On April 16th, I had the pleasure to share with administrators across the national on a webinar hosted by District Administration and sponsored by Canvas about Blended Learning: What it Takes to Do It Right. It was a great opportunity to speak about the four key focus areas of building quality blended programs:
All too often we get wrapped up in the things we can see and touch when planning for blended learning environments – like the technology, the software, and even the physical teacher. All these items are visual and can be purchased rather quickly. But it’s the unseen items that will be the undoing of blended programs.
- Does the content meet your district standards and benchmarks?
- How do you change the mindset and pedagogical practices of a 5-10-20 year veteran teacher?
- What are the instructional expectations of teachers who rely heavily on online content delivery?
- Should the student information and learning management systems integrate and roster students into online classrooms?
- What support services will be put in place for students who need direct instruction?
- What policies and procedures need documenting to ensure proper communication and deployment across classrooms or schools?
These are just a few of the ‘unseen’ items that can make or break your blended learning program. Here at i3DigitalPD we have worked with many teachers and administrators to identify what it takes to do it right.
Don’t get caught up in the “stuff.” Don’t be like the parent that works late, travels much and who brings home a gift for their child. Yet, the child would rather spend time together talking, playing and changing the mind and heart of their parent. Your students and staff want and need more from you.
The planning process is vital to blended learning success. Talk to your staff. Play with the numbers, classroom configurations and master schedule. Change the mind and hearts of the adults that need and want to find their place in these new learning environments.
I hope that you can find the time to watch the webinar recording. This fast and furious one hour session is an overview of the most common blended learning models, then digs deep into the four key areas of focus for administrators to consider. Get your notebook out, because I talk fast and there are lots of resources you will want to write down.