On April 11th, DSD Professional Development teamed up with Generation Network Schools to present at the Coalition for Community Schools. The presentation covered a brief overview of Generation Network Schools and how they are teaching schools how to use time more effectively during the school day. Generation Network Schools will be helping to open up a new school in Cincinnati, Ohio for the 2014/15 school year. Here is a link to the video that was presented by Jon Reinhard, the Vice President of Learning and Teaching for Generation Network Schools.
After the fantastic introduction by Jon Reinhard, I started my portion of the Blended Learning experience by sharing out how I set up a blended learning classroom. When creating a blended learning classroom, I often set up the room like an Apple Store. I have a place where the students can "play or explore" new concepts or ideas, a "genius bar" where the students can ask and post questions, a "theater session" where I can pull all of the students together to have a group conversation, and finally, "lab sessions" where the students are either learning on their own or with a teacher in small groups. I used this type of classroom structure when I ran a Blended Learning high school in Columbus, Ohio. Next, I shared out a couple of my favorite blended learning tools that I use when I create blended learning lesson plans for schools all around the country. Here are just few of my favorite online tools.
Class Badges- This online tool will help to motivate, progress check, and monitor the students through the blended learning process.
Padlet- Creating a space for the students to share out ideas, thoughts, or even a place to post a finished product. I often use Padlet as a mini discussion board that they students can post to during or after class.
YouTube Time- Cut to the chase and show only the most important parts of the online video.
Smore- Don't just have the students turn in a project but rather have them publish a project through tools like Smore.
BlendSpace- When designing or creating a blended learning lesson plan, I use the online resource BlendSpace to help the students navigate through the blended learning course. Here is an example of one of my Blended Learning lessons using BlendSpace
If you would like to learn more about how to set up a Blended Learning Classroom feel free to contact me, Marcia Kish, at email@example.com or follow me on twitter @dsdpd
Next Amanda Kudron from West Generation Academy in Denver, Colorado presented on how she uses blended learning in her humanities classroom. Amanda teaches 9th grade humanities and has been using the Blended Learning model in her classroom for two years. During the presentation she talked about how she sets up the rotational blended learning model and rotates the students through hands on activities, a teacher station, and finally through a computer station. Using this model, Amanda has seen the students achieve at higher levels of learning. Also, Amanda explained that by using this model, she is able to differentiate instruction to all learners. If you would like to learn more about the blended learning classroom through the eyes of a 9th grade teacher, feel free to contact Amanda at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The last section of our presentation was reserved for Chad Cookinham. Chad works for Generation Network Schools as the Senior Associate for College and Career Transition. Chad showed off some of the fantastic virtual college visits that students can take in order to prepare for their next chapter in education. Chad also explained how Generation Network Schools provide a four week intensive program where students get a chance to explore and prepare for their careers. This use of time allows the students to gain extra time in the classroom, explore colleges, and prepare for their future. To learn more about how Generation Schools use time differently through this intensive program, contact Chad Cookinham at chad
Preparing for any Professional Development session is hard. However, preparing for a 90 minute workshop in front of teachers, administrators, and educational tech experts is down right stressful. To create a well rounded conference session, I start out with three main objectives:
1. Over planning is what I am most known for when presenting any type of training. I want to meet the needs of every learner. Those who are new to the concept, those who might have a little bit of experience, and those who are experts on the topic. I feel like if they have made time to attend my session, then I want to make sure the training meet their individual needs.
2. Learn Something New: When I plan for a training or workshop, my main goal is for everyone to walk out of the room knowing at least one new thing. One thing that they can take back to the classroom. One thing that energizes them. One thing that is going to make them try something new. It does not always have to be a technology tool to implement but maybe it is the teaching style that I showcased, maybe it is the excitement that I have for learning.
3. Making Everyone feel at home: Leaning a new tool, new technology, or new classroom management style can make people uneasy. I play music in the background to help those who need a little distraction. I circulate around the room and talk with everyone. And my number one thing to make everyone feel at home is I allow everyone to have a voice. Either through back channeling, one on one conversations, or small group break out sessions. The tension drops in the room and then everyone feels free to learn.
I am excited to say, that my 90 minute workshop on Mix it, Stir it, Blend it went really well yesterday. I had the honor to be mentioned in a recap in twitter feeds and in blogs. It's moments like this that drives my passion for teaching others. Thank you to everyone who attended my session and shared out my links. The teachers need to know how to apply the blended learning model and I hope that is what those 70+ teachers walked away with yesterday.
DSD Professional Development Coordinator
Check out the article for Edtechtoolkit
Today DSD Professional Development presented at the Ohio Educational Technology Conference on Blended Learning. The focus of the 90 minute workshop was not talking about Blended Learning but rather how to implement the blended learning program into the classroom. We had 70 people show up for the workshop at 8:00 in the morning on a -24 degree day. Below are just few of the highlights from the workshop.
Below is the transcript from the Today's Meet- We used this tool as a back channel and a place where teachers could post their projects.
Marcia Kish is a Blended Learning Coach that is currently helping schools across the country to implement the Three Phases of Blended Learning model.