Blogs on Blended Learning

Blogs on Blended LearningRSS
Andrew MillerJanuary 30, 2014

Recently NPR did a story that had the general title The Online Education Revolution Drifts Off Course. And yet the article was focused solely on MOOCs (massive open online courses). Let's be clear that MOOCs are just one part of the so-called online learning revolution. (Don't forget blended learning, the flipped classroom, etc). The story was a strong critique on MOOCs and their effectiveness. For instance, the article cites one case at San Jose State University in California:

But by all accounts, the San Jose experiment was a bust. Completion rates and grades were worse than for those who took traditional campus-style classes. And the students who did best weren't the underserved students San Jose most wanted to reach.
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Rachelle VallonNovember 12, 2013

What if instruction could actually engage students and get them excited about learning? What if school could foster student creativity and support their expanding imaginations? What if educators around the world had the tools to provide students with the 21st century skills to imagine and create their own futures in our ever-changing global society?

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Stephanie West-PuckettSeptember 13, 2013

The Maker movement is poised to transform learning in our schools. To counteract educational standards, testing and uniformity, this fresh approach emphasizes creation and creativity -- products and processes born from tinkering, playing, experimenting, expressing, iterating and collaborating -- and exploits new digital tools to make, share and learn across space and time, do-it-yourself (DIY) style. Museums, libraries, community centers and after-school programs have designed physical and virtual "makerspaces" to host communities of supportive peers and mentors invested in creating everything from nail polish design and webpages to jewelry and robots . . . and now, even school curriculum.

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Paloma Garcia-LopezSeptember 5, 2013

The Maker movement continues to gain momentum. At this year's White House Science Fair, President Obama invited Super-Awesome Sylvia from Auburn, California to exhibit her water color robot as a representative of the Maker community. At the same event, the Corporation for National Service announced its commitment to place Americorps VISTAs in Maker movement organizations across the country. Maker Ed is placing those Maker VISTAs in makerspaces to help build their capacity for engaging low-income students as makers. In this spirit, we are starting to see more and more makerspaces springing up in schools across the country. If you are a teacher experimenting with making projects in your classroom, here are some successful fundraising strategies we've seen educators use to fund a makerspace for their school community.

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Ainissa RamirezJune 24, 2013

We love to organize things into boxes: black or white; red state or blue state; mustard or ketchup. We like to categorize subject matter, too, and teach it in discrete bits. We silo subjects. In one class period we teach one subject, followed by another subject in the following period. While subjects might be taught by the same teacher and in the same space, we never see their connections. We never see the links.

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Adam ProvostJune 18, 2013

Maker Spaces, Fabrication Labs . . . it's been going on for some time now, but it's all the buzz in education these days. And with good reason.

I've been thinking about all this more and more since walking in on a session called "Digital Fabrication in K-12" at Educon this past January. One of the presenters that day, a fellow named Jaymes Dec, said, "I wish every classroom was a Maker Space."

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Andrew MillerJune 6, 2013

I am a committed virtual learning advocate. As an experienced virtual teacher, I have seen students thrive where they'd previously failed. I have seen students who didn't have access to certain courses gain not only college entry requirements, but also innovative electives to support their passions. At the same time, I am also a thoughtful critic of virtual schooling. We have an opportunity to innovate with online learning; we also risk stepping into pitfalls of doing the "same ole thing." We run the risk of the "factory model," where we put as many students as possible through a course with a large student-to-teacher ratio. So where are we now? After many of years of experimentation and implementation of various models, what are some challenges that still remain?

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Milton ChenApril 16, 2013

Recently I witnessed two expert panels discussing critical issues for our educational system -- on the same day. The first one was on implementing the Common Core for English-language learners; the second was on how games offer an exciting new frontier for student learning and engagement. In the morning, I listened in to an Alliance for Excellent Education panel including Stanford professor Kenji Hakuta and Carrie Heath Phillips, director of Common Core implementation at the Council of Chief State School Officers. That evening, I went to Stanford to hear a panel on Education’s Digital Future that included professors James Paul Gee of Arizona State and Constance Steinkuehler of the University of Wisconsin - Madison.

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Minli VirdoneDecember 18, 2012

Khan Academy is primarily known as an online portal of videos and exercises (we have delivered over 207 million lessons to date). We believe that online learning goes hand in hand with hands-on, project-based learning -- and that’s why we decided to run a summer camp, the Discovery Lab, to try out the deeper explorations that can be done in a physical space. As we fine-tune the lessons that work in this setting, we will try to integrate them more deeply into the core Khan Academy platform, so students and teachers around the world have the infrastructure and tools to fully explore their creativity.

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Ben JohnsonNovember 12, 2012

For the first two months of school, "When are the iPads going to be handed out?" was a continual mantra from students and teachers. But finally, when we were able to tell them a day, frustration turned into anticipation. Southside High School's goal was to efficiently assign an iPad to each ninth- and tenth-grader, without seriously impacting the regular instructional day. Boy, was that off target!

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