Think about your classroom in 5 years. What will it look like? How will your role evolve, and how will students learn?
We ask these and other questions to educators as we facilitate the design of a blended learning environment. Educators debate and design answers to this challenge during collaboration time. During these great conversations, more questions arise. How will blended learning look different, at various grade levels? What is technology’s role? How will teacher and student roles evolve? What schools are currently making this vision a reality? Of course, the best response to the last question is “your school”.
Although we’re working with several California districts on this challenge, these are also the questions educators across the country are asking. In order to keep pace with new learning about the way people think and apply what they learn, districts and educators are beginning to understand that they need to innovate instruction. Districts are looking at how to adapt their educational models to support this learning shift, in many cases leading to discussions on how to create a blend of learning opportunities, including:
Technology supported, targeted-individualized learning where students have some control over how and when they learn
Teacher support through targeted-direct instruction based on the learning students need at specific points in time
Inquiry based thinking – encouraging students to explore and thinking deeply and critically about relevant content
By creating a vision of what their blended learning environment will look like in 5 years, educators can then think about short and long term commitments. What am I already doing to support this type of learning? How will I need to structure my classroom? How will my colleagues and I collaborate to best use available resources? What technology is currently available and how does this vision of learning change our district’s thinking about purchasing, support and infrastructure?
We’ll keep you posted as we continue this process in the coming months, and into the 2014-15 academic year!