Forward Momentum: Developing this innovation plan has been a beautiful journey. I have been constantly communicating and working closely with administrators, instructional coaches, technology support team, and teachers with similar goals. The plan seemed simple, and seamless to implement, but my new implementation plan, has tremendously grown. These continued changes are needed, especially in education. Through numerous hours of research, I developed a comprehensiveliterature review. This research lead to reflection on many different themes as to what has worked in blended learning environment, the lessons I have learned, and how to continually improve in the future. The following video is a brief explanation of how my blended learning initiative has changed and will continue to evolve.
What Worked: My innovation plan of blended learning, has grown and changed since the initial development. The fall of 2017, I began implementation of incorporating videos into my lessons. The idea behind this was to provide personalization and options for students to work at their own pace. Blended learning combines traditional instruction with online learning, which provides opportunities to differentiate the way students learn (Clayton, Horn, & Staker, 2013). When students are provided options, this increases engagement and increases the rigor which students learn. This model allows the teacher-led instruction to be with a smaller group of students, allowing opportunities to work one-on-one with students, while other students collaborate with peers or work at their own pace. My initial plan was to start small with one class one day a week. However implementation of the plan was seamless and I realized that I could provide all my classes with this technology, every day. Improvements: Creating videos daily is time-consuming, so I first relied on video resources that were already developed through the courses E-book. Simply implementing an instructional video was not enough to retain the student's attention. These videos were boring, slow, and without sound. Studies showed that the level of enthusiasm of the instructor, pace of the video, and video length are important factors when measuring student's engagement (Guo, Kim, & Rubin, 2014). All videos will not capture the audience in the same way. Through this research and student feedback, I addressed these problems and created my own. These videos were short, engaging, and even lead to students wanting to be a part of the videos. Students began taking ownership of having these options to learn, which lead to students learning at a higher level.
Lessons Learned: This plan will continue to grow and change through on-going research, training, and collaboration. Schools are not always supportive of implementing technology into their classroom. Some schools struggle with proper implementation, teachers lack confidence in technical skills and teachers lack the vision of potential gains that blended learning can provide. To incorporate a successful application of this model the culture needs to be considered, goals need to be established, decisions on specific technology best suited for the learning environment need to be made, and teachers’ need extensive training (Hochleitner & Lautzenheiser, 2014). Teachers need to be provided support, training, and the ideal educational environment to successfully implement technology in a meaningful way. The technology will continue to develop and change, but taking future steps to continue ongoing training and collaboration will prevent stagnancy and keep the plan alive. There is not a perfect plan to strive for, but I believe having the openness and commitment to evolve, students will be provided unlimited educational opportunities.
Clayton, C., Horn, M., B., & Staker, H. (2013, May). Christensen Institute. Retrieved from https://www.christenseninstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Is-K-12-blended-learning-disruptive.pdf
Guo, P. Kim, J. Rubin, R. (2014) How video production affects student engagement: An empirical study of MOOC videos. Retrieved from http://pgbovine.net/publications/edX-MOOC-video-production-and-engagement_LAS-2014.pdf
Hochleitner, D., & Lautzenheiser, T., (2014, January). How one district is reinventing its classrooms. Blended Learning inDC Public Schools, 3-4. Retrieved from https://www.aei.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/-blended-learning-in-dc- public-schools_084713921628.pdf