Let’s get personal for a minute. Teacher personal. How do you really feel about technology?
Do you love it? Hate it? Are you indifferent?
You’ve been using technology for years. Computer-based grade books. Overhead projectors. Even pen and paper are forms of technology (no, I’m not kidding).
But tech has exploded in the past decades, and that explosion’s raged onto the education scene relatively recently. (Case-in-point, I just trashed my poster Jeopardy board in 2017–you know, the one with the pasted on pockets and the index cards with the questions. If you don’t remember those, congratulations, you have more time left on this earth than I do.)
But it doesn’t matter how old you are or how long you’ve been teaching. Change can be disconcerting. Good, but disconcerting.
New technology can be a great thing, depending on how we implement it. I’m a firm believer that there’s no substitution in some cases for good old-fashioned pen to paper, face-to-face, manipulate those cards, interaction.
We CAN have both–the best of both worlds. It’s called The Blended Classroom.
So what’s the blended classroom?
The blended classroom is a hybrid of traditional instruction mixed with digital instruction that involves some element of student control over their own learning. When my school system first went 1:1 (one tech device per student), I had mixed feelings. I love incorporating technology into my classroom, but I also love my paper interactive notebooks. I’ve gotten excellent results with each.
Compromise and happy mediums aren’t always bad. I’m not an all-in, die-hard, one-method person, and I was a little afraid that going 1:1 may pressure me to be that way. But then I realized that being in on the ground floor of this 1:1 thing could be good–we get to write the rules that way.
Since my feelings were mixed about 1:1, I decided to go ahead and mix up my classroom instruction–digital and traditional together. This is called the blended classroom.
I take what works best traditionally and keep it. I take what works best digitally and use it.
You see, the blended method enriches curriculum exponentially. It opens so many doors to students–think virtual tours, hyperdocs, Skype speakers, and fantastic games. It simplifies the teacher’s life–think less copying, self-grading forms, and no text book dependence.
I’m on board with this blending thing, and I’ve been chronicling my journey through the blended waters, navigating everywhere from best organizational practices to lesson planning to tech tips and trouble-shooting.
Click on the page links above to check out useful blog posts, video tutorials, and downloadable cheat-sheets to help you create a blended classroom today.
And good luck on your blended journey!