Over the past year and a half, I decided to implement blended learning into my classroom and hoped to be able to provide evidence for my district that blended learning should be implemented campus and district wide.
The first step in implementing blended learning was to develop a plan for my campus to implement blended learning. After developing a plan, I developed a professional learning course to help teachers get a better understanding of the importance of implementing blended learning in the digital age. The course included strategies to help students be successful in their online learning as well as providing Digitools such as apps, programs, and websites to help teachers implement blended learning.
I did a lot of research on blended learning and studied to determine that blended learning is comparable to traditional learning but provides many more positive skills needed for the future where technology skills are becoming essential. Blended learning is growing in education and it’s important to prepare students with useful skills for the future.
When implementing blended learning, it’s important to create a significant learning environment for students. A blended learning course should involve the COVA model which gives students choice, ownership, and express their voice with authentic learning experiences. Students can define and expand their interests when they are able to find areas that interest them.
As the use of technology is increasing in our daily lives, there’s no surprise that technology has begun to impact our lives in many different ways, including education. There are many important aspects to ensure we are teaching to our students about using technology in a classroom including teaching students how to be good digital citizens, the laws of copyright and plagiarism, and the potentially catastrophic impacts of cyberbullying. Being online is an extension of your real- everyday life and the things that you do, say, and post, can affect your real- everyday life.
Throughout the whole process, I learned a lot about myself and my philosophy of education, teaching, and learning. I learned so much about blended learning and have been able to narrow and focus in on my own interests to determine that path I would like to take in my career in education. Implementing blended learning is an ongoing process; During my journey, I started a new job in a new district so my plan took a short pause for a while. I am still working to implement blended learning and still working towards motivating other teachers to implement blended learning as well. My new district also has limited technology, just a few iPad/laptop cards for the entire campus. I am still promoting and communicating my plan to implement blended learning but I am currently in the process of adapting my blended learning plan to my new environment and collecting evidence that blended learning can still work even with limited technology. I am hoping that by next year, I will have more teachers onboard to implement blended learning in their classrooms. Using the strategies and components I have learned in the DLL program, I feel I will be able to successfully implement a blended learning classroom as well as lead change in my organization.