Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Blended Learning Environments

Good Morning!

Today, I wanted to share some thoughts on designing blended learning courseware for K-12 classrooms at a LoTi 4 and higher using either a one-to-one or virtual one-to-one learning environment. Remember that as you increase the LoTi level of the learning experience, the potential to generate more student H.E.A.T. similarly increases.

Where to get started?
Step 1:
Know thy LoTi/H.E.A.T. levels! Understanding the LoTi/H.E.A.T. model can help you process the targeted LoTi level for a learning experience based on the content and the level of desired student cognition.

Step 2:
The next step in planning a blended learning environment at a LoTi 4 and higher is finding authentic connections to the content. This step can be accomplished using a professional development intervention called Tic-Tac-Toe. This activity enables the instructional designer to process connections between the content and the real world. A companion activity to Tic-Tac-Toe is a quick review of 21st Century Skills/Themes.

Step 3:
The next step is selecting an instructional model that can be easily adjusted to any content area or grade level. An easy-to-use model that works extremely well in a blended environment is the 5E Model. If you are unfamiliar with this model, check out the links below:

Step 4:
Step 4 involves becoming proficient with some fundamental tools used to promote a collaborative learning environment. I have identified these tools below. Take a few minutes to consider their efficacy and utility to your blended learning environment. You are also invited to conduct a S.W.O.T. analysis of any one of these web-based tools.

Higher-order Thinking Tools/Strategies:
Bloom's Taxonomy
Questioning Toolkit

Engagement Tools/Strategies:
Survey Monkey

Authenticity Tools/Strategies:
21st Century Learning Revisited
Google Earth

Technology Use Tools:
National Library of Virtual Manipulatives
Dabble Board
• Garageband
Project Websites:

Step 5:
Next, you will need to decide the type of collaborative learning environment for your blended instructional module. Your campus may already have a learning management system available such as Blackboard, Moodle, or FirstClass or you can create your own using an online social network such as NING. Probably the easiest way to get started is by using a simple blog or wiki if no other options exist.

Step 6:
The last step is to begin creating your blended learning environment. The ratio of face-to-face versus online needs to be based on your students' background with the content as well as experience within a blended environment. Please take a minute to review the samples below.

(Enter lotiguest as your user name and password)
Life Science: Simulation - (Click on Guest Entrance)

May the LoTi Be With You!


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