Reply – Re: Topic #1: Introduction to the Online Learner
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Re: Topic #1: Introduction to the Online Learner
— by jhart jhart
 1) describe the current state of online or blended learning within your school.
I teach 5th grade in a middle school in Iowa.  We are currently spending quite a bit of professional development time increasing personalized learning in our district and are, at the moment, focusing on learning about blended learning.  We are a 1:1 district, so there are many varying degrees of blended going on within the district.  We have high school students involved in online courses with in-house teachers as mentors, flipped classrooms, stations/rotations, etc..  Personally, I use a lot of stations/rotations and have many areas that could be “flipped” - offering videos lessons, online practice, etc.    

2) Describe the students or the areas within the school program where online/blended learning offers the most promise.  
Personally, I use a lot of stations/rotations and have many areas that could be “flipped” - offering videos lessons, online practice, etc. When students are absent, I like having the ability to have them catch up on their own.  I also like to have the lessons and practice available for when students do not show solid understanding on the original assessments.  We are standards based, so if they do not get something in a formal assessment, they keep working on it and can reassess to show solid understanding.  Having the content, lessons and practice available outside of teacher face time would be helpful for this as well.  We are currently increasing the use of rotation time to have a “what I need” rotation for this purpose, so that I can be working with students on a current lesson, they can collaborate, work independently and also work on past skills they still need.  I use my Google website for this type of work.

3) What are some of the challenges your school would have for implementation?  
My largest challenge for completely flipping my lessons or providing all I have outside of the school day would be lack of internet for many of my families.  If I assign something, I still have a chunk of kids that will need that time in school to complete it because I don’t feel like I can hold them accountable for not having the access at home.  Then also… you still also have students that just do not do it…. So they are not ready for the discussion and work the next day.  At this time, these factors have kept me from moving to the flipped classroom model.

4) What items within the Introduction to the Online Learner module stood out to you as the most important for changing your thinking in this area?
I don’t have a lot of assessment tools that I’m using without face-to-face, so this is an an area I’d like to learn more about and add.