Blended Learning is the Best of Both Worlds

#edtech #edchat #elemchat This past week I started to facilitate another blended learning course about integrating 21st Century Skills into the classroom. Blended learning, if you don’t already know, is a little online instruction mixed with a little offline (or traditional) instruction.

Let me explain a little bit about how the course I am facilitating works…

Participants, which in this case are teachers from a district in Washington State, sign up for the course which has a specific start date. They get a welcome email and a “kick-off” conference call to let everyone know that the course has begun. Then the participants are on their own for the first part to gain the background knowledge for the course.

In this case, they are learning about 21st Century Skills. There is some reading, some video to watch on YouTube and some tutorials to watch on Atomic Learning. During each part of the course the participants use a cycle of Learn – Do – Share.

Learn – they learn a new concept like what a Personal Learning Network is.

Do – they set up a Twitter account and find 10 people to follow.

Share – they then share things that they have learned in the course forum so that other participant can learn from what they have done.

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Two weeks after the course begins, I come to the school in person to meet with the participants face to face. We talk about the things that they have learned and then put them into practice. This is more like a traditional workshop except for one big advantage – all of us are on the same page because of the work that has been done in the previous two weeks.

The course concludes with a little homework where they get to apply in their classroom what they have learned in the course.

To me and my students (teachers) blended learning truly is the best of both worlds.

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