Blended Learning and Implementing Change

November 7, 2016

I have recently begun to develop a plan to implement blended learning in my classroom and on my campus.  If you would have asked me about a month ago if I used blended learning in my classroom I would have incorrectly told you that I did.  I formerly believed that blended learning was simply using technology in the classroom to enhance learning.  After countless hours of research, I now understand that blended learning is more than using technology in the classroom; Blended Learning involves students using technology outside of the classroom to obtain information and then coming to class and applying their newly acquired knowledge.  Another aspect of blended learning that most people struggle to comprehend is that blended learning should not focus on the technology use, rather, focus on the learning.
You might be wondering, ‘Okay Blair, but why do you want to implement blended learning?’ and I think that Tracy Lawrence sings it best in his 1996 hit, Time Marches On, “The only thing that stays the same is everything changes.” Everything changes, including education, and as an educator, I want to provide the most innovative ways be able to help my students strive to be their best self.

I want to be able to make a difference at my school and in my classroom; I hope that implementing blended learning will help develop a positive change for students and teachers.  I have recently begun to understand that if I want to create change, I need to develop a plan, provide proof and resources, and share my finding with others and change is a process, not an overnight success.  I want to continue to develop plans for change at my campus to allow students a more positive, personalized school experience and currently, I believe that blended learning is the way to achieve my goals.

As I learn to implement change, I can thank the Internet for a vast array of resources available for me to expand my understanding.  The following is a list of books and articles to help better understand change, disruptive innovation, and educational technology.

References

Gardner, H. (1983). Frames of mind: The theory of multiple intelligences. New York: Basic Books.  Howard Gardner of Harvard University coined the term “Multiple Intelligences” which theorizes the idea that there is more than one type of intelligence, most of which are not recognized by standard education methods.

Horn, M. B., & Staker, H. (2015). Blended: Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.  Blended: Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools describes the importance of using blended learning in schools.

Howard, A. (2014, April 11). 7 Promising Blended Learning Stats to Share with Your Administrators [Web log post]. Retrieved October 14, 2016, from http://blog.wowzers.com/7-promising-blended-learning-stats-to-share-with-your-administrators. Howard provides promising statistics in the use of blended learning in education.