Three Blended Learning Models That Don’t Require 1:1

A common barrier to entry for teachers who are considering blended learning is the misconception that you need a device for every one of your students to make it work. Luckily, that’s not the case! Here’s how to implement three common blended learning models without a 1:1 program:

Station Rotation

This is perhaps the most common blended-learning model used today, and it works great with a limited number of devices. With just a small bank of devices (enough for about one third of your students) it’s easy to budget students’ time so that everyone gets a chance to use them.

With Station Rotation, the class is divided to work on the day’s lesson in different stations. All students rotate throughout each station. Try implementing this model with these three stations to take full advantage of a limited number of devices:

  • a third of the class receives teacher-led instruction
  • another third works collaboratively on small-group projects
  • the other third works on an online practice program using devices for skill reinforcement, remediation, or enrichment

Flipped Classroom

Flipped learning is considered a model of blended learning because it still utilizes technology, even if that use might not necessarily take place in the classroom. This can be an effective strategy if there isn’t the budget for a 1:1 device program because students can take advantage of devices at home or at another location (like a local library) to receive their instruction digitally.

This strategy frees up classroom time to work collaboratively to practice students’ new skills. They don’t necessarily need devices during this time, but even if they do, only one per group should suffice.

Lab Rotation

Computer labs can be a great resource for blended learning when a 1:1 program isn’t an option, especially for students in higher grades who have the skills to be more self-directed. Offering specified computer lab periods during the school day or opening up labs outside of school hours can be a great way to allow students the opportunity to take advantage of online courses or practice programs. Students can use this time to fulfill their unique learning needs, whether it is recovering lost credits, extra practice for high-stakes testing, or taking a course that isn’t offered in person at the school.

Interested in finding out how Edmentum International can partner with your school to provide effective tools for online learning with or without a 1:1 device program? Call the team on +44 (0)1572 492576 or message us via WhatsApp on +44 (0)7832 971396.

5 Ideas for Creating a Blended Learning Classroom

Blended learning programs are essentially a combination of classroom time with online learning, and are a great way of giving students an element of control over their learning, in terms of time, place, path, or pace. This concept and way of thinking is becoming a rule rather than the exception in the 21st century classroom; however, rolling out a blended learning environment can feel intimidating. So how do you do this without you feeling overwhelmed? That’s where we can help! We’ve put together five ideas to help you start implementing technology in your classroom and with building a blended learning environment.

Encourage Your Students to Blog

By encouraging your students to start blog writing, you can create yourself a fantastic first step in crafting a blended learning environment. Not only does it help build upon their English and literacy skills but it supports them with learning about digital citizenship and internet safety. As well as this, blogging also gives students a platform to collaborate, reflect, and express any ideas.

Set Up a Safe Social Media Page

Utilize technology in the classroom and use something your students may be very familiar with… social media! There are so many creative ways to incorporate social media in the classroom. You could utilize Instagram to send your students on a photo scavenger hunt or take a book or a piece of literature you’re reading or exploring as a class, and then task your students with finding related items and posting photos. As well as this, try allowing one or more students to participate in a “takeover”, allowing them to post on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook for a week at a time. You can encourage them to freely share relevant photos, showcase students’ work, post about class progress, or share resources related to classwork.

We’d recommend setting any class social media account to “private”, getting signed photo release forms for students and checking your school’s technology policies before you start.

Use Visual Presentations to Present Topics

You could also become a certified TED-Ed Club teacher, which schools from all over the world have joined, and ask your students to present “TED-style” talks to share on a web page. One idea is to ask your students whether they have a topic they’re interested in or feel strongly about, then task them with researching it and recording it in a presentation-style format. Not only will this help students with exploring any digital presence but it will also help with them realizing they can voice any fair opinions, engage with an authentic audience, and network with others worldwide.

Utilize Infographics to Convey Meaning

Some classes may sigh at the word “research”, but you can help your students become excited about the next research project you task them with by asking them to present their findings through an infographic. These are great for improving comprehension and are ideal for conveying complex messages rather than through text. Not only this, you can also incorporate blended learning well with infographics and there are many user-friendly, free online tools for creating them, such as Canva and Piktochart. It’s definitely a fun way of researching!

Differentiate Learning with Video Content

Using video in your classroom can help with meeting differentiated learning objectives. By using Skype, students can connect with others – whether that’s another classroom across the hall or another school worldwide you’re partnered with. Plus there are interactive virtual field trips you can go on to help your students visit iconic locations worldwide such as the Louvre Museum in Paris.

By using these tips and experimentation, you’ll be helping yourself in successfully incorporating blended learning in your classroom and making learning even more fun.

5 Biggest Pitfalls of Blended Learning

Whether you’re deciding to implement blended learning at your school or you’ve decided to take the plunge already, there are pitfalls to consider and avoid when doing so. In this blog, we’re discussing the pitfalls of blended learning and giving tips on what can be done to avoid them.

So when we’re considering the five biggest pitfalls of blended learning, there are some things you shouldn’t do when implementing a model at your school. Here we explain the five pitfalls and what you can do, as a principal, teacher or Head of Academics, to avoid and anticipate them. Let’s discuss them.

1. Not preparing a timeline with goals

The first point is not being prepared with a goal or timeline, which is the most important point. To make a blended learning strategy successful, you need to set specific and measurable goals with timelines for the blended learning model so everyone knows where they need to be and how they’re going to get there.

 

 

By doing this, you can look back and reflect on your plan and identify any areas where intervention is needed or perhaps where different techniques may be needed. These conversations and insights are valuable and can be done with a solid plan.

2. Not planning or preparing your team properly

The next point is not preparing your team properly. It’s not enough to just say “we’re going to do blended learning today”. You need specific goals and timelines and to ensure your whole team knows how blended learning should work and to train them on it.

So when we look back, you must not only outline the plan and consider any nuances specific to your school, but train your team properly on it too to make sure they know about it and have what they need. By making sure of this, you’ll be able to think ahead and see anything else you need to consider.

3. Not having the proper curriculum

One other point is to make sure that the blended learning model you’re implementing supports a high-quality curriculum. You must ensure that content you have is not only engaging but linked to a curriculum and allows you to gain reporting in real time so you can easily adjust your teaching technique if necessary.

Curriculum

So now you’ve got a set of goals to follow for your implementation, a timeline and training for your teachers, we’re ready to get going. Everyone is excited to start and knows the outcomes. Now we’re going to give them a high-quality curriculum to start this too. Now it’s piecing itself together and we can implement this with more conviction.

4. Not getting stakeholder buy-in

It’s important that you let everyone in your school know why you’re implementing this model and its benefits. Having everybody on the same wavelength where they know why you’re doing this and what the outcomes are is essential, so you can all be in it together and can explain why these new techniques are crucial to creating 21st century learners.

With this point, we’re seeing how this is all resulting in a successful implementation. We’re sure you know what the fifth point will be though.

5. Not choosing the right blended learning model

SelectBlended Learninging the right model is important too, so when you do, make sure you think about your staff and their experiences with technology and how you want it for your students to be successful. This is important in making a firm decision about the right model for you.

If you know you have some anomalies in your plan, such as students who are maybe outside your curriculum, then that’s great in narrowing down what type of model will work, and it’s okay not to have the same model in your school. It’s mainly important to give your staff the appropriate training for it to be successful – by doing this, the model or models will take care of themselves.

It’s worth considering all these points to make your blended learning successful for both students and teachers. If you have any questions, please get in touch with the team by emailing international@edmentum.com.

The Station Rotation Model: 3 Ways It Can Personalize Learning

Blended learning – what is it and how do you do it? This is what we’d like to focus on with you today.

One commonly known approach to blended learning is the Station Rotation Model. This method is used at many different learning levels to help teachers personalize instruction. There are a number of ways this can be achieved, including, creating individualized learning plans, encouraging self-assessment and goal setting.

Let’s delve a little further into how effective implementing this rotation model can be…

Move learning forward

The model centers around providing opportunities for every student to make successful progress at their own pace, which involves creating centers that utilize technology, support, collaboration, and provide different ways to demonstrate learning in the classroom.

However, this doesn’t necessarily mean creating the same activity for the whole class. Students rotate through all of the stations, whether that be learning in small groups, individual tutoring or online learning.

This is brilliant, as it means that students can support one another during collaborative activities and stations, online instruction enables students to take their learning online and teacher-led might be where there’s whole class instruction and the teacher might be supporting the students who need that extra bit of help.

The student is in control

Once expectations are defined and students are aware of what they must work on to help them achieve success, they can start making decisions for themselves, such as, whom they work with, where they choose to sit, and how they wish to demonstrate learning that day.

Results are more likely to be seen if students are given the opportunity to take charge of their own learning, as no two students need to be doing the same thing if they are at different stages. This little bit of freedom can improve the feelings students develop about their educational experience; and even if there’s that one student who is reluctant to learn, when they realise that all of their peers are working, they won’t want to be left out!

Individualize instruction

A truly effective station rotation model allows you to simultaneously pull small groups of students aside so that you can work with them in a personalized setting. This could be part of the weekly lesson planning, where 30 minutes is put aside to work with students who are in different learning groups where their strengths and needs are similar.

The skill you’re working with students on one week may not be what your low performing group from the week before needs extra assistance with. Your time working with students is valuable to help them make the most of their strengths, encouraging confidence and maximizing success.

What does personalized learning mean to you? Please do get in touch with us on Twitter at @Edmentum_INT and let us know your approach.