October 31, 2016
It seems like we have been talking about Blended Learning at ESU 10 for years, but we are finally ready to launch it in our four BlendED pilot schools and three copilot schools.
Teachers in Broken Bow, Cozad, Elm Creek, Gibbon, Gothenburg, Litchfield and Wood River have been busy this summer transforming their classrooms into blended learning environments! Planning out the physical space is one of the first steps in implementing this model. Many teachers in the pilot have removed their teacher desks and arranged student seating into stations. Some have even added reading areas with rugs and pillows!
The next step is designing lessons that integrate blended learning strategies. The training provided by the BlendED Pilot state leaders in July laid the foundation for re-thinking instruction. During this training teachers experienced two Blended Learning models: station rotation and flex. The teachers also had time to explore more resources and discuss strategies with other pilot teachers. The 3 copilot schools also had teachers busy this summer working with Teaching and Learning coordinators as well as their Technology Integration Specialists to develop their blended learning plans.
Blended learning lessons combine face to face learning with digital or online learning and allow the students some element of choice. This choice could be in how or where they learn, as well as in how they show their learning. We have encouraged all of our blended teachers to start small, perhaps by implementing in just one class period or subject area, or by utilizing stations one day a week.
The Blended Learning Team looks forward to working with the pilot and copilot teachers this school year. We are excited to see the blast off of learning in our schools!
-by Peg Coover, Teaching and Learning Coordinator