Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Blended Learning

Learn about the online and blended learning happening at Hazen in this week's Guest Post from our tech integrationist Jen Burton:

Blended and online learning are becoming more and more commonplace in K-12 education. Blended learning differs from online learning in that blended learning has an in-person, face-to-face component, while online learning does not. This does not mean students don’t interact with their teachers in strictly online learning environments; students may be required to participate in live, online interactive sessions with their teacher and other students. The variety of ways students and teachers interact online is continually evolving, allowing for increased access to high-quality teachers, customization to fit student needs, and flexibility. Many students take advantage of online classes to recover credits, take advanced and honors classes, or simply to get ahead.

Online learning allows for the elimination of artificial schedules, assignments that don’t fit the students’ needs, and segregation by age, race, class, culture, and disability. In addition, it can help overcome geographic and demographic limitations. When learning is public and shared, peers learn from each other and support reciprocal growth. Students are allowed to become teachers and learners at the same time, with the quality of work benefitting from the extra time, collaboration, and expertise. 

This year, Hazen began offering all seventh graders the opportunity to take an Introduction to Online Learning class. This class introduces students to the concept of online learning and teaches them the skills required to be successful in an online class. We want our students to be prepared for the variety of learning experiences they will encounter as they pursue their education at high school, college, technical centers, continuing education, and beyond. This class gives students the opportunity to experience what it’s like to take an online class and helps them determine if it suits their learning style and is or isn’t a suitable option for them

Below are two students reflections on the class, offering two different perspectives. 

     What I know now, that I did not know before this class is;I know how to use multiple different online learning systems, and I know how to access them. I also now have a greater knowledge about online learning, and I have learned how important online learning is, and how it is a good option for me.
    The most important thing that I have learned in this class is online etiquette. I have learned how to be kind, polite, and helpful online. I have learned not to be rude to other students, and how to stay calm, and what to do in certain situations. I now have a kind mindset when I go online.
     I think that online learning is a good option for me, because it is convenient, and it is flexible. Online learning allows me to log on and “go to class” when I can. It allows me to have available time slots in my day, because I don’t have to be at a class, or at school at a certain time.
     The activity log’s importance/role is to show the teacher/student when the student had logged on, and what they had gotten done that day. It shows what the students progress was. The activity can tell the teacher, if the student has been logging on regularly, and if they are getting their work done.
     After looking at the course catalog, I think that I will consider taking an online English class. I also believe that I will take a pre-algebra class. I enjoy math and english and I believe that if I take an online class, than it can expand my knowledge about my favorite subjects.


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     I think that Online learning is not really for me however that does not mean I am unable to take online courses. From questionnaires to assignments, I have proved to be very capable in taking online courses but It does not seem like my thing. I would much rather prefer to go to classrooms to learn thing I need to.
   This class has given me a better understanding of how online courses work even though it may have not been for me. I have learnt the basics and what the concept of these courses are. From LMS' to the seven C's of communication, This class has helped me understand online courses much better.