4 tips for implementing blended learning

Helpful ideas you should consider when adopting a blended learning model

There are many different approaches and paths to take when beginning to implement a blended learning environment in your school or district. Here are four things you can do in order to set yourself up for a smooth and streamlined transition. 

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  1. Recognizing what you don't know. In order to successfully implement a blended learning environment it is critical for you to establish a baseline for every teacher. Where do they stand in regards to adapting to a blended learning model? With this baseline you'll be able to develop impactful professional development for your teachers and help ease their transition into blended learning instruction. 
  2. Professional Development 2.0. Our current way of delivering professional development is broken. Why? Current PD tends to be quick and detached from what teachers are actually doing in the classroom. If teachers are tasked with bringing technology into the classroom then their PD should also take place within those environments (like an LMS) and tools. Allowing teachers to use and work with the technology will breed familiarity and will translate into higher adoption rates in their classrooms.
  3. Choosing the right LMS. There are numerous LMS solutions in the market today. The vast majority of them have not been designed for the K-12 market. A few things to remember when considering an LMS soltuion...
    • Ensure the technology meets the needs of your students and teachers
    • Insist on a gorgeous user interface and an outstanding user experience. In other words, the LMS should be easy to use and navigate from the first time a learner uses it.
    • About 10% of learning takes place within a formal setting (i.e. an LMS or a physical classroom). Your LMS must be able to track learning activities outside of formal settings.
    • Make sure your LMS has robust reporting capabilities. This can be greatly enhanced with the use of a Learning Record Store (LRS).
  4. Observable Progress. After crafting powering Professional Development for your teachers and securing an LMS solution the final piece of the puzzle comes into play. Is it effective? Are these new solutions helping students? Objectively observing classrooms and teaching practices can complete that feedback loop to continuously interate and improve your blended learning instruction model.

Obviously there are more steps to take, both within and outside of what we've outlined here, when adopting a blended learning model at your school. These are some handy tips that can go a long way in easing the pain of transitioning instructional models. 

If you want to learn more about putting the blended learning puzzle together

Download the Blended Learning Puzzle whitepaper


Barbra Thoeming Director of Education Strategy at Thrivist, LLC