Imagine the tardy bell rings, you walk in your classroom, and students are on devices or in groups already working. Think this is impossible? Think again. Now I am not promising that one student who never stays seated will jump right to work, but it is possible to motivate most of your students into starting without you.
Blended learning is where a portion of the traditional face-to-face instruction is replaced by web-based online learning. My last blog talked about online learning. Now I want to tell you how to get there from here. Any teacher can start adding bits of online learning into your day-to-day activities. In fact you can find several resources such as my Why of Math YouTube channel to help you out. Khan Academy is another good resource for video tutorials and practice work. Don’t overwhelm yourself trying to find several things at once. Search for a few things at first and add to them each year.
The key to good blended learning is to keep the traditional discussion/report out time. True online learning does all discussion on forums or social media. Formative assessment must be taken from this or sporadic quizzes. This is not necessarily bad but definitely different. Blended learning can still take advantage of face-to-face round table discussions facilitated by the teacher which you are already used to doing. Students are also used to this as their milestones and accountability. Remember that this change should be a process. As more and more online tasks are added to the day-to-day activities, students will become more accustomed to procedures and what is expected in this type of setting. Trust me. I use this type of learning everyday, and the students adapt to it well. I still have some normal discipline issues, but in the last two years I’ve only had to fail one student.