The CIA of Blended Learning

The CIA of Blended Learning

Every quality classroom is built upon three components – curriculum, instruction, and assessment, or CIA for short. In a digital learning world the CIA is the same, just with qualifiers: Digital Curriculum Guided Instruction Authentic Assessment See the CIA of Blended Learning infographic below. Digital Curriculum Digital curriculum typically comes in the form of software or open education resources (OER). It is a rare situation when a teacher can actually create their own digital curriculum that has all the components of an effective lesson from an opening hook, review of previous knowledge, delivery of new content, real-world application, a summative close and tasks for students to demonstrate understanding (e.g. assignments and assessments). Typically a teacher gathers pre-made resources from others such as publishers to ‘deliver’ lesson, rarely are they actually ‘developing’ lessons from scratch. Teacher are good at curating OER materials, but this takes time. Teachers that have ‘flipped’ their classroom by creating video lessons will tell you that digital content development is time consuming, and most schools only provide a very small preparation period for teacher planning (not developing). Thus the need for high quality software or applications that can aid in the delivery of digital content is needed.   Digital curriculum can be thought of as a teacher’s aide with significant advantages:   Engages student attention and delivers content Provides data with insight to student strengths and weaknesses Has no limits as to when or where it can be accessed Is ideal for presenting and assessing student understanding and practicing skills   Guided Instruction One thing a digital curriculum can not do is establish a relationship with students. That’s...
A Messy School-wide Digital Plan

A Messy School-wide Digital Plan

Without a complete understanding of the changes in education too many administrators lead into the digital age with making teacher requirements, without understanding the ramifications. Most building administrators have the foresight to know that each and every teacher needs to have a digital presence. But without leadership and guidance this can become a train wreck – very quickly.   At one school a mandate goes out to all staff that they must establish a digital presence and use digital resources in their classroom. What and how they do so, is up to the individual teacher. Teachers scramble to find how they will do this. Some go off and make a website. One might use Weebly, or Google Sites, another learns WordPress and purchases a domain.  Others find apps like Remind or Pocket. Those strong in literacy might buy into Blogger or Edublogs. Those looking for quick digital assessments key in on Quia, Socractive or Kahoot. Some go looking for games to practice skills, from which there are a many to choose from. Others want play list and resources like PowerMyLearning, Khan Academy, CK-12, or LearnZillion. Still others grasp at platforms like Edmodo, Schoology, or Canvas learning management system.   Shortly everyone is doing their own thing, with different key codes, logins, and just trying to figure it all out. Though it is difficult, individual teachers are working with typically a single platform – of their choice. When teachers are not provided professional development, they may not see the connections between platform such as embedding Quia or CK-12 into a learning management system to create an ecosystem for digital learning...
7 Steps to Program Design

7 Steps to Program Design

Planning for a digital learning program can be overwhelming. There are many things to consider, from content, devices, to staff and facilities, and so much more.   Go back and read the previous sentence. Notice that the items specified are visual, touchable. Too often this is where the planning begins and stalls. After acquiring the “junk and stuff” little investment goes into the necessary steps of building a quality digital learning program that are less visual, but comes at the cost of time and effort, like professional development, planning milestones and benchmarks,  or documentation of policies and practices.   Like spokes in a wheel, if the strut is weak or missing, the wheel becomes wobbly and may topple over. So too can a digital learning program if attention is lacking in strategic areas. Having a roadmap or a checklist can guide leaders into investing time and resources strategically. Management and evaluation of the program design process is essential to ensuring that your digital learning program enables students to be successful and excel academically.   See Digital Learning Program Design: 7 Steps to Success infographic below.   Don’t get caught up in the bright colorful furniture, or the sparkling new devices, when you should be focused on operational procedures, or preparing your staff for new pedagogy and classroom instruction.   Successfully implementing a digital learning program requires analysis and thoughtful planning. Knowing all the steps you need to take and having a progress monitoring system in place will keep your team focused. At i3DigitaPD we help schools/districts with the seven steps to program design (see infographic below): Goal Setting Target...
What are Your Goals?

What are Your Goals?

Welcome to i3DigitalPD. We’re very excited to be starting a professional development adventure for something that we feel so deeply and dearly about – online and blended learning.  With more than 15 years in the business seeing the growth and expansion of blended learning to individualize and personalize instruction, I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunities for my daughters (who love soccer) and the future of education. It was spring of 2000 when I started creating my first online course. It was for 8th grade math students who had not earned credit, thus could not be promoted into high school. Actually I was there to assist others in create courses as well – learning the tools, best practices, and creating knowledge objects and training for other teachers  to perfect their craft and courses.  Since the beginning, I was always looking to help others. Even today that is what we’re doing at i3DigitialPD. Starting a business, after years in education, in much like starting a new online or blended learning program in your schools. The planning process in not all that much different. You start with a goal. Why are we changing things? Why do we need to change? What do we hope to accomplish with making this change? For us the goal is to help other create quality online and blended learning programs. After working with thousands of teachers and hundreds of schools to create online and blended learning classrooms and programs, we’ve seen it all – some good, others who definitely needed more planning and preparation and lots in between. Having attended the International Association for K-12 Online...