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Blended Learning in Action
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Blended Learning in Action
A Practical Guide Toward Sustainable Change

First Edition


September 2016 | 224 pages | Corwin

Shift to blended learning to transform education

Blended learning has the power to reinvent education, but transitioning to a blended model is challenging. Blended learning requires a fundamentally new approach to learning as well as a new skillset for both teachers and school leaders. Loaded with research, examples, and resources, Blended Learning in Action demonstrates the advantages a blended model has over traditional instruction when technology is used to engage students both inside the classroom and online. Readers will find:

  • Breakdowns of the most effective classroom setups for blended learning
  • Tips for leaders
  • Ideas for personalizing and differentiating instruction using technology
  • Strategies for managing devices in classrooms and schools
  • Study questions to facilitate professional development and deeper learning

Written with system-wide transformation in mind, this is the resource teachers and leaders need to help them shift to a blended learning model and transform education for the 21st century.  

"The time for blended learning is now and the place is ALL classrooms throughout the country. This book provides educators with essential information and practices that will prepare students for the 21st Century."
Kim Weber, 4th Grade Teacher
Mandell School, New York, NY

"This book is different. It is deeper and more serious about creating the change students deserve than most others. The fact that each and every chapter starts out with a student's perspective confirms that it is built on a vital pedagogical foundation."
Brad Gustafson, Principal and Author of Renegade Leadership
Greenwood Elementary, Wayzata, MN

 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Authors
 
Introduction
 
PART 1. SHIFTING TO A BLENDED CULTURE
 
Chapter 1. Going Blended to Meet the World
Scaling Blended Learning Transformation

 
Clearing Up Blended Learning Confusion

 
It Starts With Culture

 
A Blended Learning Culture

 
Where the World Is Going: Our Students Are Already There

 
Wrapping It Up

 
Book Study Questions

 
 
Chapter 2. Getting Started
Phase 1: Building the Foundation

 
Stage 1: Engagement and Vision–Cohesion of Vision and Pedagogy

 
Stage 2: Assess–What Is Our Starting Point?

 
Links to the Classroom: Participating in Discussions About Mindset

 
Stage 3: Planning and Design

 
Stage 4: Pre-Pilot

 
Identifying and Enlisting Pre-Pilot Teachers

 
Links to the Classroom: Engaging Student Voice in Pre-Pilots

 
Wrapping It Up

 
Book Study Questions

 
 
Chapter 3. The Blended Learning Elements of Effectiveness
The Elements Described

 
Cohesion of Vision and Pedagogy

 
Capacity Building

 
Links to the Classroom: Building Student Capacity

 
Technology Utilization

 
Links to the Classroom: Getting Creative With Limited Resources

 
Data Management and Usage

 
Student Ownership

 
Wrapping It Up

 
Book Study Questions

 
 
Chapter 4. Preparing Teachers for Blended Instruction
What Works in Professional Development

 
Guiding Principle of Blended Learning Professional Development #1: As the Student, So the Teacher (CHOMP)

 
Links to the Classroom: Help Students Connect

 
Hands-On Learning

 
Ongoing Learning

 
Mindset Shifts: Start With the Why Not the What

 
Personalize Choice, Differentiation, Pace, and Skills

 
Links to the Classroom: What Are Your Strengths Now?

 
Guiding Principle of Blended Learning Professional Development #2: Differentiate to Cross the Chasm

 
Wrapping It Up

 
Book Study Questions

 
 
PART 2. BLENDED LEARNING TOOLBOX
 
Chapter 5. Devices and Digital Tools
Different Tools for a Different Generation

 
Building Blocks of a Digital Classroom

 
Links to Leadership: Supporting an Iterative Practice

 
Productivity and Collaboration Environments

 
Learning Management Systems

 
Links to Leadership: Access to Technology

 
Links to Leadership: Professional Development

 
Building Technology Toolboxes to Promote Technology Fluency

 
Deciding on the Right Device

 
Which Funding Model Is the Best Fit?

 
Links to Leadership: Engage Stakeholder Voices

 
Mobile Devices

 
Tablets

 
Chromebooks

 
Laptops

 
Finding the Right Tool

 
Stay Connected and Keep Learning

 
Wrapping It Up

 
Book Study Questions

 
 
Chapter 6. Digital Curriculum
What Is Digital Curriculum?

 
Types of Digital Curriculum

 
What Are the Benefits of Digital Curriculum?

 
How Can Digital Curriculum Foster Student Ownership?

 
What Are the Challenges of Using Digital Curriculum?

 
How Do I Select the Right Digital Curriculum?

 
Links to Leadership: Helping Teachers Select the Best-Fit Digital Curriculum

 
Build Capacity Through Committees

 
Engage Students as Owners via Student Input

 
Build Capacity Through Professional Development

 
Digital Curriculum and the Planning Process

 
Organizing and Sharing Digital Curriculum

 
Links to Leadership: Helping Teams Plan Together

 
Digital Curriculum in Blended Learning Models

 
Whole-Group Rotation Digital Curriculum Integration

 
Station Rotation Digital Curriculum Integration

 
Flipped Class Digital Curriculum Integration

 
Wrapping It Up

 
Book Study Questions

 
 
Chapter 7. Assessment in a Blended Environment
What Do We Really Mean by Assessment?

 
What Drives Student Learning?

 
Reading and Responding to the Data Narrative

 
Links to Leadership: Tools and Time for Managing Data

 
Maximizing the LMS

 
Beyond Grades and Data

 
Making It Personal

 
Leading and Learning With Formative Assessment

 
How Can Formative Assessment Foster Student Ownership?

 
What Are the Challenges of Assessment in the Blended Environment?

 
Wrapping It Up

 
Book Study Questions

 
 
Chapter 8. Onboarding and Supporting Students
Why Do We Need to Onboard “Digital Natives”?

 
What Do We Mean by Onboarding?

 
Onboarding Through Effective Backward Design

 
Links to Leadership: Establishing a Schoolwide Onboarding Practice

 
Build Capacity Through Student Trailblazers and Buddy Programs

 
Engage Students in Peer Support Systems

 
Embracing Teachable Moments

 
Wrapping It Up

 
Book Study Questions

 
 
PART 3. BLENDED LEARNING: EXPLORING CLASSROOM MODELS
 
Chapter 9. Station Rotation Model
What Is the Station Rotation Model?

 
What Are the Benefits of the Station Rotation Model?

 
Station Rotation Model Can Take Many Forms

 
Links to Leadership: Access to Technology

 
Planning a Station Rotation Lesson

 
Station Rotation Lesson Template

 
Links to Leadership: Helping Teachers to Meet and Overcome Challenges

 
Building Capacity

 
Additional Staffing or Parent Volunteers

 
Tip for Designing a Station Rotation: Go Horizontal With Your Traditional Agenda

 
Design a Station Rotation to Target a Specific Skill

 
What Are Some of the Challenges Associated With the Station Rotation Model?

 
Logistical Concerns

 
Grouping Strategies

 
What Is the Teacher’s Role During a Station Rotation Lesson?

 
Wrapping It Up

 
Book Study Questions

 
 
Chapter 10. Whole Group Rotation: A Modern Spin on the Lab Rotation
What Is the Whole Group Rotation?

 
What Are the Benefits of the Whole Group Rotation?

 
Designing a Whole Group Rotation Lesson

 
Whole Group Rotation: Sample Lessons

 
Whole Group Rotation: Drag-and-Drop Lesson Template

 
What Are Some of the Challenges Associated With the Whole Group Rotation?

 
Links to Leadership: Access to Technology

 
Logistical Concerns

 
How can I make sure students are on task during online work?

 
How can I make time to work one-on-one with students?

 
Wrapping It Up

 
Book Study Questions

 
 
Chapter 11. The Flipped Classroom
What Is the Flipped Classroom?

 
What Are the Benefits of the Flipped Classroom?

 
Designing a Flipped Classroom Lesson

 
Step 1: Pique Interest, Drive Inquiry, or Assess Previous Knowledge

 
Step 2: Flip and Engage Online

 
Step 3: Design Student-Centered Application Activities

 
Example of a Flipped Vocabulary Lesson

 
Flipping With Different Types of Media

 
Flipping With Text

 
Flipping With Images

 
Flipping With Video

 
Flip AND Engage

 
Links to Leadership: Access to Technology

 
Producing and Publishing Your own Flipped Videos

 
Step 1: Creating Content

 
Step 2: Recording Videos or Screencasts

 
Step 3: Exporting to YouTube or a Video Hosting Site

 
Links to Leadership: Building Capacity

 
What Are Some of the Challenges Associated With the Flipped Classroom?

 
In-Class Flip

 
Wrapping It Up

 
Book Study Questions

 
 
Chapter 12. Other Models and Possibilities
Individualized Models and Possibilities

 
Individual Rotations and Playlists Defined

 
Links to Leadership: Managing Technology Platforms

 
What Are the Benefits of the Individual Playlist Model?

 
Designing and Supporting Individual Playlists

 
Building Community

 
What Is the Teacher’s Role During an Individual Playlist Experience?

 
Links to Leadership: Helping Teachers to Facilitate Learning

 
A La Carte Model Defined

 
How Do Schools Select Course Providers for A La Carte Integration?

 
Links to Leadership: Logistics of A La Carte Learning

 
What Are the Benefits of the A La Carte Model?

 
Designing and Supporting A La Carte

 
Links to Leadership: Role Definition and Policy

 
Building Capacity Through Onsite Facilitator Training and Networking

 
Beyond the Models

 
Wrapping It Up

 
Book Study Questions

 
 
PART 4. BLENDED LEARNING: THE ROADMAP TO PERSONALIZATION
 
Chapter 13. The Roadmap to Personalization
The Path Forward to Personalization

 
Phase 2: Transitions

 
Phase 3: Expansion

 
Achieving Sustainability

 
The Responsibility of Teaching “They”

 
Wrapping It Up

 
Book Study Questions

 
 
References
 
Index

"The time for blended learning is now and the place is ALL classrooms throughout the country. This book provides educators with essential information and practices that will prepare students for the 21st Century."

Kim Weber, 4th Grade Teacher
Mandell School, New York, NY

"The authors make blended learning come alive with the use of  practical examples and resources beneficial to all school leaders and teachers ready to elevate student learning."

Kelly Fitzgerald, Online Learning Integration Specialist
Leander ISD, Leander, TX

"This book is an excellent tool for administrators and educators who would like to learn more about implementing or improving a successful blended learning program in their school or district. It provides step-¬by-¬step instructions as well as anecdotes from actual educators who have experienced the implementation process themselves."

Juliette Guarino Berg, Lower School Science Specialist
The Mandell School, New York, NY

"Blended Learning in Action will lead to deep discussion with teachers and school leaders on how to move forward with an action plan to link modern and fresh teaching practices in the classroom to technology, while also helping to create rewarding classroom environment."

Kristopher R. Kwiatek, Principal
Kadena High School, Okinawa City, Japan

"Blended Learning in Action is an incredibly thoughtful read that builds a case for the urgent changes needed in schools today. Authors Tucker, Green, and Wycoff bring incredible expertise and passion to this book. It artfully describes the importance of blended learning playing a central role in this revolution coming to education as we know it. Blended Learning in Action is a great road map that balances research and practice for teachers, leaders, and learners."

Robert Dillon, Director
BrightBytes Institute

"This book is different. It is deeper and more serious about creating the change students deserve than most others. Blended Learning in Action is a deep dive into what, why, and how blended learning can be meaningfully implemented and scaled.  The purposeful integration of multiple stakeholder perspectives throughout the book was masterful.  The fact that each and every chapter of Blended Learning in Action started out with a student's perspective confirms that it is built on a vital pedagogical foundation."

Dr. Brad Gustafson, Author of Renegade Leadership

"Whether you are a district, school, or classroom education leader, Blended Learning in Action will take you through the pedagogy, tools, curriculum and lesson design strategies, and practical classroom models to start transforming learning for your students. The best part of this book is that it can provide educators with innovative ideas whether they are just considering going blended, ready to take the plunge, or have already gone blended and are looking for more inspiration. Don't miss the chance to move your classroom, school, or district forward by creating a culture shift and following through with the school-wide and classroom practices that have been tested by educators."

Kerry Gallagher, Digital Learning Specialist, Director of K-12 Education
St. John's Prep, ConnectSafely.org

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