to encourage one another.  There are few people I have ever met at VSS that have any kind of ego or suggest they have all the answers. This reminds me of two great quotes:

From Benjamin Franklin in the 1776: “Ay, we must all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.”

And from Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

This is what VSS is all about.

See you there.

Flickr Photos