Blended Learning

What is Blended Learning?

Blended Learning refers to a combination of learning environments including face-to-face, online instruction, and personalized learning.

The Ontario Ministry says this:

“Students can also take part in face-to-face lessons and communicate with their teacher and classmates using a suite of secure online tools inside the password-protected LMS. These tools help students learn or review key concepts, stay organized, show what they have learned, submit assignments, track their achievement, and communicate with others. This suite of online secure tools includes:

Blog Calendar Checklist Content
Discussions Dropbox Email ePortfolio
Grades Journal Locker News
Pager Progress Quizzes Survey

In many of our classrooms, we are using Desire 2 Learn (D2L) as a Learning Management System. Course content is directly connected to the Ontario curriculum. Content includes, in many cases, minds-on activation activities, instructional videos, discussions, independent and small group activities, and assessment oppotunties.

In a grade 5 class last year, a supply teacher left a follow-up note stating, “I didn’t even have to give them instruction. Students were all in different places (in their learning), but were able to set themselves up and go right to where they left off before. (They were) on task, everyone knew just what to do, and (when I asked them about their learing) they explained what they were working on. Very cool.”

As a school board where we focus on critical thinking, personalized learning and differntiated instruction, the blended learning model provides many opportunities to reach our students. We also have a perfect climate for experimenting with blended learning, as students have plenty of access to projectors and SMART Boards (modelling and small-group instruction), and individualized instruction (iPads, netbooks, and an openness to access to student-owned devices).

If you haven’t heard about Blended Learning and want to know more, ask a Technology Teacher or classroom teacher in a KPDSB school who has used it. On Twitter, check out the #SeLNO hashtag. Still not sure? Check out the webinars on the e-Learning Ontario website.

 

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