Recently I’ve been exploring the concept of blended learning thanks to one of the courses I’m taking at the UCL Institute of Education. One of the papers I was introduced to was ‘The Rise of K-12 Blended Learning‘ (2011) by Michael Horn and Heather Staker. Before reading this paper I had an idea that blended learning was literally blending different teaching styles and activities together and mixing it up with technology, however blended learning is not the same as technology-rich instruction. The term blended learning refers to a specific pedagogy where part of the course is delivered in the classroom and part delivered outside of the classroom environment using technology.
“Blended learning is a formal education program in which a student learns at least in part through online learning with some element of student control over time, place, path, and/or pace and at least in part at a supervised brick-and-mortar location away from home.” (Is K-12 Blended Learning Disruptive, Christensen, Horn and Staker, 2013, p7)
This paper is brilliant – not only in its clear, easy to read and digest format – but in its categorising of blended learning, giving a vocabulary to identify and describe practice
Great EdTech CPD opportunity coming up in April – the Advanced Teacher Institute (ATI) Conference 2016 is about pushing the boundaries of technology in education. Taking place over the 14th and 15th of April, it will deliver some of the best CPD available. Check it all on on the conference website here.
ATI2016 takes place over 2 days at Malvern College in Worcestershire, England. One-day tickets are also available. There are discounts available for groups and great options for those travelling from further afield, like free accommodation on the 13th… If one day is all you can make then there is a one day ticket available too.
I’ll be leading workshops on Designing and Delivering Creative Learning Experiences, Apps for Animation, and Creating Engaging Learning Environments – all with iPad. There are lots of other workshops led by amazing educators on Learning through Game Design, Lego Digital Storytelling, Showbie (not just for assessment), iOS Film Techniques and Augmented Reality – to name a few!
I love the website MindShift. “MindShift explores the future of learning in all its dimensions. We examine how learning is being impacted by technology, discoveries about how the brain works, poverty and inequities, social and emotional practices, assessments, digital games, design thinking and music, among many other topics.”
MindShift is a wonderful resource for professional learning. If you’ve not found MineShift yet make it one of your goals to visit and explore in 2016! Follow MindShift on Twitter (@MindShiftKQED) or subscribe via email and you will find new articles and resources from their wealth of brilliant writers and commentators. By reading an article or two each week and taking time to think about and explore the topic in more detail you will expand your knowledge of contemporary educational issues and grow as an educator, no matter if you’ve been doing it for 3 weeks or 30 years!
Sometimes it’s an article that articulates just what you’ve been thinking, or something that provokes you to think deeper about an issue. They are easy to share with colleagues and will ensure that you keep learning about learning!
Interesting Find! – MindShift works in collaboration with KQED, Public Media for … Read more...
I can’t remember how I got to it, but at some point this summer I discovered explore.org. Explore is a website (and App) jam packed full of webcams about animals and nature, films, photos and information on a huge range of topics.
“Explore is for everyone who enjoys learning new things and understands that education is a lifelong pursuit. To that end, explore provides a variety of educational resources — from articles to films and photographs to interactive maps — to encourage everyone to “never stop learning.” We like to think of ourselves as Sesame Street for adults.”
The first webcam I saw was trained on a place called Brooks Falls in Alaska where brown bears come to fish. It still doesn’t stop being amazing that we were able to watch bears roam freely from nearly 4000 miles away! (Probably a good distance to keep…) Then we clicked on lots of other webcams and were inspired by all of the wildlife we could see from all over the world and also domestic rescue animals we saw being looked after.
One evening I was also lucky enough to click in at the right time and be … Read more...