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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

The dictionary definition of blended learning (sometimes called hybrid learning) is so broad, it sometimes feels like nearly every modern classroom could fit under that umbrella. But the key to understanding blended learning is that it's not about the technology; it's about transforming instructional design to maximize teacher time, to better utilize digital resources, and to build a community of engaged learners of all stripes. To help you navigate the meaning and the potential of blended learning, I've gathered a playlist of videos and resources to explore on the topic.

Video Playlist: Blended Learning Basics

Watch the player below to see the whole playlist, or view it on YouTube.

  1. BlendedLearningNow.com Introduction (01:35)

    A nice succinct animated call-to-action video produced by BlendedLearningNow, a portal for aggregating blogs, articles, case studies, research, and videos to help educators make sense of blended learning.

  2. The Basics of Blended Learning (05:51)

    Produced by edtech consulting company Education Elements, this video illustrates and explains the four main models of blended learning, including lab rotation, class rotation, flex, and pod.

  3. Aspire ERES Academy: Blended Learning in Action (04:40)

    This well-produced piece is about a K-8 school in Oakland, CA, that has adopted the classroom rotational model of blended learning school-wide. This one was also made by Education Elements.

  4. Blended Learning in Plain English (04:04)

    Another explanation video, this one in the Common Craft style, that provides great breakdowns of the evolution of teaching tools, shows how learning management systems (LMS) work, and relates it all to Bloom's taxonomy.

  5. Blended Learning, Real Teaching (02:12)

    EdWeek gives us a peek inside a science classroom at Mott Hall V Middle School in New York City, where students learn from a combination of face-to-face and online instruction.

  6. Blended Learning and Technology Integration (07:31)

    This video from ed tech specialist Jen Jonson has the best explanation of the difference between tech integration and blended learning that I've found, and it digs into the hallmarks of quality blended learning to boot.

  7. Blended Learning: Transforming Classrooms with Technology (03:20)

    Lest you think this is a charter-only phenomenon, DC Public Schools put out this video to show off their blended learning initiatives. The district also offers good resources on their blended learning page.

  8. Blended Learning Implementation Guide (05:09)

    Luminaries and early adopters in the blended learning movement walk you through the phases of successful implementation in this nuts-and-bolts video from Digital Learning Now. Check out the companion PDF guide.

  9. Project-Based Learning in Hybrid (Blended) Courses (01:23)

    Though a little light on content, this quirky stop-motion animation video series aims to show what various proven teaching methodologies can look like in a blended learning environment.

More Resources on Blended and Hybrid Learning

Information about blended or hybrid learning is bountiful online; so much so, in fact, that it's hard to separate the good stuff from the noise. There are numerous ed tech companies looking to make their millions on tech tools designed to support blended models, and it seems like even the well-respected organizations tackling the subject all approach it from different angles. You can get started with Edutopia's comprehensive new Blended Learning Resource Roundup, and I've also chosen a few resources, organizations, and articles below to help you better understand the breadth of this method of instructional design and the possibilities it can offer. Feel free to leave your own resources and ideas in the comments below!

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Teresa Santos's picture

I think it's great to have all of these videos listed in one place. Number 6, Blended Learning and Technology Integration is very useful in explaining the different between using technology as a tool and using technology for blended learning. Often teachers ask for more technology without having a clear idea of how this technology can transform their classroom instruction.

In the first video, BlendedLearningNow.com the narrator talks about "adaptive software." My question is what adaptive software is this schools using, and what is the cost for this type of software?

Amber Sonka's picture

This was very neat to watch all of these videos! I really enjoyed the ERES video with the station rotation model. This is the model I envision myself using in my classroom. I love the ability to be able to look at my students data every moment and differentiate my lessons to meet each child's individual needs.
Video 5 connected to me. She asked the golden question. Are my students really getting what they need out of this lesson. With blended learning, we get more one-on-one time with the students so we can really see if they are understanding what they need to understand. She also said she feels like she knows her students better than she ever had before. She felt like she was no longer teaching science, but teaching students. That is why I got into teaching in the first place. Not to teach, but to teach to students and have relationships with them.

Ashley's picture

Thank you for all the information posted on this blog!! I enjoyed watching the station rotation model, in which this is the first model I think I will try out! This will be the best to start with in which I have used stations before. I think with the set up in my room and the amount of technology I have, this would be a perfect place to start! Thank you for the information!

Jennifer's picture

I really enjoyed watching videos of actual classrooms using Blended Learning. It helps me to visualize what BL will look like in my classroom. I'm exciting to be involved with this style of cutting edge teaching.

angel5683's picture

Blended learning is such a fantastic model! It will become even more accessible as we move further into the technology frontier in the coming years.

Mallory Horsch's picture

The best way to learn about blended learning is to either try it out yourself or observe a working/functioning classroom model. This blog provides a few very helpful videos in particular: video 3, the class rotation model (which showed how it was run and the benefits), and video 6 that clearly defines the difference between technology use in the classroom and blended learning.

Kelly's picture

I really like the videos and links. I am looking forward to seeing how this all unfolds in my classroom!

Debbie's picture

Wow! The pieces of blended learning are coming together. Having previous experience with station rotations, I will now look at how to use the information gained in these videos to help guide me in the new BL structure I now have in my classroom. The pieces of blended learning are coming together. Having previous experience with station rotations, I will now look at how to use the information gained in these videos to help guide me in the new BL structure I now have in my classroom.

Chuck Ross's picture

The author at the beginning of this blog states that the definition of blended learning is broad, and for that, I would agree. My concept of blended learning comes from my experience learning online for part of the time and learning in classroom part of the time. The online interaction is collaborative, student to student and student to professor, while the on campus portion is sometimes individual work, sometimes, lecture, and sometimes small group settings. I think this fall into how blended learning was being described in video 6: Blended Learning and Technology Integration. This model really works for me and I enjoy the format.
The first video: BlendedLearningNow.Com Introduction, describes a dynamic learning environment were students learn primarily in their own style and at their own pace, which is different from my understanding of blended learning. I have taken courses where it was at my own pace, online, using technology to learn content. In that one type or style, I struggled. I work better interacting with other students and the professor, receiving feedback and having timelines to complete work (I guess that's the modernist in my). When the class is not as structured, I struggle.
Video 2: The Basics of Blended Learning, was very different in describing blended learning. In this video blending learning was described as lab rotation where students move from station to station. This style would really appeal to my children. I question how well it would work for adults, although I would be interested in trying it out.
I love technology and the fact that technology is making it easier to reach students that traditional classroom settings just would not reach is appealing. It would be interesting to know how this blended model works across other cultures, lets say a student in North America and another student in Asia. Does the model work the same for both cultures are does a blended model have to be tailored to particular cultures?
I would also like to know if the blended class improves the PISA scores which still has Asia out performing most everyone in reading, science, and mathematics. All interesting stuff when it comes to learning styles, but I wonder if more attention is being paid to how students learn, than what they are learning. I would like to see that correlation between style and content. If blended learning and advance material were being blended together so that students are learning better and learning more, that would be an interesting statistic to have in this blog. Thanks for sharing all the videos on how blended learning is making it easier and more engaging for students to learn.

hwheeler's picture

I like the videos and I agree with the idea of blended learning. I see the importance of making sure that students can learn at their own pace and do things that they enjoy.

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