How to get started with Blended Learning
Step 1: Recognize the needs of your teachers
The decision to adopt a new teaching approach is both exciting and angst inducing. Blended learning offers a new way to reach students, so it makes sense that districts want to harness it's potential. As school districts explore the possibilities of blended learning they are also faced with challanges and obstacles that must be acknowledged and planned for. If you are thinking about how to get started with blended learning, this 7 part blog series will explore the step you should consider as you adopt this new methodology.
The first piece of the "Blended Learning Puzzle" is probably one of the most important and often underestimated. 'What support will teachers be provided' is a question that cannot be answered unless a school or distrcit understands the needs of their teachers.
In order for professional development to be significant and engaging, it must closely meet the needs of individuals. Teachers must feel that their participation will help them achieve their professional goals.
An understanding of where teachers are on the blended learning continuum is necessary before PD can be prescribed. One can't assume that because a teacher is an outstanding traditional school teacher means that those skills will automatically transfer to the blended learning environment.
Blended learning requires new pedagogical approaches, an understanding of digital curriculum and tools, and how to incorporate hands-on experiences into this kind of learning environment.
In fact according to Riley Justis, "As we transition to technology based learning, the interaction between content knowledge, instructional pedagogy, and technology based skills development becomes paramount to the success of the individual learner within the blended model."
Given that blended learning is still a fairly new teaching methodology, defining a baseline for each teachers readiness in this new model of instruction would be an ideal starting point.
You can get the step by step guide to start your blended learning journey if you:
In part 2 of our 'How to Get Started with Blended Learning' series, we will dig into how to define a baseline in order to assess a teachers readiness to adopt the blended learning instruction model.