Have you ever understood one of our educational "buzz words" to mean something completely different than one of your coworkers? This happens all the time, especially when we mention Blended or Personalized Learning. Some people think of them as the same thing.
They can be used together, but they are not the same. So, how are they different? How can they be used together to enhance our classrooms today?
If someone asks me about Blended Learning, I always share the Blended Learning Universe site.
They describe 7 models "in action" as well as some videos and visuals to help you understand what they look like. Below are the definitions of each of the models from the Blended Learning Universe site, make sure to check it our for more details!
7 Models of Blended Learning
1. Station Rotation: allows students to rotate through stations on a fixed schedule, where at least one of the stations is an online learning station. This model is most common in elementary schools because teachers are already familiar rotating in “centers” or stations.
2. Lab Rotation: like a Station Rotation, allows students to rotate through stations on a fixed schedule. However, in this case, online learning occurs in a dedicated computer lab. This model allows for flexible scheduling arrangements with teachers and other paraprofessionals, and enables schools to make use of existing computer labs.
3: Individual Rotation: allows students to rotate through stations, but on individual schedules set by a teacher or software algorithm. Unlike other rotation models, students do not necessarily rotate to every station; they rotate only to the activities scheduled on their playlists.
4: Flipped Classroom: flips the traditional relationship between class time and homework. Students learn at home via online coursework and lectures, and teachers use class time for teacher-guided practice or projects. This model enables teachers to use class time for more than delivering traditional lectures.
5: Flex: lets students move on fluid schedules among learning activities according to their needs. Online learning is the backbone of student learning in a Flex model. Teachers provide support and instruction on a flexible, as-needed basis while students work through course curriculum and content. This model can give students a high degree of control over their learning.
6: A la Carte: enables students to take an online course with an online teacher of record _in addition_ to other face-to-face courses, which often provides students with more flexibility over their schedules. A La Carte courses can be a great option when schools can’t provide particular learning opportunities, such as an Advanced Placement or elective course, making it one of the more popular models in blended high schools.
7: Enriched Virtual: is an alternative to full-time online school that allows students to complete the majority of coursework online at home or outside of school, but attend school for required face-to-face learning sessions with a teacher. Unlike the Flipped Classroom, Enriched Virtual programs usually don’t require daily school attendance; some programs may only require twice-weekly attendance, for example.
When I learned about Personalized Learning, I always used Barbara Bray and Kathleen McKlaskey's book, "How to Personalize Learning: A Practical Guide for Getting Started and Going Deeper" and Barbara's site.
According to her definition, "Personalized learning means that learning starts with the learner. Learning is tailored to the individual needs of each learner instead of by age or grade level. It is more than teaching the same to everyone or “one size fits all” or even changing furniture. Personalized Learning takes a holistic view of the individual, skill levels, interests, strengths and challenges, and prior knowledge. The learner understands how they learn and is motivated to own and drive their learning."
Notice that the definition doesn't mention technology.
This is where we can use Blended Learning to help Personalize Learning!
If you look at this visual, you can see the differences between differentiated, personalized and individualized learning. You'll also notice that the biggest difference is what the teacher is doing and what the student is doing. Click here for this resource. Thinking of how your classroom is set up now, how can we tweek it to make it more personalized? Which models of Blended Learning can help you get there?
Where do I start?
Student voice is the easiest place to start so they can drive their own learning! Here's another post from Barbara Bray that can guide you in the right direction. This visual created by Sylvia Duckworth sums it up really well!
We could go on for days about how to personalize learning using Blended Learning as part of the model. Check out the resources I shared and I'll continue to write posts on the subject.
Also, join me on December 1, 2018 at 9:00 EST for a #edugladitors Twitter chat on the subject of Blended Learning. I hope to see you there!
As always, thanks for reading! ~Pam @specialtechie
I'm an Instructional Coach at Daniel Island School in Berkeley County South Carolina.