Monday, October 19, 2015

Blended Learning: The What, Where, When, Why and How

Blended learning is a topic that I am becoming familiar with and love learning more about so when Ari Flewelling (@edtechari) offered to be the first guest moderator of #TOSAChat, choosing blended learning as her topic, I was very excited. As always #TOSAChat was a tornado of edu awesome ideas, resources, tips and tricks from blended learning experts and newbies alike! 


Susan Stewart (@TechCoachSusan) described blended learning well as "combining traditional instruction and online content/instruction". Blended learning can happen in different ways, S Kong (@SKong81) shared a useful infographic he created that describes the various blended learning models. Edutopia also has many useful articles, videos and links about blended learning instruction which you can see here


There are lots of options to use when implementing blended learning but Schoology (shared by Ryan O'Donnell @creativeedtech) and Google Classroom (shared by Darin Anderson @coachdarin22) were both given the #TOSAChat stamp of approval as easy to use platforms for blended learning instruction. Schoology is a popular Learning Management System (LMS) while Google Classroom is a Google Drive Management System* and they can and are used separately or together to provide blended instruction. Alice Keeler (@alicekeeler) has an informative blog post on using Google Classroom with an LMS.

*Updated: According to Alice Keeler, Google Classroom is neither an LMS or a CMS. Read Alice's blog post on the subject.  


Blended learning can happen in any subject and in any grade level (yes EVEN kinder!) and a popular idea mentioned many times in #TOSAChat is to provide blended learning before, during and after professional development. The idea of flipping PD is not new, check out this April 2014 article from +EdSurge"The Flipped Side of Professional Development" by Kristin Daniels (@kadaniels). However, the concept is new to many and Kristi Forsythe (@techyTwinMom) reminds us of the importance of modeling blended learning for other educators so that they can see what it looks like.  


I agree with Scott Padway (@ScottPadway) on this one and will defer to the Blended Learning expert, Catlin Tucker (@Catlin_Tucker), who explains her journey into blended instruction in this YouTube video. She has a fantastic book, Blended Learning Grades 4-12 which you can buy on Corwin Press or Amazon.


My fabulous #TOSAChat blog challenge buddy Amanda Haughs (@MsHaughs) just recently posted "Thinking about blending instruction? Tips for getting started!" I especially love her advice to not "expect things to go perfectly the 1st time... or the 2nd, or the 3rd". 

As for resources Amanda recommends Edmodo, PBS Learning Media, Khan Academy and LearnZillion. Darin Anderson (@coachdarin22) gave a shout out to Versal which works well with Google Classroom. For assessment in a blended learning environment Ari Flewelling (@edtechari) and Susan Stewart recommended Google Forms, Ed Puzzle, Haiku Learning, Go Formative, Kahoot, Scoot Pad and Illuminate Education

MANY, MANY, MANY more resources were shared in #TOSAChat. Check out the full storify by Joe Young (@jyoung1219here.

A big, HUGE thank you to our very first guest moderator, Ari Flewelling +Ari Flewelling, (@edtechari) for hosting a fabulous #TOSAChatAri Flewelling is a Tech Coach in SoCal, IA CUE President, former high school English Teacher,  w/MA in EdTech &  Demo Slam Winner. So grateful to have such an incredible resource in our #TOSAChat PLN!

#TOSAChat was started by Ben Cogswell (@Cogswell_ben), Joe Young (@Jyoung1219), Kelly Martin (@kmartintahoe) and myself as a way for Teachers On Special Assignment to connect, share and grow together. Check out to view past chats storify links and upcoming questions. You can join us at 8PM PST on Monday nights.

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