Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Checking in on Blended Learning...

It has been exciting to see many of our ESU 8 educators beginning to incorporate blended learning in their classroom environments.  We encourage you to take a moment to reflect and share with others any progress that you have made.

Please add a comment answering any or all of the following questions in regards to blended learning:

  • What things have you tried with students? 
  • What tools have you incorporated in your lessons? 
  • What tips do you have that would be beneficial to the group?

We also thought we’d try to share a few new tidbits with all of you.

TIP: ABCs of Station-Rotation Model
We recently heard educators using an ABC acronym to plan and organize their station-rotations in blended learning.  This could help you design your blended lessons as well!
A: Acquire Knowledge (allow students opportunity for direct instruction - might work well as instructor-led or by independent online video viewing)
B: Brainstorm (students can build on their knowledge and begin to brainstorm possibilities - may be well-suited as instructor-led or a partner-collaborative station)
C: Choice (give students choice in showing or applying what they have learned - could be an independent work station or partner-collaborative)

So ‘trick’ may be a little misleading, because this advice isn’t tricky at all. But read this MindShift article from KQED entitled “How to Grow a Classroom Culture That Supports Blended Learning” and think about how the author defines the ‘trick’ acronym.

Alright, enough acronyms. Let’s see a new(ish) tool to try in our classrooms! NEWSELA (http://newsela.com) is a completely free site for educators to expose students to nonfiction reading, complete with short quizzes and/or writing responses. The most powerful feature of newsela, however, is the ability to differentiate the articles at numerous reading levels (lexiles) with just a simple click. This site works well for blended learning in reading, science, or social studies because students can potentially have control over the topic of the article, the reading level, and the place & pace at which they complete it. If you have never before used newsela, consider watching this Getting Started video or this Student Introduction video

We hope everyone is experiencing some success with the blended learning model and, as always, we encourage you to contact us if we can be of any help to you at all. We would be more than willing to come to your classrooms and assist you with planning and/or implementation of a lesson. Likewise, we can also offer virtual support through a Zoom connection to do anything similar.

Molly, Tina, and Katie
ESU 8 Instructional Technology 


  1. I have a few tools that I think would work well in a blended learning environment. Google Classroom is a great way to give your students directions without taking up needed class time. Bell ringers and exit tickets can also be given out through Classroom. Building in procedures so students know to check Classroom for these things can free you up to interact with students.

    EDpuzzle https://edpuzzle.com/ is another tool that would be great in the blended learning classroom. EDpuzzle allows you to take a video and make it interactive. You can ask questions throughout the video. You also can see how long students spent watching the video.

    Finally, Formative https://goformative.com/ is a great tool for taking an existing worksheet and making it interactive. In addition, the teacher is able to see students completing the assessment in real time. This would allow the teacher to give feedback as the students are working. Immediate feedback for students is so important. Formative is a great tool for this.

  2. Via administration and teachers, I have used Google Classroom, EDpuzzle, Google community, Kahoot, and tons of other google apps like forms for soliciting feedback. At administrative assembly, I supported the BlendEd workshop and encouraged superintendents to plan for and schedule it at their schools.
    Go Formative is something I feel I really need to take time to know better.
    Great day, great workshop!