As a middle school principal in suburban Atlanta, it has been exciting to be engaged in leading our school in a blended learning initiative that includes an online course blended with face to face instruction in every single academic classroom. We have learned so much in our first year about how to best integrate the Learning Management System, about the limitations we have in time and resources, and how frustrating it can be when not all your systems are integrated. I hope this blog will be a place to discuss what we learn, to hear from others with their experiences, and maybe even a place to push my own ideas out there. With iste wrapped up for the year and the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year right around the corner, there is so much to do.
Our school has chosen, both as a cost savings on the front end and to help us control the content, to build our own courses from scratch. We utilize ANGEL as our LMS and we have had to largely train ourselves on how to use the tools of ANGEL. It is not the best way to do to it, but I would rather be crawling forward than sitting still and we had to use what was available to us. Of course, I believe that if we had ready made content that teachers could integrate as different modules into their own courses, they would use it more often and more efficiently, but the dollars don't add up and therefore we have to create, find, and build all of our own courses.
It does serve as a model for other schools, though, on how to integrate 21st century tools without all the money, resources, hardware, and/or software that you want.