Thursday, March 26, 2015

Blendkit 2015: Reading Reflection Chapter 4- Blended Content and Assignments

This week's reading selection focused on the tribulations a teacher might encounter when implementing the online portions of a blended course.  I can see how the situation of choosing practical tools for use and then implementing those tools for student use could be stressful to the teacher (and to the student for that matter.)  After all, the tool is useless if students can't master its intended purpose quickly.  It seems the result would be a disconnect in the learning and, most likely, a high level of frustration for the learner.

As a former high school teacher I ran into these problems, myself, as our district made the switch to a future ready school district.  I found myself worrying that I would spend so much time teaching the technology that the curriculum, itself, would suffer.  My workaround?  Provide short video tutorials that students can link to at any time that give direction on how to use the tech tool.  It worked wonders for all parties involved.  For the students: they had the ability to review/reteach themselves on use of the tool(s); for me, the teacher: I could focus on the curriculum content and facilitate the learning of that content without worrying about whether or not the students had mastered the technology side of it.

In conclusion, the implementation of meaningful technology is paramount to learning in a blended course.  However, the teacher must ensure that the learner has a way to access information about use of the tool in the event that he or she needs more instruction.  To this end, students will remain engaged and not feel a separation or gap in the purpose of the instruction.

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