My name is Jacqueline Wickham and this is my second semester in the Curriculum Development and Instructional Technology (CDIT) program at SUNY Albany. I graduated from SUNY Geneseo in 2012 with my B.A. in English. I have my teaching certification in English (7-12). This is my fifth year of teaching middle and high school English. I currently teach 7th grade, 10th grade, and 12th grade English at Marcus Whitman Middle/ High School in the Finger Lakes Region. In the past I have taught Honors/World Literature for three years at Lake Havasu High School in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. I also taught 7th and 8th grade ELA at East Irondequoit Middle School for a year as well. My teaching experiences have afforded me with a variety of teaching and learning opportunities in a short period of time.
This mini-course will focus on Blended Learning implementation in the secondary English classroom. As an introduction to the ideals of Blended Learning, this course will introduce digital tools to incorporate into a middle or high school level English classroom that blends technology initiatives with traditional brick and mortar learning settings. Specifically, this course will illustrate a station learning instructional design that can be modified to fit the needs of other secondary content based classrooms.
By the end of this course learners will...
- define Blended Learning
- describe the purpose of Blended Learning
- describe the station model of Blended Learning
- evaluate digital tools to implement in the secondary classroom
- assess the benefits of various digital tools
After attending a Blended Learning professional development opportunity with elementary, middle, and high school teachers at a rural school district in the Finger Lakes, I observed the apprehension of many teachers to adopt a Blended Learning model for their classroom. Many shared the same concern: adopting a Blended Learning model would require them to forego and recreate their curriculum. The teachers desired a clear starting point to ease into the adoption of a Blended Learning model that would enhance their current curriculum design.
"What is now known about learning provides important guidelines for uses of technology that can help students and teachers develop the competencies needed for the twenty-first century. The new technologies provide opportunities for creating learning environments that extend the possibilities of “old” —but still useful—technologies—books; blackboards; and linear, one-way communication media, such as radio and television shows—as well as offering new possibilities. Technologies do not guarantee effective learning, however."
"New technologies can be used in five ways:
- bringing exciting curricula based on real-world problems into the classroom;
- providing scaffolds and tools to enhance learning;
- giving students and teachers more opportunities for feedback, reflection, and revision;
- building local and global communities that include teachers, administrators, students, parents, practicing scientists, and other interested people; and
- expanding opportunities for teacher learning."
(Bransford et al., 1999)
What is to be Learned:
This mini-course will reveal the ways that a Blended Learning model serves to enhance a curriculum without replacing it. Specifically, this mini-course will focus on the English content area using a station model. Participants will be introduced to various digital tools that can be incorporated into schools with little technology support as well as schools that have adopted a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) or a 1:1 multiliteracies initiative. Essentially, this mini-course will introduce learners to a station learning model that forms a balance between print-based and digital literacies in the middle and high school level English classrooms.
Analysis of the Learner and Context
This mini course will appeal to middle school and high school teachers specifically in the English content area who are interested in adopting a Blended Learning Model for their classroom. Although the course will present different versions of a station model intended for the English classroom, the model can easily be adapted for other content areas and grade levels. When incorporating technology into the classroom seems like an extra demand or expectation, the station model of Blended Learning will afford teachers with the opportunity to enhance their curriculum without starting from a blank slate. This course is designed for individual learners; however, participants will be encouraged to share their ideas with Professional Learning Communities (PLC), teams, and co-teachers within their school district.
This course will be administered entirely online. It will be asynchronous in nature allowing participants to access and revisit material at their convenience. Learners will be required to access various sites and digital tools electronically. Chromebooks or computers are preferred as the course will present internet-based applications and resources. Participants will assess their learning through interactive self-evaluation tasks prompting them to reflect on their learning experiences. Participants will have access to expert and non-examples of Blended Learning Initiatives in order to deepen their understanding of Blended Learning and to dismiss any misconceptions about its purposes and goals. Learners will share their ideas and lesson materials they create with other participants via a public Padlet. Learners, therefore, will have access to dynamic instructional materials that can be redefined and adapted as learners receive feedback from other educators.
Exploring the Instructional Problem and Solution:
Although Blended Learning inherently requires the use of technology, the station model will afford learners with the opportunity to incorporate tried-and-true digital tools into their curriculum only after exploration and practice. Learners will be able to select the tools that will enhance the learning in their respective classrooms.
Goals of the Mini-Course:
Learners will be able to explore digital tools and various station models in order to decide which tools and classroom set-up coincides with their teaching style and student population.
- explore Blended Learning
- interact with various online digital tools
- assess their learning via self-evaluations (Thinking Points)
- design a station model for their classroom
- apply one digital tool to a lesson or unit using the station model they created
Unit 1: Exploring Blended Learning
- Lesson 1: Getting to Know Blended Learning
- Learners will be introduced to Blended Learning and its ideals via ThingLink.
- Lesson 2: What is Blended Learning?
- Learners will define Blended Learning after reading about its purposes and goals.
- Learners will share their definitions via a public Padlet.
- Learners will self-assess.
- Lesson 3: The Station Model
- Learners will describe the station model of Blended Learning by exploring current Blended Learning initiatives via a public Padlet.
Unit 2: Practicing with Digital Tools for Blended Learning
- Lesson 1: Google Classroom
- Lesson 2: Padlet
- Lesson 3: Discovery Ed
- Learners will describe the uses of three digital tools.
Unit 3: Envisioning a Blended Classroom
- Learners will self-reflect by completing a Google Form Survey.
- Learners will select one digital tool presented to incorporate into their classroom.
- Learners will post their lesson on the public Padlet.
- Learners will teach their lesson and share their results.
References & Resources
Larson, M. B., & Lockee, B. B. (2014). Streamlined ID: A Practical Guide to Instructional Design. New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.
Bransford, D., Brown, Ann L., Cocking, Rodney R. (1999). How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, School.Washington, D.C. National Academy Press.