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
Marcia Kish is a Blended Learning Coach that is currently helping schools across the country to implement the Three Phases of Blended Learning model.