Hopefully you will notice all the different types of technology in this video as well as the fact that students are not online all the time. Often only a small group of students is using technology at one time which really cuts down on how many devices a classroom needs.
How can teachers get devices for blended learning? The easy answer is to say you want to do blended learning and sit back and wait for someone to bring them to you. If you are in a school where devices are not in high demand, or if your principal really wants you to start blending, this may work.
If your school has a computer lab, you could see if you can coordinate with your librarian/technology teacher to get some time for your students to practice. This may not become a daily routine, but it is better than having no access to technology. It also means that as a teacher, you have to plan very specifically for the small amount of time you have in the lab.
For the person who is really serious about wanting to get started, you may have to do a little work. You might look for technology grants. These are hard to get right now because so many people want technology in their classrooms, especially iPads. It is best to have a detailed plan when you write a grant. I think looking for good grants is the hardest part, so here are a few websites to help you get started:
Also, a resource for funding for technology could be local businesses or oil companies that are willing to buy a set of iPads or laptops for your school. This is a little more difficult to accomplish, but it is an avenue to consider.
Another good idea is to evaluate how the technology in your building is being used. Is there a way to schedule that technology so it is not sitting around idle for parts of the day? In our building we had a laptop cart with 30 laptops that were available for checkout. The checkout schedule was fairly full, but not really efficient. It definitely didn’t work for blended learning because you might have the laptops for a week during math, but for the next 2 weeks you couldn’t get them. Our technology committee brainstormed and came up with a plan. We divided the cart into 4 groups of 7-8 laptops each. Most teachers wanted to try to start with blended learning in math. We found that if instead of a grade level sharing a group of laptops, we put one third grade teacher, one fourth grade teacher, and one fifth grade teacher in a strand each could have the laptops during their scheduled math block. The computers started with fourth grade, moved to fifth grade, and onto third grade after lunch. The laptops were put in laptop bags so they could safely be carried by trained responsible, students.
You can flip your classroom in small ways so the students are watching short videos every night, or just once a week, at home to prepare for the lessons in school. This would help the students access technology, but with their parents, instead of teacher. This could be done at the local library, in the school library before or after school, or at a friend's house if computer access is limited at home.
If you want to flip your classroom, but your students just aren’t able to watch the videos outside of school Dr. Lodge McCammon has a suggestion:
Flipping the Classroom - No Computers or Internet Required - Dr. Lodge McCammon - YouTube
Flipped Classroom Resources and Training:
Dr. Lodge McCammon:
What this power is, I cannot say. All I know is that it exists...and it becomes available only when you are in that state of mind in which you know exactly what you want...and are fully determined not to quit until you get it. – Alexander Graham Bell
Stephanie Hutchins and Tammy Hermance
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