No but really, the Blended Learning Classroom is like a Reese Peanut Butter Cup, let me explain.
Direct instruction from the teacher is like the Chocolate.
- Students still need to have some type of direct instruction to gain information from the teacher.
- I teach teachers to pull small groups of students throughout the day to provided the direct instruction at the students current level of learning. Using the data collected from the online assessments/activities, group projects, and hands on learning centers, the teacher will be able to deliver direct instruction to students to enhance or revisit the skills needed to move onto the next chapter, unit, or project.
- Giving whole group direct instruction is only for the first five minutes of class or at the end of the class to recap the daily assignments. Mainly, because the students should be working at their own pace and the students will be at different places in the curriculum.
The technology, group projects, and hands on learning stations are core or the Peanut Butter of the Reese Peanut Butter Cup.
- Technology- Using the mobile and web based application, students can learn at their own pace. There are so many great resources out there to help generate individualized learning plans for students. I always teach the teachers how to use BlendSpace and PowerMyLearning as the first resources to use to generate the technology aspect of the blended learning environment.
- Technology Assessments- In order the Blended Learning process to work, teachers need to build in assessments that can provide data on current learning level of each student. Using Google Forms teachers can quickly assess the students and find out what the students know or need to know in order to move onto the next section of the curricula. Check out this video on Differentiating Assessment using Google Forms.
- Group Projects and Hands on Learning- I like to call these section "Show off What you Know." As part of the Blended Learning environment, students need a chance to display what they are learning through real world problem solving. Students can work on their own or with a group in order to solve the problems. If all of the learning took place on the computer with some interaction with teacher, then this would become online learning. But once we add in the projects, collaboration, hands on learning, and team building then we develop more of the Blended Learning concept. Yes, technology can still be used for the projects but the students can drive the type of outcomes during the "Show off What You Know"
A Blended Learning Classroom can not have work with out the Chocolate-AKA the teacher and the Peanut Butter- AKA Technology/Projects. Therefore, when someone asks me "What does a Blended Learning Classroom look like? I always say, a Reese Peanut Butter Cup