Digitized VS Blended

“My teacher hands us a worksheet, opens up her computer and sits there. We use the online book and fill out the worksheet. It’s so boring.”

Stories like these make me cringe. So often students experience a digitized assignment rather than a blended learning experience while they are at school. What is the difference between digitized and blended? Let’s look at an example.

Digitzed or blended_

Simply taking the physical world and making it available in the digital world is not best practice and is not a blended learning experience. In a blended learning environment, there is a clear path for students to access materials and collaborate in an online space. This blended learning workflow enables students to have choice in the pace, path, place, and time of the learning since the materials are available online, anytime. Blended learning occurs when teachers implement blended classroom models, such as a station rotation model, and design the learning environment that engages students in online and face to face learning activities that are directly tied to the curriculum.

A four station rotation can look like this:

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When we start our classroom coaching in our iPad Academy, we begin with developing a blended learning workflow. Once students and teachers know how to push and pull content to the iPad, we introduce the in-class flip.  The in-class flip duplicates the teacher and allows them to strategically repurpose class time. Teachers create short video lessons (less than ten minutes in length), share them in Schoology, and teach students the expectations of how to view and learn from a video lesson. The goal of the repurposed class time is to create conditions for every student to learn.

Pairing the in-class flip with the blended learning station rotation model affords the teacher the ability to work with small groups of students every day as they rotate through the stations. The station rotation workflow enables the teacher to personalize the stations and provide opportunities for student creation and choice in how they want to demonstrate mastery of a concept.  When students have choice over how they can work with the material and learn the concepts, they begin to look at their own formative data, set their own learning goals, and work with the content in a variety of ways that help them learn best and gain deeper meaning of the concepts.

When students learn in a blended learning classroom, engagement increases because students have more control over the time, pace, place and path of their learning. Blended learning models break the old cycles of sit and get, lecture based instruction and transform it to an engaging student focused environment.

To see the blended learning station rotation model in action, take a minute to listen to our iPad Academy high school social studies teacher, Sara Fjell, talk about what learning looks like in her 1:1 blended classroom.

Video of Mrs. Fjell

Written by Ann Feldmann
@annfeldmann1

BPS BlendED Teacher Spotlight

Spotlight (1)

Our Bellevue Public Schools #ipadacademy teachers are a talented and innovative group of educators. We are grateful for their time, enthusiasm, and positivity as they transform their classrooms with blended learning strategies and personalize learning for their students. This series is a way to celebrate them and share their wisdom on blended learning. The resources, advice, and passion from these educators is something we need to capture and share. These trailblazers are helping to lead the way in creating a change in teaching and learning. This blog series will give you a chance to meet and learn from these inspirational educators! 

IMG_4969Brittany Braasch 3rd Grade Teacher-Bellevue Elementary

Before I had technology I ….. and now as a 1:1 blended classroom I …….
“Before I had technology I was more of a “traditional” teacher–my classroom was set up in rows or groups, and everyone was facing the front of the classroom. Now as a 1:1 blended classroom, I have flexible seating and there is no “front” of the classroom. The kids are working everywhere in the room and making so much growth!”

What are you proud of in your blended learning classroom?
“The students–they are so proud of themselves and really take ownership for the things they create.”


Learning workflows and favorite apps for your blended classroom
Schoology workflow, favorite apps–Stick Around, MobyMax, Keynote, Popplet

1:1 iPad Classroom/ Blended Learning Advice
“Take it slow! Don’t try to do everything at once–start with one thing at a time and let the kids become comfortable with that one skill before moving on to the next.”

Connect with Brittany: Twitter: @BrittanyBraasch


Gina Stukenholtz, Math and History Teacher-Lewis and Clark Middle SchoolScreen Shot 2017-12-04 at 10.43.30 AM

Before I had technology I ….. and now as a 1:1 blended classroom I …….
Before I had technology I….
–spent too much time carrying around papers.
–took too long giving feedback- it might be a few days after kids turned in work.
–Did not use formative assessments and feedback to change my instruction instantly.  It was more like playing catch up after we had moved on.
–I was not as connected to other educators, and missed out on golden opportunities to steal great ideas from great educators.
–I, unintentionally, had a fixed mindset, technology has pushed me full-force into a growth mindset.
–I embrace failure and a can-do attitude in front of kids.  We try things, change things, fix things, and are a LOT MORE flexible with learning and growth.
–We all accept feedback more openly. We learn to embrace the power of sharing and learning from each other. We help each other BE BETTER TOGETHER.

What are you proud of in your blended learning classroom?
“I am proud of the constant growth and change in my classroom. We rarely do things the same year after year. The level of engagement with the curriculum has skyrocketed.”

Learning workflows and favorite apps for your blended classroom
Classkick, videos created in Explain Everything and uploaded to YouTube, and shared in Schoology, Nearpod, SeeSaw, Kahoot, Notability. Those are my go-to’s!

1:1 iPad Classroom/ Blended Learning Advice
“Embrace the challenge! It is not easy, nor will it go perfectly the first time through. Work through the issues, stay connected with people who have trod the path before you. Be OK with not being the expert anymore–allow kids to show you that they know more than you–it is a humbling, awesome experience. Use technology to teach kids skill they will need for a lifetime-being able to share knowledge, giving and accepting constructive feedback to one another, help each other BE BETTER. The world needs more of this.”

Connect with Gina: Twitter: @ginastuk