When it comes to purchasing technology—wait!
April 27, 2016 |
April 27, 2016 |
Transforming a traditional classroom into a blended one requires a lot of design considerations. From content delivery to assessment to the physical space, change can happen everywhere. Unfortunately, one design choice that schools often make prematurely is deciding which hardware and software to use as part of their blended-learning program.
It’s true, every blended-learning implementation leverages online learning in some form or fashion; and technology is often essential for giving students an element of control over their learning. This doesn’t mean, however, that technology is the first design parameter that schools should consider when going blended. In fact, it ought to be one of the last.
Here are some important questions schools need to address before considering which devices or learning software to purchase:
If schools thoughtfully address these questions before thinking about technology, then they will stand a better chance of using online learning to personalize instruction in order to meet individual student’s needs. Otherwise, what may result is a “technology-rich” classroom, which preserves traditional instruction and simply offers digital enhancements such as broad device access, Google Docs, online homework submission, and digital textbooks. These tools may help to improve the classroom, but they won’t leverage online instruction in a way that can optimize learning for each student.
To help drive this home, below is a visual design flow to help schools get started with blended learning. (Note that the location of “designing the virtual setup,” or technology considerations, is several steps into the process.) This infographic is from Heather Staker at www.readytoblend.com, a former researcher at the Clayton Christensen Institute and co-author of Blended.