Monday, July 5, 2010
Why would you blend f2f and online learning for your teachers?
Besides the obvious benefits of time management and giving teachers the professional courtesy to respect their ability to work on their own craft at their own pace, there are several more reasons to consider using a blended learning model for your staff. At our school, we are working through the problems of establishing a blended learning environment for our students. It is a challenge for our teachers, many of whom have never had an online course and who approach Web 2.0 applications with abject fear at worst and with impatient trepidation at best. They are working to build courses that provide multiple pathways to mastery learning through the use of diagnostic pre-tests, formative check point assessments, and performance tasks as culminating activities. While learning how to use the technology tools available to them, they are also being forced to change the way they teach in their classroom. It is precisely because we are forcing them to change the way they teach that we must model the instructional model for them so that they can experience it as students. If we teach teachers to use a learning management system and an online course to augment their instruction by showing them powerpoints in collaborative planning meetings and expecting them to make the leap in their own practice, then we are hypocritical at best and probably destroying the initiatives from the top down. If we want teachers to change their practice, we must change the way they experience learning. We must use a blended learning approach for teachers if we want a blended learning approach to work for our students.