As the school year kicked off, we dedicated a series of blog posts to enhancing your classroom instruction with technology. Through leveraging existing resources and blended learning, we explored ways to help teachers engage students, differentiate instruction, and create 21st century lessons.
Technology rich classrooms are a gateway to college and career readiness but also help teachers differentiate instruction. Through blended learning, teachers can create unique learning paths and provide real time interventions. This is a key principal of differentiation making blended learning a perfect pairing!
Technology is not a replacement for good instruction. However, it can be a valuable stimulus to learning. Teachers are pressed for time. They are trying to meet the needs of every student during the confines of a strict bell schedule. It’s a daunting task that can be made easier by utilising a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). A VLE gives teachers an efficient, effective tool to create differentiated learning without sacrificing the face to face instruction that is also vital to success.
When designing lessons, teachers can create learning modules for the whole class and design additional assets appropriate to individual situations. For example, a teacher creates a unit of lessons in her online course, and then loads or creates additional items for remediation or enrichment. Not all students will access these additional items. Instead, the teacher creates ‘triggers’ to guide students to these items as needed. In Brightspace, these triggers can be associated with content items, quizzes, etc. using Intelligent Agents.
In addition to creating these pathways, implementing blended learning in a VLE allows teachers to use their face to face time with students in a one-on-one or small group manner. As students work independently in their online course, teachers can pull students to do targeted interventions. This is a win-win for teachers and students.
Technology integration through blended learning in a VLE is both complementary and purposeful. Blended learning isn’t simply an interesting concept, it has the power to transform teaching and learning. If your school still doesn’t have a VLE, perhaps it’s time to explore the subject.
In the meantime, I hope you will try some of the ideas we have shared in this series and get started with technology integration today!