Reflection of Online Learning

My students are the teachers at my school. My job is to create learning opportunities for them throughout the year, including face to face professional development, model lessons, and discussions about lesson plans and student learning. With my innovation plan, I hope to add the dimension of online learning into my school and my district. Online learning gives students opportunities to learn at their own pace in the comfort of their own home. I want teachers to incorporate blended learning into their classrooms, and the only way they’ll feel confident enough to try is if they understand and appreciate it. I need to build buy-in, and telling teachers how wonderful blended learning is and how it fits in well with our district’s philosophy of learning will not achieve buy-in. My course involves videos and articles to read that will help teachers construct their own ideas about blended learning and how it can fit into their current schedule. Through my three-column table I aligned the pieces of my course, and now have a format in which my students can learn about creating a significant learning environment in their classroom and implementing blended learning.

I appreciate that I now have experience creating an online course, and I hope to apply my learning to more courses that I teach throughout the year. The most important thing for me to keep in mind is to allow students to create their own understanding. This is the only way for them to own their learning and accomplish the goals set forth in the course.

Online Course Completion

As I create my Blended Learning class on Schoology, I’m excited to begin developing more online learning opportunities for teachers in my district. There are many professional development courses that I teach throughout the year and during the summer. The first couple that I would like to turn into blended learning courses are Effort Effect: Mindsets in the Math Classroom and a books study of Count Me In!.

In Effort Effect: Mindsets in the Math Classroom, I enjoy showing teachers videos of famous people throughout history who learned by making mistakes and continuing to practice. There are some card sorts that we do in the training that I think would be fun to turn into online sorts through Padlet or another app. We also try activities that are intentionally difficult for teachers, to remind them what it’s like to struggle in school. These activities might be best to do in a face-to-face setting, so a blended learning format would be better for this class than a completely online setting.

This school year I facilitated a book study of Count Me In! about the importance of including all students in math activities and discussions in the classroom. The teachers who participated, mostly special education teachers, enjoyed reading the book and discussing the applications to their own classrooms. I think a lot of the discussion could be online or in a Google Hangout just as easily as in person. We also watched some videos that emphasized the importance of math that is accessible to all students, which could easily be watched independently. It would be very important to have a discussion forum that is easy to navigate for this course, as the teachers would most likely want to use it a lot!

There are other courses that I’ve dreamed of creating and teaching that would lend themselves to an online or blended format. I’m glad to have the experience with Schoology to help me create courses in the future.

Online Course update

My online course is now well underway! I’ve really enjoyed using Schoology. It’s a very simple, straightforward platform, but so far has been able to do anything I’ve wanted it to. In addition to my course sessions, I’ve added the course outline, a general discussion board, and an album for students to upload photos of blended learning in action. I also learned how to embed my videos into the course instead of just linking them. Things are coming along, and I’m feeling very proud of my course!

Course Outline – Blended Learning

I have a whole new appreciation for those who create and facilitate online learning courses. Pulling together articles, blogs, and videos that you want your students to view and finding the right order to put them in takes a lot of thought! I’m still working to arrange things exactly how I think they would be most impactful, but here is the basic outline of my Blended Learning course in Schoology.

Course Outline – Blended Learning

Session 1 – What is Blended Learning?

  • Watch videos and read articles –
    • A video interview with Michael Horn and Heather Staker, the authors ofBlended: Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools.
    • Explore the information on the Christianson Institution website. There are some great videos and blog posts.
    • Sugata Mitra: Build a School in the Cloud
  • Participate in group discussion –
    • What aspects of blended learning do you already use? What are you most excited to try in your classroom?
  • Assignment –
    • Reflect on what you’re already doing and what you hope to do to incorporate blended learning in your classroom.

Session 2 – What platforms can I use to implement Blended Learning?

  • Watch videos and read articles –
    • Digital Learning Now! Blended Learning Implementation Guide
    • Blended Learning and the Future of Education: Monique Markoffat Tedxlthaca College
  • Participate in group discussion –
    • What are some online learning platforms you have heard of or tried?
  • Assignment –
    • Try/research a variety of platforms that might work for Blended Learning in your classroom. Reflect on what you like and/or don’t like and why.

Session 3 – What’s my WHY?

  • Watch videos and read articles –
    • Simon Sinek’s Start With Why – How great leaders inspire action
    • ICOM Productions: What we know
  • Participate in group discussion –
    • What’s your why?
  • Assignment –
    • Reflect on WHY you do what you do and how blended learning can support your instruction.

Session 4 – A sense of urgency

  • Watch videos and read articles –
    • Sir Ken Robinson’s Bring on the Learning Revolution!
    • Progressive Education in the 1940s
    • Joi Ito: Want to innovate? Become a “Now-ist”
  • Participate in group discussion –
    • Why is it important for our education system to change?
  • Assignment –
    • Reflect on the urgency of changing our education system and what you can do in your classroom to move things forward.

Session 5 – How is it going?

  • Watch videos and read articles –
    • A New Culture of Learning
    • What 60 Schools Can Tell Us About Teaching 21st Century Skills: Grant Lichtman
  • Participate in group discussion –
    • How have your lessons improved with the addition of blended learning?
  • Assignment
    • Take time to visit a colleague to see what blended learning looks like in their classroom. Have at least one colleague visit your classroom to see blended learning in action.

Online Course Instructional Design

Introduction: In this online course, teachers at my school will read and view information about the importance of creating significant learning environments in their classrooms and incorporating blended learning to engage their students. The teachers will work together online and in person to support each other through the process of incorporating blended learning elements into their lessons. Although I have not participated in a blended learning course myself, I believe that there are benefits for learners, including the ongoing support of classmates and instructors.

Learning Goals: Participants will understand and create significant learning environments in their classrooms and incorporate blended learning to engage their students.

Desired Results: Learners will establish a significant learning environment in their classroom and create blended learning lessons after participating in this online course.

Audience: classroom teachers at my elementary campus

Outline:

  • Learners will identify the key aspects of a significant learning environment.
  • Learners will analyze and evaluate the various blended learning models.
  • Learners will apply their knowledge of blended learning to design a lesson or unit for their class that includes blended learning experiences.
  • Learners will explain how their lesson or unit is improved by the use of blended learning.
  • Learners will observe the benefits of a blended learning classroom.
  • Learners will revise lesson plans to include blended learning opportunities.

Materials: videos, articles, and blog posts related to blended learning for participants to view