Tag Archives: Blended Learning

Design and Delivery in a Blended Learning Jungle Texthelp Virtual Conference

This week Texthelp launched a virtual conference “Design and Delivery in a Blended Learning Jungle” to help educators navigate through the current blended learning plans with schools reopening during the pandemic. The three day virtual conference was a huge success with more than 6,000 educators around the world and 28 speakers addressing how to support students and make learning successful despite COVID-19. Don’t worry if you were not able to attend the conference, you can still sign up to watch the awesome presentations which are available until September 20th, 2020.

The theme among the speakers was about making blended learning lessons that are flexible, feasible, family friendly, and fun. These core ideas were the center of Tinashe Blanchet‘s presentation. All of the presenter spoke about think deeply about delivering instruction that is engaging, relevant and most of all, doable to their students during this unprecedented time. Casey Bell and Shaelynn Farnsworth spoke about tech tools and strategies to support all learners from Google Extensions to Assistive Technology.

Shaelynn Farnsworth, Vicki Davis, Diana Petschauer, and I spoke about how help our students learn how to personalize their learning, use multiple modalities and build relationships with their teachers and each other. My own presentations highlighted tools and strategies to support ALL the readers in your classroom. In a blended learning environment we want to empower readers with opportunities to leverage technology so they can be in control of their own learning and achieve their personalized reading goals. Check out my presentation below.

Vicki Davis’ closing keynote mentions many tools to support the readers in our classroom. She says “we teach in a blended way it is a different mode of teaching and we need to redefine learning and engagement.”

This year all teachers are embarking on a new learning and teaching experiences. Our classrooms will not look like what they have in the past. We need to help support students so they can be successful no matter the blended learning environment.

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Digital Tools to Support Literacy in the Time of Remote Learning & E-Learning

My mailbox has been full of newsletters and emails about resources for remote learning, e-Learning, and virtual learning, and maybe for you too. In a small amount of time, teachers and school have shifted to online learning to help our students maintain some normalcy, meet learning targets, and support the community.

How do you make sense of all the educational platforms and virtual lessons ideas that will best support your students?

Web20Classroom created an infographic on “Teacher Tips for Active Learning Interactions Online” showcasing four types of blending learning opportunities for students whether we are in the classroom our working remotely: Learner-Content, Learner – Instructor, Learner to Learner, and Learner to Technology. We can think about these four types of active learning strategies when we think about planning our online lessons so that students are still engaged in active and blended lessons remotely.

Learner-Content is the traditional style of lectures and presentations, videos, and readings used to present information. Rather than pushing out a chapter from a textbook, teachers might consider a platform like Edpuzzle that allows teachers to embed questions in videos (from YouTube & TED) to improve attention and comprehension for students viewing. Additionally, if using print text, Actively Learn is an E-reading platform that improves students’ reading comprehension. Teachers can customize instruction, provide. real-time feedback, allowing peers to collaborate, and get analytics on student performance. If you have slide decks in Google Slides or Power points, you can upload them on to Nearpod and create interactive and engaging lessons for students with extended responses, polls, and games. Teachers might also consider making their own video lessons using the Screencastify Chrome Extension. This extension allows you to easily record and screencast your screen with accompanying audio and video commentary to present a new idea, concept, or lesson.

Learner-Instructor connections are so important and we do not want to lose the interaction and relationships among our students. Using Google Hangouts and Zoom  provide a time and place for learners and instructions to connect face to face. Teachers can schedule conferences to check in with small groups or individual students. I currently hold a Google Hangout once a week for questions and check-ins with my middle school and graduate students. I also email and call students to check in when they do not turn in work or seem to be missing days on end.

Learner-Learner is the interaction between one learner and other learners. If you are like me, group work and collaboration happened everyday in my classroom. How do we re-create this in a virtual world? Padlet allows teachers to create an online bulletin board to display information for any topic, use for brainstorming, and students sharing their insight. Users can add images, links, and videos. Flipgrid allows students to share their voice with one another. This social learning platform allows educators to ask a question, then the students respond in a video. Students are then able to respond to one another, creating a “web” of discussion. I use Flipgrid for sharing writing, book reviews, and group discussions. Seesaw  is Padlet and Flipgrid combined. It can be utilized for student engagement and digital-portfolios where students create, reflect, share, and collaborate.

Learner-Technology is about the interaction between learners and technologies to deliver instruction. In this current climate of remote learning and virtual learning we have shifted all our work online. That also means our students are spending A LOT of time online and in front of a screen. With a 9th grader and 5th grader at home, I see how much time we are all spending online — more than 5 hours a day online! Choose assignments that are meaningful and don’t try to fill a 40 or 50 minute time block as if we were still in our classrooms. Create your lessons wisely. There are so many fantastic resources online to support reading, writing, and teaching remotely. Let’s design experiences that are engaging, offer choice (like Hyperdocs and Choice Boards), support ALL learners, and are meaningful.

Looking for more ideas, check out:


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