Imagine what it is like to be a teacher on June 12th. Saying goodbye to all of your students that have you have been with for 180 days. They were a little family and you are now sending them on to a new family next school year. But wait a minute.....did you teach them all that they need to know? Did you spend enough time covering dividing fractions? Now you feel a pit forming in your stomach because not all of your students will be ready for next year. There was just not enough time in that 180 school days to fit in all of the necessary curriculum. At that moment, your principal walks by and sees you look so down. They come in to your classroom and ask what is wrong. Practically in tears you tell that they aren’t ready. You need at least another month to cover all of the material needed for next year. Knowing that this is a problem across not only your school, but the rest of the district, your principal gives you the task of finding a solution to the problem. How can we change this for next year? And, not only that, but how can we change this problem including technology?
You leave school that day ready to start summer, but also with a new task. Incorporating technology into your curriculum to enhance learning and to fit all necessary curriculum in for next school year. You do some research and decide that hybrid learning is the best option. But will everybody else know what that is? Hybrid learning is where a student learns both in school with direct teacher instruction and also online at their own pace. In the article “The Rise of K12 Blended Learning,” six different models are presented. Three of them that look promising are the rotation model, the online driver model and the online lab model. After looking into each one, the online driver model looks the best. This model has the students meeting face-to-face with the teacher at the beginning of the course, and if students maintain a grade of C or better, they can continue the class on their own either remotely or in a lab classroom. Students are taught the concepts online and then complete online activities or work that is then either turned in to the teacher or assessed using the internet. This affects both the teacher and the students. The teacher is available to provide extra help to students that need it (either because of a C- or lower) of if students ask for extra guidance. The students are allowed to work at their own pace; therefore they can spend any extra time needed on a concept that might be harder for them. This is also beneficial because students would be able to work from home if they are unable to attend school because of illness. To accomplish this, the teacher would hold class for the first week or so of class, in a traditional face-to-face atmosphere. Then, students would be allowed to work from places such as the school library or in a computer lab within the school. The teacher would have a classroom or office to work in during the school day, and students would be able to visit the teacher in their office or classroom for additional guidance or to ask questions.
This solution is a compelling one because it allows students to work at their own pace. Students are not slowed down like they could be in a general classroom because other students are not learning material as fast as they are. Students can also take additional time if needed to learn material that is harder for them. This also allows the teacher to differentiate for different learners. Higher achieving students can take project and learning further than students that need more help or more time. In the article “The Rise of K12 Blended Learning,” three schools are presented as using this model, including Albuquerque Public Schools’ eCADEMY and EPGY Online High School (through Stanford University). These are both newer programs (2010 and 2006, respectively), so very little data is given to back up their success claims, other than student reviews.
For this plan to be effective, both teachers and students will need training on how to use the technology. First, and foremost, teachers must know their content areas that they will be focusing on (content knowledge). Then comes knowing how to present the information in a logical format that allows students to adequately learn (pedagogical knowledge) that material online. In order to do this, the teacher must be very familiar with the online format that is being used (technology knowledge). For example, if the school chooses to use Blackboard or Moodle to do presentations and for students to do and turn in their work, then the teacher must be trained in using the online platform. The teacher must know how to create lessons on the site, be able to make and upload videos, to locate resources for the students use, and be able to collect and check work with the ability to provide feedback to their students. The students will need to know how to go about using the online platform. This can be achieved during an orientation before school starts, or during the first week of class, when it is face-to-face.
Nothing is perfect however. A challenge to this “solution” is that since this is a student paced learning environment, students could easily fall behind. Therefore the teacher will need to put thought into how to “check in” on students periodically. Also, online learning is not a concept that all students adapt to well. Their results could be skewed due to outside issues such as not having a background in using computers in school. Also, since not all districts are using this format, if a student moves to our district in the middle of the school year, they are at a disadvantage to those students that have been enrolled the whole time. Another problem with this format is training the teachers to use the online system. While there are problems that go with this concept of fitting in the entire curriculum each year, I feel that it is worth giving a try to enhance our student’s learning. Our students need every edge they can get in a competitive environment. Thank you.
Cep815 practicum hybrid learning
CEP 815 Practicum Sarah Haglund CEP 815 Winter 2011
Where has the time gone? With the school year over, did you cover everything that you wanted to teach? How can you make sure this doesnt happen next year?And how can you do this, using technology to help you?
What to do??? Hybrid learning!!!But wait...Whats that?!?! Hybrid learning is where a student learns both in school with directteacher instruction and also online at their own pace.
Who will this help? With the right training, this can be effective in upper elementary through high school. Until thistime period, students are still learning how to use technology appropriately in a school setting.This also affects teachers. The teachers will need lots of support to make the learning effectivefrom other teachers and technology coaches. Thiswill take lots of extra work on the teachers part at first, but is helpful to students, so worth it in the long run.
This is a compelling solution because it allowsmore freedom to the students. It also allows theteacher to differentiate for different learners. Work at your own pace...
So HOW do we make this work??? Currently, teachers have content knowledge and pedagogical knowledge, but dont know how to link technology knowledge into these other forms of knowledge.
Teachers need to like their knowledge oftechnology into their content and pedagogical knowledge.
All of this SOUNDSgood...but theremust be SOMEsort of problem that we will come across, right???