Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Blended Learning Resources

Blended learning and flipped learning are commonly heard terms these days. Khan Academy is likely the most famous of the blended learning sites. Some blended learning programs are so tech centered that individual student work is assigned by a computer program which customizes work based on student performance.

For most of us, blended learning means we combine the internet and digital media with traditional classroom methods. Flipped learning is closely related. In flipped learning, direct instruction is provided at home via videos, tutorials and other digital media and the practice and individualized instruction is provided at school by the teacher.

Its promise is oversold. I like it for what it is. But it is less transformative than appears at first glance. I like that teachers can customize lessons. Yet, it is labor intensive and takes a lot more work than traditional instructional methods. I do like that students can rewatch the lecture or video. I also like that students can see and practice the problem set again and again. Blended learning still posits the teacher as expert and leaves little room for problem and project based learning.

Though its promise is oversold, it still should absolutely be in the "toolbox" of a tech savvy teacher. Blended learning has a purpose and is effective by its own terms. Take a look at some of the blended learning ideas I shared with faculty members today. Not on the padlet presentation is the chrome extension edPuzzle. It is a must get for YouTube.

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