Reply – Re: Topic #1: Introduction to the Online Learner
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Re: Topic #1: Introduction to the Online Learner
— by Kevin Hahn Kevin Hahn
I teach 5th grade literacy at Vernon Middle School in Marion. I am unaware of any teacher who has incorporated blended learning completely in our building. Many teachers use technology in their classrooms however. Last year, we finally had access to computers in our classrooms. Before that, we had to check out computers on a cart which proved difficult. Now that we have 16 Chromebooks in our classroom, the possibility of a blended classroom is much more realistic.

I feel any classroom has promise to use a blended learning model. Each subject area has their own advantages and disadvantages. I feel math classrooms lend itself to an easier transition due to the resources online already available to them. Plus, they have just received more iPads which makes computation much easier. I do feel our English department has an advantage with the access to technology. We have the most Chromebooks out of all of the departments. We also have been using Google classroom quite frequently.

The biggest struggle, in my opinion, is expecting students to complete some of the tasks at home. Many students do have access to technology, but some do not. 20% of our student population struggles with work completion. I wonder if they would also struggle with watching videos or reading articles to prepare them for the next day’s activities. I know blended learning is not a flipped classroom, but there are some commonalities.

This course opened my eyes to a few strategies I would like to incorporate more into my classroom. I like the reflection idea. Having students post their thoughts about their learning in a journal or blog is a fabulous idea. You really get invaluable insight into their thinking. I also like the idea of using online resources. I am a firm believer in differentiation, and this strategy allows for student choice. Students also can go at their own pace which allows for extension activities and remediation. I also learned of many different apps/websites I can use for activities. We have adopted Moodle as an LMS, so it was beneficial for me to learn about it before the school year begins.