I am Dal. I have been involved with DistributedL for about 15 years. Currently I still teach a course or two, but I am main the Distributed and Blended Learning support person for staff and students at the WestShore Center for the Sooke School District. As the support person, I troubleshoot when online issues surface and when not putting out fires, I work with staff to help design and develop some made in Sooke templates and content.
Humans have always found ways to teach what is important. Engaging the audience and increasing the size of the audience is a pragmatic theme over time as communities grow and change.Talking, pictures, books, copy machines, computers, tablets, projectors… Each phase marks the way we teach and for most it also defines HOW we teach. Copy from the board and answer the questions, fill in the blanks and colour the map, find 3 sources that show political conflict and compare and contrast….
Technology is changing quickly and we need to constantly adapt to keep up with the possibilities of better experiences for our students.More difficult to be self contained in the new learning environments. More infrastructure is required with the rapidity of change.
INACOL- international agreement on what this means…
Information Technology = the “STUFF "and the “HOW” it happensEducational Technology = The “WHAT” and the “WHO” for design and IMPLEMENTATION
Hundreds of variables for why the profiles look as they do for each blended class. (teacher comfort, access to tech, student population etcetcetc)Graph 1 is a teacher who allowed for general access – students are using throughout the day and evening and the week is evenly distributed (Wed afternoon class = spike)Graph 2 Teacher booked lab on Friday morning and that defines most of the use. Very little activity outside of that, but some.
The world is changing ALL of our lives and schools need to prepare students for that world.
#3- Teachers do NOT have TIME to DESIGN and develop their curriculum.
The pilot began with group pro-d and development with the teachers but evolved to individual 1-1 support to help them meet their own specific classroom goals.
Without proper access to the required technology for the task the class and teachers are left spinning their wheels and the desire to use new/different strategies is eroded.
Differentiated learning means that they don’t all have to do the same thing or even in the same way. Individual student learning needs need to be considered.
We are in the evolution of using virtual materials and we need to embrace the fact that the resources are “the course”, or imbedded in it.
BC DL Conf 2013
THE BLENDED LEARNING CONTEXT A PILOT PROJECT REVIEWED
TODAY WE WILL DISCUSS: Purpose of Pilot Who? What? Where? Definitions Blended Hybrid Overview Why Blend? Lessons Learned Participants Point of View Future Directions Wrap-up
Why are weseeking new ways of doing “old stuff”?
DEFINITIONS “a common lexicon to discuss virtual learning”Blended Learning lacks a unified definition; a variety of definitions exist, addressingdifferent aspects of instruction: Combining teaching strategies Combining delivery media Combining online & face-to-face instructionWikipedia describes Blended learning as: Education that combines face-to-face classroom methods with computer mediated activities. The strategy creates a more integrated approach for instructors and learners. No consensus on a definition. The terms "blended,” ”hybrid," and "mixed-mode" are used interchangeably in current research literature.For the PILOT we use the definitions in the following manner:BLENDED – Curriculum is available on-line but delivered in a Brick and Mortar school.HYBRID – enriching curriculum with the addition of learning using technology and differentiated instruction.
INCREASED ROLE of ED-TECHThe cause andeffect of usingmore technologyin teaching meansthat there is agreater demandfor targeted andspecific technicalsupport.
SYNCHRONOUS TO ASYNCHRONOUS“What is new in this era of blended learning are the powerful modes of onlinesynchronous and asynchronous activities, and technology-based instructional methods which can now be added to the mix.” Richard Otto Classroom Blog Fieldtrips Wiki Labs Threaded discussions Virtual classroom Podcasts Webinars DL Coaching Internet Mentoring Simulations Self-paced Tutorials Mobile/Wireless
PROFILE EXAMPLES OF STUDENT USE What Does It Mean?
WHAT ARE THE EXPERTS SAYING? Blended Learning is a small change if School Districts use the existing resourcesQuote 1 and not have teachers re-create curriculum. Seth Godin …face to face instruction & computer-mediated instruction - Traditionally co-existed as separate methods addressing the needs of differentQuote 2 audiences. Digital technologies = supplemental purpose, helping to support face to face instruction. Curtis Bonk & Charles Graham Blended Learning is an approach to course design that meaningfully brings together the best of both face-to-face & online learning. It is not intended toQuote 3 supplant either of these individual approaches, rather to build from each to create a new, more effective learning experience for students. University of Calgary Position Paper on Blended Learning Great blended learning course design will seek to leverage that which is best done in-person (debates; group presentations; reflexive response/thought) in combination with that which is best done online (provision of content; deeper,Quote 4 reflective discourse; document management & organization). University of Calgary Position Paper on Blended Learning When students perceive the technology as a luxury or extra, they will playQuote 5 with it. But when student perceive the technology as a learning tool, they will own their learning. Author unknown
WHY BLEND? WHY NOW? Advances in TECHNOLOGY make the incorporation of online instructional materials POSSIBLE.But why do it?• Increase student flexibility/access to materials while retaining a sense of community• Build personalized learning that is truly differentiated.• Cost efficiency/facilities issues (seat time)• Early evidence of positive impact on learning outcomes• Paradigm shift to train students to to be self- motivated/engaged learners.
THE PILOT… In a Nutshell Offer teachers a chance to teach differently. Offer students a chance to learn differently. Provide a blended learning method (a traditional classroom setting, supportive technology and online curriculum). Offer teachers and students a chance to interact and learn together using Blackboard 9.1 (LMS). Offer 10 classroom teachers from the Sooke School District a chance to participate. Provide teachers with training and teacher accounts in Blackboard. Provide teachers with digital course content for their subject areas, including text, multimedia, assessment tools and teacher guides. Provide students and parents accounts for the teachers’ online classroom to allow for “anywhere/anytime” access to their new learning environment. There is no explicit “criteria” for success.
PROJECT PARTNER ROLES E-Learning and Graduation (Ministry of Education) Provide partial funding for project Provide access to “ provincial sandbox” to participating teachers Open School BC (Ministry of Education) Manage project funding and deliverables Provide access to content/learning management system for up to 1000 users Provide training and Tier 2 support to participating teachers & project lead Sooke School District (SD 62) Provide 0.4 release time for project coordinator/teacher Select teachers and classes for pilot project Mentor teachers in use of Blackboard and monitor student/parent/teacher activities Create discussion group and work with Open School BC to create survey questions for participant groups Report findings back to OSBC/Ministry of Education & present at spring conference
BUDGETMINISTRY OF EDUCATION:Teacher Release Time (20 days @ 350/day) 7000Development of tools for action research 1000OPEN SCHOOL:Bb Hosting (1000 users) 11500Bb support/admin 1000Course Licensing 7500SOOKE SCHOOL DISTRICT (WESTSHORE)Travel & presentation 1000Support teacher salary (SD 62) (0.4 Salary/benefits /0.5 year) 20000
OUR SECRET WEAPON FOR SUCCESSAn EDUCATOR with vision & skills…capable ofcreating/editing/changing virtual resources REQUIRED LEVELS OF SUPPORT & DEVELOPMENT Project Lead Provide access to content/learning management system Help teachers blend classroom content with LMS Provide training & support for teachers Communication with teachers/administrators Monitor Pilot classes - student/parent/teacher activities Mentor teachers in use of Blackboard Create/monitor discussion group Work with Open School BC Create survey questions & Report findings
PILOT GOALS & OBJECTIVES: Questions to be addressed: If teachers have access to a high quality learning management system how will they use it? How will blended learning change the learning experience for students? What impact will access to an online learning system have on parental participation and involvement in their student’s learning? Did teachers use the resources to support their vision of “personalized learning” for their students? *** Other questions and outcomes that evolve… as the project unfolds.
PRAGMATICSBlended Learning is NOT an InformationTechnology solution. IT must supply internetaccess. That is the demarcation - everything thathappens after the student logs in is where ITstops and ET starts.IT support is not needed for Design andDevelopment but ACCESS is IMPOSSIBLEwithout it. If IT fails there is NO learningexperience.Blended Learning is an educational model focusedon best instructional practice. HOWEVER, youneed the best online curriculum, made toprofessional standards, to do it well.
DESIGNING BLENDED CURRICULUM SOLUTIONS Educator should consider these 3 questions1. 2. 3.What are the What are the What are thelearning characteristics of restraints therequirements the population the teachers are working… the take away ideas teachers are with (time, budget, &of the class? working with? resources))
SCAFFOLDING TEACHERS WHAT WORKED IN THIS PILOT?Teachers working in teams Decide together, which skills and content they want to keep and what they are willing to “rip out” to meet the learning objectives.Keep adding new tools and support Work together to demonstrate a new learning tool. Once they have become comfortable with the tools being added they add them to their repertoire. Keep it non-threatening and organic (always growing and changing).Provide extensive professional development Bring people in or send educators out to learn from each other and share best practice. Train your champions and partner them with a “pal”. Partners support each other while they model their 21st century skill set.Provide the right support for staff If “the new idea” is too difficult or overwhelming or if it does not work when the teachers go to use it, that educational change will never be successful. Technical support (technician) Curriculum support (teacher or technician capable of creating/editing/changing virtual resources) Teachers need 1-0n-1 specific support for their instructional needs.Utilize a Learning Management System Learning Resources that already exist are an easier place to start than the overwhelming thought of having to create their own…
WHAT DID THE TEACHERS SAY?PROSPreferred the blended aspects of the project for use with assessment. (Assessment)Online quizzes and tests worked well. (Assessment)Online keys/texts and lessons were an asset. (Virtual access)Students can work ahead or catch-up, which created a higher pass rate in the sciencecourse. (Flexibility)CONSLeast successful aspect for our students was that students printed everything out andhanded in paper anyway. (Old habits)Extension of the project clogged the times available in the computer lab so only reallycommitted teachers (or teachers with timetables that worked with available time slots)could get lab time. (Access to technology)Access to computer time and technology use within the facilities and the slow andinsufficient Internet caused problems. (Access to technology infrastructure)NEUTRALEngagement level depended on the student. (Flexibility)Blending classroom time should be done with students who want to do it because it is notthe same for everyone. (Flexibility)The blended environment provides options for student learning but communication is stillmore powerful in class. (This is blended!)
WHAT DID THE STUDENTS SAY?PRO I liked how assignments, notes, and quizzes were available online for me to access and complete from home. (access) We did lots of tests online which was good because you could work on them at home if you needed to. (access) It helps me study out of class/on break well and with understanding. Diagrams and online YouTube videos helped as well. (access and variety) I believe blended learning is something that will be in our future, so therefor we must adapt to the different way to learn and absorb information. Some parts of this project I truly enjoyed such as being given worksheets and being asked to finish them with the help of Blackboard and our notes it makes our learning richer and more fulfilled. (engagement) It allowed me to keep track of what unit we were on, and what to expect. I could go ahead and look before starting it in class. (Flexibility) After taking practice tests, the custom study guide was an excellent tool to improve grades later. (Flexibility) Was able to work away from home and school! Good to use when checking in during vacation. (access) I was able to work on or study anything that was needed at my own pace, it was nice. (Flexibility)
WHAT DID THE STUDENTS SAY?CON Sometimes if I needed to do work from home I couldn’t, due to no text book or no computer available. It sucks. (access) I didnt like the online textbook but the power points were helpful. (Flexibility) Wasted time, way behind due to blended learning. Computers dont teach me, teachers do. (not blended then) iPads seemed too distracting having games and such on them, but page layout was very easy to follow. (individual styles) I DONT LIKE BLACK BOARD I HAVE NEVER USED IT IN THIS COURSE AND I NEVER WILL. I LIKE LEARNING FROM A TEXT BOOK AS IT IS HOW I GREW UP. I DO NOT LIKE THE FORMAT OR ANYTHING ABOUT BLACKBOARD. I DONT LIKE IT. (training required)
THE PILOT CHALLENGES Training $$$ and Time Wrestling with the questions of quality (content over delivery) Support for students (and staff) with access to reliable/available technology. Each school/class needs reliable “pipes and machines”. Schools need enough Machines/labs for easy student access. What do you remove when you add something and still stay on track with the curriculum? Wrestling with how much F-2-F and on-line time students need/want.
LESSONS LEARNED: FLEXIBILITY of the timelines of blended courses popular. Proximity to instructor can vary but students from pilot indicated their need to see the teacher regularly. Redesigning a course from Face-2-Face to Blended Learning TAKES TIME. Integration is key to a good course. Provide models for future instructional design. On-line resources change the dynamic of needing to use a standard text book. We must ensure that when we introduce this to our classes it is NOT an “add-on” and viewed as “more work” as it impacts how it is viewed by students.
FUTURE IMPLICATIONS Blended learning as a broad instructional approach in education remains in its formative stage but has reached acceptance by many. Growth is steady, and there is anticipation of continued growth in K-12 education. Post-secondary education is well underway supporting instructional staff to adopt Blended Learning. It is a working system. It has the bar set high. Capacity is rapidly being established now. “Blending the Online and Face-to-Face Learning Environments” to help showcase how online and blended learning are the future of education. Teachers need to be reassured that this direction will be continued and their work/effort won’t be lost.
NEXT STEPS Propose the district considers Blended Learning as the educational model to lead schools into the next decade. Currently, numerous Pilot teachers are blending fully developed online courses with their F-2-F instruction and we need to expand the opportunity for other teachers and build the capacity which has been established. Be school-ready in two and half years for the opening of the Sooke School Districts 2 new high schools. Begin to train teachers/students at Middle Schools. Train students to be more independent learners. During the pilot it was evident that many students resisted as they just wanted to be told what to do and do it.
THE PILOT GOAL IS MET…Maximized flexibility and studentlearning using advanced andinteresting digital teaching tools andlearning platforms combined withclassroom interactions andinnovations.
QUESTIONS/COMMENTS? DAL LITTLE - firstname.lastname@example.orgDAPHNE CHURCHILL - email@example.com