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Special Education Teacher Middle School,Texas

Technology refers to modeling

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Technology refers to modeling and applying digital tools and resources for students, staff and others stakeholders to advance teaching and learning. Technology can be used in the classroom and outside the classroom. There is an open doors for many exciting teaching and learning experiences in real world relations. I love the idea of empowering students to create their own voice in what they are thinking and learning. I believe we are changing mindset in education, this is happening in our classrooms today like never before.
Rameria
Special Education Teacher
Fort Worth, Texas

Blended Learning for Success

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The fate of the traditional school or college campus lies in the use of technology to increase future growth and success. In recent years, the emergence of the buzz phrase “blended learning” conjures up numerous conceptual ideas as to what exactly it is. On a simple note, blended learning combines both the classroom and technology to engage learners in meaningful learning experiences. Although the term “blended learning” has perhaps been around for some time, the phenomenal spread of the World Wide Web has led to new teaching models and learning styles that embraces the latest technology and face-to-face teaching in the classroom (Dezure, 2000).

As noted in your article, in a “blended learning” classroom online work forms an essential element that provides for specific content or formative assessments. However, the primary importance here is the individualized instructional approach (differentiated instruction) that serves to meet the dynamic needs of our learners. As noted by others, this changing focus from a teacher-centered to a learner-centered approach merges with pedagogics to transform the classroom environment into a twenty-first century thinking laboratory, where learners critically analyze and learn new contexts.

As seen in the United Kingdom and North America, the rate of learning and efficiency in both corporate training programs and businesses alike reflect the success of the “blended learning” approach (Bonk & Graham, 2005). Thus, the need to maintain “blended learning” in higher education and to create better thinkers through learner engagement and technological use becomes apparent. As your article indicated, learners value this engagement as it provides individualized learning approaches to facilitate meaningful-problem solving solutions, where learners can plan and work together to utilize their learning in new contexts. Learners’ success depends on an educator’s innovative approach to “blended learning” that is differentiated for each individual, through a combination of classroom and technology integration (e-learning).

References

Bonk, C. J., & Graham, C. R. (2005). The handbook of blended learning: Global perspectives, local designs (1st ed.). San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer.

DeZure, D. (2000) Learning from Change: Landmarks in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. Change Magazine. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing Inc.

Reading Specialist from Hellertown, PA

Thanks for the very upbeat

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Thanks for the very upbeat advice as to how to make blended learning work in the classroom setting. I have a website to share that I explored with my kids this summer. It is called Cubert’s Writing Cube. It is an excellent online platform for creative writing in the elementary grades. It is Wiki based, which allows the students to do collaborative story writing. There are some very cool features such as a “gallery” section where the students can draw illustrations or upload graphic files, and there are some terrific interactive story-starters. Your students will not have a chance to suffer from writer’s block. Here are some other positive notes about the website:
• Kids become more engaged to write their book reports and stories.
• Getting feedback from you and peers within the cube makes it easier to edit, and and they resist it less.
• Students can access it at home to do their homework or add more detail to their illustrations.
• When they publish their writing, students can choose how to share it with friends and parents.
• Teachers find the lessons on the “Lesson Shelf” resource very helpful to get started and inspired.
• You can access the entire writing process (and papers) accessible from a single place.

Great article

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Great article on blended learning! I have often wondered what a successful blended learning classroom would look like. I am surprised by the group lecture in an online conference room. I wonder if it is more beneficial to have content lectures being presented online. I suppose if the lecture is using other technologies, such as videos and websites, it makes sense. Otherwise, is it using technology just to use it? Are students more engaged in lectures that occur online?

Mentor, Teaching Consultant

Blended learning or teaching?

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Thank you for this informative and well written article. Blended learning is indeed a great way to make learning more meaningful for students, and mobile learning is definitely the way of future learning. I also appreciate your examples of pulling students into the nexus of their own learning, instead of keeping them at outskirts of it, as usually happens when educators get excited about online learning - and then it turns out they are actually talking about online teaching.
Learning is still viewed as a product, not as a process, even though we already have the tools for creating truly learner centered schools and classrooms. http://notesfromnina.wordpress.com/2012/09/30/is-learning-a-product-or-a... I also mentor teachers pursuing their masters degree in Learning and Technology, and am sometimes surprised how much more technology is still understood to be a teaching tool instead of means for individual learning. We must change this.
We must shift the focus from teaching to learning to improve the education. Students are the ones doing the real work of learning, teachers are there to facilitate that learning. This is also one reason for education in Finland being so much more effective.

first grade teacher from Louisville, KY

I am looking for new and

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I am looking for new and creative ways to manage and engage my very enthusiastic group of first graders. does anyone have any useful tips/strategies?

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