Blended Learning & Student Driven Projects

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Would you like increase student engagement and personalize the learning experiences for your students? What if you could do that and increase the amount of material covered? In this session, join …

Would you like increase student engagement and personalize the learning experiences for your students? What if you could do that and increase the amount of material covered? In this session, join Catlin Tucker as she covers how to facilitate focused student-driven projects using asynchronous, online discussions that engage students in collaborative group work using an online learning platform. She will show how you can create more opportunities for students to work together explore, problem-solve, think critically and create! Catlin will present three different multidisciplinary project structures that can be facilitated in a blended learning model -combining work in the physical classroom with work done online - to increase student engagement and personalize each learning experience.

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  • Student-centered classrooms are the goal of my teacher-designed blended learning model. As an educator, it is an interesting challenge to create classroom tasks and activities that place students in control of the learning process. This requires that students know how to communicate, collaborate and problem solve together in groups, pairs or individually. It would be much easier to stand in front of my students and recite everything I know on a given topic. It is harder to design tasks that allow them to discover, share and create. This can be messy, loud and disorganized, but in the end, the learning is much more meaningful.
  • Results of teaching kids HOW to communication. Collaborize Classroom - Show examples
    Not only does posting a discussion topic save time, it yields a more meaningful product. Instead of preparing handouts and 170 making copies (yes, that is how many students I currently have) then collecting, assessing, entering scores and handing papers back, I spend my time reading what students have to say, which takes a fraction of the time and is much more interesting. I put my creative energy into designing in-class student-centered activities that build on the work completed online. This is what I have coined “weaving” to describe how I blend technology into my curriculum.
  • Research emphasized throughout the CCSS
  • I use QR codes in the classroom to connect students with strong resources. We do grammar challenges where they scan a QR code which takes the group to an image of a sign or a website with song lyrics that contain grammatical errors. They have to identify the error, articulate the rule being broken (don’t know? Google it!) and present for the class. QR codes have also made in-class webquests and virtual field trips easy!Leveraging mobile technology in the classroom has been empowering for both me and my students. The best part is that only a fraction of the students need a device with browsing capabilities for a teacher to use them effectively to create a student-centered classroom. A single group can share a device, which actually enhances their collaboration.


  • 1. Blended Learning & Student Driven Projects to Personalize Learning and Increase Engagement Catlin Tucker @CTuckerEnglish English Teacher, PD Facilitator & Author
  • 2. Project Based Learning Inquiry driven What is Project Based Learning? Student centered Relevant & rigorous Multidisciplinary Tackles real world challenges Requires critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration & reflection Creates something
  • 3. Traditional Instruction vs. PBL
  • 4. PBL Classroom
  • 5. Common Core & PBL Aligned Emphasizes communication Stress real world relevance Encourage higher-order thinking skills Value research and problem solving Weave in technology and media literacy
  • 6. Challenges with Traditional Group Work
  • 7. PBL: Basic Stages Stage 1: Driving question Stage 2: Explore & discuss Stage 3: Research Stage 4: Design solutions & create something Stage 5: Reflect Stage 6: Publish
  • 8. Generating Questions Ideas for Integrating Technology
  • 9. Explore & Discuss What is the nature of topic, question, problem or dilemma? What do we already know about this topic? Are there possible limitations or constraints? Are there potential options for resolution?
  • 10. Take Discussions Online
  • 11. Face-to-Face Conversations
  • 12. Checking in… Google Voice or Voice Memo
  • 13. Stage 3: Research the Problem
  • 14. Gathering Information
  • 15. Dynamic Research Tool Ideas for Integrating Technology
  • 16. Step 4: Design Solutions
  • 17. Making the Most of Basic Tech
  • 18. Create & Share Prezi
  • 19. Step 5: Reflection
  • 20. Reflecting Online
  • 21. Step 6: Publish & Share
  • 22. Challenge Based Learning Project (*URL is case sensitive)
  • 23. Questions?
  • 24. Contact Information Catlin Tucker Twitter - @CTuckerEnglish Education Blog - Blended Learning in Grades 4-12: Leveraging the Power of Technology to Create Student-Centered Classrooms (Corwin – June 2012)