Source: Image of light bulb, Public Domain, http://pixabay.com/en/the-light-bulb-light-bulb-lighting-349400/ , Image of student at desk, Public Domain, http://pixabay.com/en/desk-chair-man-reading-studying-312591/
Welcome to a tutorial on Role of Teacher and Student in Blended Learning. In today's tutorial, we will discuss the following questions, what is the role of the teacher in a blended learning environment? What is the role of a student in the blended learning environment? And how do student teacher roles in a blended learning environment differ from the traditional environment?
So let's get started with a review of blended learning. Remember, blended learning is the integration of technology and traditional face-to-face instructional activities to create that blended learning environment.
An organization called iNacol, or the International Association for K-12 Online Learning is just one resource to look at teaching standards for online teaching. This organization ensures that all students have access to quality online learning. That's their goal.
They provide a set of quality guidelines for online teaching, which include standards. The standards are listed A through K. The categories that they assess are teacher knowledge and understanding, teacher abilities, and rating. And all of these categories are assessed in each of the specific standards. They use a rating scale of zero to four in each of these categories.
You can look them up at iNacol, I-N-A-C-O-L, dot org.
Let's look at the role of the teacher in the blended learning environment. A teacher must be the coach, tutor. They must encourage students and celebrate their successes. An example of this is working with students one-on-one during a student conference time.
They must facilitate deep learning, discussion, and collaboration. An example is setting up opportunities for students to collaborate online using different programs.
They must design problem based opportunities for the extension of learning. An example is having students generate questions that they want to research.
Other roles of the teacher include instructing content or the foundational skills. And that classroom instruction using various methods is still key for every classroom, including blended learning classrooms.
They must analyze student data to make instructional decisions. Teachers can use programs that provide immediate feedback and scores. This is helpful in the blended learning environment because you're using both technology and traditional classroom activities.
Teachers must also coordinate cooperative grouping. An example might be using discussion boards or blogs that can be used for group work opportunities.
Other roles of the teacher include making sure that you differentiate. Teachers are able to assign various resources to use for learning the material in a blended learning environment, both traditional and online activities. Teachers must personalize material. Teachers are able to tailor levels for each student based on their needs. And in this environment in particular, there's the ability to have some students using some resources online and others using different resources online, which is really nice.
Teachers must assess and provide actionable feedback. Ongoing assessments can be made. And teachers have more freedom to assist students through the entire process giving them feedback along the way. And they have a flexible environment that allows them to make changes as needed.
It's important to remember that in a blended learning environment the teacher really needs to focus on foundational skills, problem solving and those high order thinking skills. There's less time using teacher centered activities and lecture based activities, and much more time using student-led, active, engaging activities.
Let's move on to the role of a student in the blended learning environment. Students must own their learning. Genius Hour opportunities is a concept where students are allowed a certain amount of time, usually one class period or one hour per week, to research or work on anything of interest to them. So this is something outside of the classroom learning. And something that students can generate their own ideas about. This give students some freedom to work on things that they really enjoy, but also be learning at the same time and have that assistance from the teacher.
Students must own their data. Reflecting and goal setting are ways that students can own their data.
Students must become a collaborator. We could use virtual breakout rooms or boards that can be used for collaboration opportunities.
Other roles of the student in a blended learning classroom are students becoming a communicator. We can use web-based communication in a classroom.
Students must become a creator. Students have the freedom to explore and create in various ways using both traditional and online or technology activities.
Students must become a researcher. Time is allowed for research leading to more student-led learning.
So how is all of this different from the traditional classroom? In a traditional classroom, teachers don't really have the ability to analyze that assessment data in real-time. Teachers have to record data and go back and look at it later. This delays those immediate shifts in instruction.
With blended learning, we can use programs that give us immediate feedback because students are working with a tool in technology or an online tool. So we have that data right away and we can make changes as needed.
In the traditional learning classroom, teachers are the only source of content knowledge. Whereas in that blended learning classroom, students are encouraged to explore and research and get information from many different areas.
In the traditional learning classroom, available resources can cause restrictions. Sometimes there's not the available resources that students need to really expand their learning like they would like to or need to. This can result in an inability to coach or facilitate students to explore more widely or make those real world connections to things.
There's much less flexibility in design in the traditional classroom.
There's fewer opportunities for support with online platforms. Remember, most of the learning is teacher based or lecture based. Whereas in that blended learning classroom, we have all kinds of resources that we can help differentiate or expand on students' learning.
So let's apply these ideas by reflecting on the following questions. What are the challenges in moving to a blended learning environment from a traditional environment? What do you foresee as challenges for yourself? Who can you collaborate with to find resources to support student teacher roles in the blended learning environment? It's important for you to think about other teachers that might use the blended environment, so that you can get feedback from those teachers.
So let's review what we learned today. We discussed the questions, what is the role of the teacher in a blended learning environment? What is the role of the student in a blended learning environment? And how do student teacher roles in a blended learning environment differ from the traditional environment?
It's important to remember that in the blended learning environment, teachers' roles are to facilitate that deep learning, discussion, and collaboration. Not only are they the teacher, but they're also the coach and the tutor. They're coordinating cooperative grouping. And making sure that they differentiate and personalize the material.
The students are responsible for owning their learning, taking responsibility for their learning, and becoming the collaborator and communicator. They also fall into the researcher role where they are developing their own ideas and questions to guide their learning.
Thanks for joining me today as we talked about the blended learning environment and the roles of teachers and students in this environment. I hope you're able to use these ideas in your own classroom.
As you reflect on how this new information can be applied you may want to explore the Additional Resources section that accompanies this video presentation. This is where you will find links to resources chosen to help you deepen your learning and explore ways to apply your newly acquired skill set.
What is Genius Hour?
This website provides an overview of the Genius Hour, why to use it, and how it encourages Personalized Learning. Scroll down to the video to see how to implement the Genius Hour in your classroom. Scroll down further and click on links to learn about the Genius Hour implementation process.
5 Skills for Blended Learning for Teachers
This article by Michael Horn and Heather Staker is a useful and quick overview of the shift in the role of the teacher in a blended learning environment. The authors connect the shifts in the role of the teacher to the iNacol National Standards for Quality Online Education.
Blend My Learning: Lessons Learned from a Blended Learning Pilot
This white paper from the Rogers Foundation provides the lessons learned from a blended learning pilot through a partnership between Stanford University and local school districts. The paper is divided into seven sections that you may find useful in your own planning in moving toward a blended learning environment: Role of the Teacher, Collaboration, Environmental Design, Grading, Khan Academy, Google Chrome Book, and Quantitative Research Results. Each area includes pros, cons and suggestions for consideration (see also www.blendmylearning.com).