Blended learning *

A Case Study in
Blended Learning …
Karen A. Fildes, Bethel High School
[email protected]
(203) 794-8600 ext 370
What is “Blended Learning?”
• Combines traditional face-to-face learning with computer-mediated
• There are no set rules as to what this looks like and no single model
“blended learning should be approached not merely as a
temporal construct, but rather as a fundamental
redesign of the instructional model”
Dziuban, Hartman and Moskal (2004)
Why Blended Learning?
• Removes barriers to time and place in learning
• Students can access learning on their schedule
• Lessons can be repeated until mastery is achieved
• Loss of time due to absences is diminished
• Learning becomes personalized
• Students progress at their own pace
• Students mastery is at the level appropriate to them differentiation
• Students “own” the process
Why Blended Learning?
• Class time is more meaningful - less about delivering content,
more about applying it
Targeted small group instruction
One-on-one conferencing
How Does Technology Support
This Model?
• Content Management Systems provide the framework and
facilitates communication – Moodle
• Allows scaffolding of lessons that students work through on their
own – video tutorials, podcasts
• Communication tools allow for experts to join our classroom
and for students to collaborate outside the classroom - SKYPE
& FaceTime
How Does Technology Support
This Model?
• Online, content-focused instruction for student inquiry and
exploration such as YouTube,,
• BYOT – leverage the technology students already have (cell
phones, laptops, iPad/tablet computers)
What Does This Look Like in
My Classroom?
• Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences, Preserving our Histories,
Sikorsky STEM Challenge
• Project based around real world problems that need solutions
• Allows for flexibility of learning process and product
• Teacher provides framework – students fill in the blanks
• Students have control over the process by which they arrive at
their final product
• Collaboration with peers
What Does This Look Like in
My Classroom?
• Students are encouraged to play when exploring new
• The teacher is not the expert in the room – students are
encouraged to develop their own expertise
• Mentors or others in the field provide guidance and feedback
• Culminating event to celebrate and share
NBC 30’s Making the Grade
Case Studies Across
the Curriculum
Ms. Liquiri– 5-6 Social Studies
• Uses Mission US ( to teach the
American Revolution, an online simulation created by the
Corporation for Public Broadcasting and Channel 13 (FREE!)
• “One of the benefits of this program is that it is self-paced,
allowing students to work through the game at their own pace.
Since students take different paths through the game, there is no
one right or wrong way to complete the game – and no single
time frame that everyone is expected to follow. When characters
speak to Nat, there is written and verbal communication. The
very nature of the online game provides students with attention
issues a stimulating, engaging format for learning the content.
Students at different levels of readiness may proceed through the
game differently, although the game will often redirect a student
to learn certain content if not self-discovered. Questioning in the
classroom can be differentiated for students of differing
readiness. ”
Mr. Baumer – MS Orchestra
• Uses SmartMusic interactive software for instruction and
assessment (
• “Students submit recorded performances via SmartMusic and
receive instant feedback on the quality of their performance. The
recorded performance can then be sent to the teacher's online
grade book for further critique. I can then share recorded
performances of student work with the class and parents.”
• “Listening to individual performances enables me to deliver more
prescriptive feedback, showing students how they can improve.”
• “The students like SmartMusic because it provides
accompaniment to their practicing, making students feel like
they're playing with the whole ensemble. In this way it has
increased student motivation.”
Ms. Peterson – HS Math
• “Flips” her class using Khan Academy videos as well as
resources her students find (FREE!)
• “I ask them to find their own resource(s) and discuss next day in
class why they like or dislike their choices. Since students are given
a choice, some bring up very interesting educational resources.”
• Students work in small groups to discuss and work through
problems – iPhone/iPad Touch is used to record their
discussions. Audio files are posted to Moodle for her to assess.
• Apps like Angry Birds & Cut the Rope involve geometry,
trigonometry, and calculus
Ms. Peterson – HS Math
• YouTube video challenge – did Kobe Bryant really jump over an
Aston Martin?
Ms. Trachtenberg – HS French
• “Flips” her class using - television news broadcast from
France – as well as online French newspapers (FREE!)
• Students then complete accompanying activities (written
summaries, listing new vocabulary words encountered,
presentations to their class)
• YouTube airs episodes of Canadian television, including shows,
advertisements and music as well as instructional pieces.
• Students go online to a French grocery store and shop –
keeping a budget as they do so in Euros! (FREE!)
Mr. Trinklein – HS Science
• Uses Quest Learning & Assessment for homework in his AP &
Honors level classes ( developed by Univ. of Texas Austin with a National Science
Foundation grant.
• “Prior to using this site my AP test passing rate was about 50%,
since I started using it my passing rate has averaged about 80%.”
• $179/year and can be used by all classes within the school
Mr. Trinklein – HS Science
• Uses Khan Academy and other online assignments as summer
work for incoming AP students to help them prepare for class.
He can now cover a lot more material that was not possible
Ms. Nedelcov – HS Science
• Labs include simulations from the University of Colorado at
Boulder site ( Begins with using a
real world problem, then tests solutions using the simulations.
• “Flips” her classroom by assigning tutorials from sites such as
The Physics Classroom ( or
MythBusters ( video
• All are FREE resources!
Ms. Anderson – HS
• Uses Moodle for online activities (readings, videos, journals,
forums, etc.)
• Monthly seminars expand on topics presented through
Moodle activities
Ms. Anderson – HS
• Weekly “office hours” for
questions, conversations, and to
check their weekly calendars of
time spent at the site
• “Using Moodle for instruction and
communication allows the students
to have a full experience outside of
BHS. Their experience outside BHS is
an authentic experience, with a
mentor, which allows them to use
the skills and knowledge they have
learned in school in a setting outside
the school, and it lets them discover
if this is the career path they want
to pursue. This model has been
extremely successful at BHS. We
have between 80- 120 students that
go through the program each year.”
Ms. Anderson – Summer
School (HS Credit Recovery)
• Used online program administered by Keystone Credit
Recovery ( along with
onsite tutors who worked one-on-one with students who
needed additional support
• Students paid for their credit recovery (the fee also included
hiring a teacher and tutors) yet the cost of the program was
$75.00 cheaper than in past years when we had "classrooms"
and it was $120.00 cheaper than summer school in
surrounding towns
• Many of the students finished earlier than the 20 days set
aside for summer school
• Bethel is now exploring creating a similar model for struggling
middle school students
What Do Students Say About
Blended Learning?
How Administration Can Help
to Support Blended Learning
Provide the technology infrastructure & support
Develop changes policies that put up barriers
Support a culture of risk taking & innovation
Live the vision
Find your Tech Champions and give them extra support –
they will be your models
• Provide meaningful professional development

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