I have been researching the positive effects that a blended learning environment has on student achievement and engagement. Lim and Morris (2009) define blended learning as a mix of face-to-face instruction and the use of various technologies to foster and support learning outcomes.
What is Blended Learning?
Watch this video of Heather Staker explaining Blended Learning.
The video below was my original Blended Learning pitch. I think it still applies.
As my research deepened, and I formed a clearer picture of what blended learning looked like, I realized that I had been using blended learning with much success in my classroom. The research and my students tell me that blended learning works!
The benefits of a blended learning environment are numerous. One major advantage of blended learning is that blended learning exposes students to information and communication technology (ICT) that will better equip them to thrive in the increasingly digital future. In fact, efficient use of ICT is an important quality of employability, basically a requirement to enter the workforce (Eteokleous-Grigoriou, 2009). If you look at the mission statement for our school district, incorporating blended learning makes sense.
When our district launched the 1:1 mobile initiative a few years ago, it wasn’t to just use technology. It was about
“changing the process of teaching and learning that takes place in our classrooms; it is about developing collaborators, communicators, and critical thinkers. The Mobile Learning Initiative represents the district’s commitment to equipping 21st-century learners with 21st-century tools and skills.”
Blended learning just makes sense.
When the mobile initiative was launched the district tried very hard to make the launch successful. For the most part, I would say that the 1:1 initiative has been successful. One hiccup was the professional development the staff received. Without naming any names or organizations, let it be said that consultants were hired to ease our transition to a tech-rich district. Anyone that was involved in the initial launch knows that the professional development we received was not very effective. After completing the majority of courses towards a Master’s Degree in Digital Learning and Leading, I think I have learned why that first wave of professional development did not end well. The new learning was not properly supported. I have read numerous peer-reviewed articles about blended learning and ways to support it. The results of my readings are compiled in this literature review.
According to Avalos (2011), education is moving away from the traditional in-service teacher training model. Prolonged interventions are more effective than shorter ones.
One ongoing method of professional development that has been shown to be effective is coaching. Coaching is a content-based approach that provides support when the teachers need it, thus resulting in higher student outcomes (Devine, Mayers, & Houssemand, 2013). A technology coach is able to provide on-going support, actively model what blended learning looks like, and facilitate professional learning communities.
I am proposing a change for the school district. Here is my updated innovation plan letter.
My innovation plan is to have a technology coach available at the junior high all day, every day that is dedicated to assisting teachers to move towards a blended learning, technology-infused classroom. Our district has the technology tools available. We have the infrastructure. We now need teachers confident enough to properly utilize all that technology to enhance their students’ learning. The teachers can reach that confidence level with a technology coach by their sides.
Blended Learning with a Technology Coach
Al-Bataineh, A., Anderson, S., Toledo, C., & Wellinski, S. (2008). A study of technology integration in the classroom. International Journal of Instructional Media, 35(4), 381-388. Retrieved from http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A273359028/AONE?u=j161909&sid=AONE&xid=642a5028
Alijani, G. S., Kwun, O., & Yu, Y. (2014). Effectiveness of blended learning in Kipp New Orleans’ schools. Academy of Educational Leadership Journal, 18(2), 125-141. Retrieved from https://www.abacademies.org/articles/aeljvol18no22014.pdf#page=133
Anderson, N., Henderson, M. (2004). E-pd: Blended models of sustaining teacher professional development in digital literacies. E-Learning and Digital Media, 1(3), 383-394. doi.org/10.2304/elea.2004.1.3.4
Andrejeva, N., Ostroverkhaia, I. (2017). Learning to learn with blended learning. European Scientific Journal, 13, 193-203. Retrieved from http://eujournal.org/index.php/esj/article/view/9471/8980
Avalos, B. (2011). Teacher professional development in teaching and teacher education over ten years. Teaching and Teacher Education, 27(1), 10-20. doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2010.08.007
Bauer, J. & Kenton, J. (2005). Toward technology integration in the schools: Why it isn’t happening. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 13(4), 519-546. Retrieved from https://www.learntechlib.org/primary/p/4728/
Cartoon Lagoon. (2013, July 30). Jetson-the family of the future [video file]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/1oDaHRbIDH8
Cyrus, J. D. (2014). Aligning NETS*T standards with technology integration for Kosrae teachers. International Journal of Pedagogies and Learning, 4, 96-112. doi.org/10.5172/ijpl.4.4.9
Devine, M., Meyers, R., & Houssemand, C. (2013). How can coaching make a positive impact within educational settings?. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 93, 1382-1389. doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2013.10.048
Eteokleous‐Grigoriou, N. (2009). Instilling a new learning, work and communication culture through systemically integrated technology in education. Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 26(6), 707-716. doi.org/10.1002/sres.983
Gorder, L. M. (2008). A study of teacher perceptions of instructional technology integration in the classroom. Delta Pi Epsilon Journal, 50, 63-76. Retrieved from http://mollymckee.wiki.westga.edu/file/view/A+Study+of+Teacher+Perceptions+of+Instructional+Technology+Integration+in+the+Classroom.pdf
Hasler Waters, L. & Leong, P. (2011). New roles for the teacher and learning coach in blended learning for K-12. In T. Bastiaens & M. Ebner (Eds.), Proceedings of ED-MEDIA 2011–World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia & Telecommunications (2716-2725). Lisbon, Portugal: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved from https://www.learntechlib.org/primary/p/38243/
Hiebert, J., & Stigler, J. W. (2017). Teaching versus teachers as a lever for change: Comparing a Japanese and a U.S. perspective on improving instruction. Educational Researcher, 46(4), 169-176. doi.org/10.3102/0013189X17711899
Lim, D. H., & Morris, M. L. (2009). Learner and instructional factors influencing learning outcomes within a blended learning environment. Educational Technology & Society, 12(4), 282-293. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/jeductechsoci.12.4.282
raiseyourhandtexas. (2015, August 17). What is Blended Learning? [video file]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/JoApGl7M94I
Renner, D., Laumer, S., & Weitzel, T. (2014). Effectiveness and efficiency of blended learning-a literature review. Twentieth Americas Conference on Information Systems, Savanah. Retrieved from http://aisel.aisnet.org/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1286&context=amcis2014
Rhodes, C., & Beneicke, S. (2006). Coaching, mentoring and peer-networking: Challenges for the management of teacher professional development in schools. Journal of In-Service Education, 28(2), 297-310. DOI:10.1080/13674580200200184
Sugar, W. (2005). Instructional technologist as a coach: Impact of a situated professional development program on teachers’ technology use. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 13(4), 547-571. Retrieved from https://www.learntechlib.org/noaccess/4888/