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A La Carte, Enriched Virtual, and Flipped Classrooms

A La Carte, Enriched Virtual, and Flipped Classrooms

Jessica Hunsinger

Jessica Hunsinger

Product Manager, Kiddom

Former educator passionate about building human potential. Saving teachers time through interoperability is what currently drives me. 

In the final post of our 4-part blended learning series, we introduce three ways to offer entire units or courses online.

In the first post, view a blended learning infographic to find out which blended learning model is best for your classroom. In the second post, learn about station rotation and lab rotation. In the third post, discover the benefits of the individual rotation and flex models of blended learning.

 

The final three classroom models featured in our Blended Learning 102 guide allow students to easily access materials wherever and whenever they choose. By offering guidance, engagement, and instruction beyond the walls of a traditional classroom, students can find a fuller sense of autonomy and voice in their learning.

The common definition of the enriched virtual model is a course or subject in which students have required face-to-face learning sessions with a teacher and then are free to complete their remaining work remotely. Online learning is the backbone of student learning when the students are not in school. The same person generally serves as both the online and face-to-face teacher and students seldom meet face-to-face with their teachers every weekday. It differs from a fully online class because face-to-face learning sessions are more than optional office hours or social events; they are required.

The face-to-face sessions are often used to introduce the material and expectations or to complete more comprehensive assessments of learning. Often at the end of an enriched virtual model course, the students come together for a final session in which they present what they learned. This is how you might develop speaking and listening skills in a predominantly online learning environment.

An a la carte model, as the name implies, is a class that a student can choose to take entirely online to accompany other experiences they have at a traditional school or learning center. The teacher of record for the a la carte course is primarily an online teacher. Students may complete the learning activities either at school or at home. This differs from full-time online learning because it is not the only learning experience a student will have as the are still enrolled in traditional teacher-led classes as well. 

Both the a la carte and enriched virtual models are closer to online learning in the spectrum of blended learning and are more often used in higher grade levels. They are classified as blended learning because they still include limited face-to-face time with a teacher. An a la carte model often has mostly traditional face to face classes with an online course supplement whereas the enriched virtual model is mostly online with intermittent face-to-face interactions. 

Choosing an Enriched Virtual or A La Carte Model

Many of the reasons for choosing an enriched virtual model or an a la carte model are the same. Both models allow you to support student driven learning, develop self-management skills, and personalize learning through a wider range of course options. They can be used to accelerate credit accumulation, resolve scheduling constraints, or to support foundational learning skills. Often these models are used with “non-traditional” students. For example, over-age under-credited high school students that have had interrupted academic progress, may need courses that don’t fit into their traditional schedule. These models are also be helpful in rural areas, where some students have very long commutes to school.

Getting Started with an Enriched Virtual or A La Carte Model

To get started with the a la carte model or enriched model, you should identify the course needs at your school. Are there gaps in your course offerings? Have students become disengaged in the required courses? What are the interests? Do you have students who are far below grade level and need an additional course to meet their needs? You will also need to determine the teacher on record. Who will monitor student progress? Since the course itself is online, you will need to choose the software or online learning program you want to use. Kiddom supports these models by opening the channels of communication with students via Kiddom’s messaging tools on assignments. You could use Kiddom to schedule the face-to-face meetings and support students self-paced learning by simultaneously tracking their SEL competencies. As the teacher of record for an online course you can also provide actionable feedback in growth areas on specific skills and standards. 

Choosing a Flipped Classroom Model

One final blended learning model is the flipped classroom. In some ways, a flipped classroom is like a rotation model if you replace the “stations” with student homes, the library, or really, anywhere with an internet connection.

In place of traditional homework in which students are practicing what they learned in school, the homework is to prepare for projects, group work and discussions about what you learned at school. The delivery of content and instruction is all online, which differentiates a flipped classroom from students who are merely doing homework practice online after school.

A flipped classroom model is typically dependent on students having access to technology at home, which means it is not feasible for everyone. However, many schools have found ways to get around this barrier to a flipped classroom model with open computer lab hours after school and choosing resources that are viewable on a cell phone or tablet. Teachers who choose to implement a flipped classroom model often do so to free up more class time for in-depth projects and group work for the application of concepts learned. The amount of time needed for projects often deters traditional teachers from assigning them because of the limitations of the school day. The advantages of students accessing learning materials (usually videos) at home are the ability to pause, rewind, and rewatch material in the privacy of your own home. Initially students may not be adept at self-assessing their understanding and knowing when to review the materials. With the follow up in class, teachers can use the time to help students explore their own self awareness and alternative learning strategies.

Making sure students have done their homework is an age old battle that teachers continue to fight, even with new technology. Many teachers have expressed concerns about how to hold students accountable for completing digital work at home, which is an understandable fear. One strategy for holding students accountable is making space for them to watch the video or screencast in class when it is evident that they did not do it at home. For example, when a student asks a question on something that was explicitly covered in the instructional video, you may say something like, “Did you ask your digital teacher?” prompting them to find the answer in the instructional video in that moment.

By not answering questions that you already answered in the video, students will begin to understand that the time in class is reserved for taking learning to the next level. The result is more students accessing the lessons in advance so they do not have to be redirected in class.

A teacher’s role in a flipped classroom is less about direct instruction and more about facilitating student opportunities to demonstrate their learnings. Some teachers implementing flipped classrooms choose to record their own lessons to share with students. This may seem like a large time commitment, but if you consider the traditional middle or high school model where you teach the same lesson multiple times throughout the day, you are actually saving yourself time by only having to ‘deliver’ the lesson once. You may also choose to explore the plethora of existing lessons from open educational resources like the ones found in the Kiddom Library. Taking the time to find a reliable content provider can eliminate your need to record lessons yourself.

Getting Started with a Flipped Classroom Model

If you are interested in trying out a flipped model, the first step is to determine what and how students will access the learning materials. This clip from the video Blended Learning: Making it Work in Your Classroom shows how one teacher decided to record podcasts of her lessons for students to access at home. There are many options for recording lessons including;

  • Screencast-o-matic, which allows you to record your voice and what is showing on your screen
  • PowToon, a tool for creating animated videos
  • the voice narration options with Powerpoint.

You do not have to reinvent the wheel, though, so your first step may be finding the right lessons from the plethora of online resources already available.

Kiddom can support a flipped classroom model as a platform to share the self-recorded lessons with students or the tool to find great instructional videos. Students could access each night’s lessons on their Kiddom timeline. They also have the option to reach out to the teacher with any questions they may have prior to class. This would help guide teacher’s follow up in class the next day. Students are also able to access feedback from home and can view how they did on the in-class assignments and their overall progress.

Blended Learning with Kiddom

Kiddom’s free collaborative learning platform is ideal to introduce a blended learning model in your classroom. For teachers looking to enhance instruction by integrating digital content, Kiddom’s flexible tools adapt well for educators that utilize technology in a variety of different ways. And in true blended learning fashion, the Kiddom platform empowers students to take ownership of their education, build on 21st century skills, and engage in assignments tailored by their teachers to meet individual needs.

Kiddom’s platform is adaptable for teachers incorporating blended learning models for all learners, especially as teachers and students can engage in learning from anywhere with Kiddom’s mobile apps for iOS and Android.

This blog post is based on our Blended Learning 102 Guide. For more information, we encourage you to download it here.

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Curriculum is Culture

Responding to a recent shift from curriculum analysis to culture change, author Geoffrey Schmidt argues that the two cannot be separated.

How to calibrate curriculum while ensuring teachers have flexibility

How to calibrate curriculum while ensuring teachers have flexibility

Jessica Hunsinger

Jessica Hunsinger

Product Manager, Kiddom

Former educator passionate about building human potential. Saving teachers time through interoperability is what currently drives me. 

We chatted with Jessica Hunsinger, Product Manager at Kiddom, to learn about the “Curriculum” element of a groundbreaking new feature, responsive curriculum management. Jessica brings a unique perspective, as a former teacher who has been involved with Kiddom from the building of our free product for teachers, Kiddom Classroom, to Kiddom Academy, our paid product for administrators.  

You can view the other stages in this series as posted here:

  • Curriculum (Stage 1 & 2): curriculum developers & teachers
  • Instruction (Stage 3 & 4): teachers & students
  • Assessment (Stage 5 & 6): administrators & teachers

Teachers are not robots — the beauty of what a teacher does is in how they put their own passion and personality into bringing these lessons to life.

 

 

Why Would Curriculum Developers Want to Share Curriculum With Their Teachers?

This was one of the first questions we asked in our research to build Academy, and of course there are many reasons. The end goal for all schools is the students — learning and achievement. But why would they want teachers to work on the same thing?

 

Student equity is the goal post.

It’s always about making sure every student in your school receives an excellent education.

And yet there is also this understanding that teachers are not robots — that the beauty of what a teacher does is in how they put their own passion and personality into bringing these lessons to life.

Yet in order to promote student equity and give every student a quality education, school leaders need to make meaning of their data.

Sometimes they try having these normed benchmark assessments a few times a year. But the problem is, those aren’t teacher created. So they don’t come often enough to respond quickly, and since the teachers didn’t create it, there isn’t always alignment to the testing.

So the goal is, at the bare minimum, to say, “by this date, we would like you to cover this.”  We knew that administrators wanted to sort of set expectations — we later defined that as calibrating expectations — across classrooms and in talking with a variety of people involved with curriculum, we made some discoveries.

 

Curriculum Developers

Teachers

Administrators

Who’s in Charge of Curriculum? The Many Faces of the “Curriculum” Role

Some of the roles we talked to in our research process so far:

 

  • Director of Curriculum and Instruction
  • Teacher Leader tasked with helping their district build curriculum
  • Principal doing project-based enabling teachers to define loose curriculum projects
  • Kiddom user who was already using Kiddom’s Planner tool
…but the person responsible for building curriculum varies at every school, including:

 

  • Director of Curriculum Instruction
  • Instructional Coach
  • Team Lead of X Department (Science, etc.)
  • Assistant Principal — who happens to also be responsible for instruction
  • District-wide instructional support

The Collaborative Curriculum Building Solution

As you can see, every school has a different system. But at the end of the day, we see teachers submitting plans to administrators or school leaders are often collaborating back and forth.

So with our instructional days and skills attached to the unit within the app, we’re helping them say “within this time frame you can cover this skill in anyway you want.” That way, everyone wins. Teachers are teaching what they want; and the curriculum role is able to look at apples to apples comparisons about their curriculum.

What Academy’s Classroom Insights Aren’t Made for: 

The point is not to see how far one classroom has gotten versus another. While you administrators do have the visibility to drill down and see that discrepancy — we see this more as a way for school leaders to make sense of the day-to day instructional data, as opposed to benchmark assessment data.
It’s also not made to spy on teachers. Rather, it’s made so teachers won’t have to waste time explaining classroom insights. Admins can see in realtime what is happening in the classroom. So they can plan to do observations on a meaningful day, or see that a certain student didn’t attend the day that x skill was taught.

Which steps take place in the Curriculum stage?

Step 1: Plan, Design, & Align

In this stage, a school leader would plan out courses. Here, a curriculum role can build the scope and sequence, align each unit to standards, and design the content, if he or she wishes.

 

This can be shared with teachers who can then collaborate, with the curriculum director or with each other, to design content.
 

Here administrators can add units, standards, and other details, then click into any teacher’s curriculum to view what resources teachers have added into their Planner.

Step 2: Share & Fine Tune

In this stage, the curriculum is shared with teachers where they can then build it out in Planner. This is where Academy is unique, in that it bridges a gap from the curriculum management tool to the Classroom.

Here teachers can build out their student Timeline by choosing content for the Units that have appeared in their Planner — whether they wish to add their own custom content by attaching a file or integrating with Google Drive, or choosing one of the 70,000+ resources available within Kiddom’s content library. The curriculum director and teacher both have the visibility to see the plan and share resources freely.

 

 

Teachers can access and use the curriculum designed in Academy, simply dragging resources from Planner and dropping them into a a student’s Timeline.

The Greatest Benefits of Responsive Curriculum Management for Curriculum Developers

For one, curriculum developers using responsive curriculum management serve to gain a deeper understanding from the rich measurement of multiple layers of teaching and learning, which allows their curriculum to be analyzed and improved upon swiftly — an added bonus here is the ability to measure personalization efforts. Both of these points roll up into the greater goal shared be most learning communities: every child can receive a quality education.

Another crucial benefit is the ability to collaborate with transparency. As teachers and curriculum developers collaborate to build a shared framework, they’re able to discover and reuse their “greatest hits” curriculum. This can be carried on to new semesters, or across multiple classes in a subject. In effect, the most successful content or teaching styles will surface to shape that curriculum into something far greater through collaboration.

 

You can view the other stages in this series as posted here:

  • Curriculum (Stage 1 & 2): curriculum developers & teachers
  • Instruction (Stage 3 & 4): teachers & students
  • Assessment (Stage 5 & 6): administrators & teachers

What is Responsive Curriculum Management?

Responsive Curriculum Management (RCM) is a feature that calibrates curriculum across school systems so that learning trends can be discovered and acted upon in a timely manner.

By including all stakeholders in a child's education, RCM effectively bridges the gap between curriculum, instruction, and assessment.

Kiddom Academy picks up where the LMS leaves off, offering an operating system for K-12 schools and districts to measure and act on classroom intelligence. We define a K-12 operating system as a set of interconnected tools to enable schools to operate more productively, increase student outcomes, and improve upon their respective instructional models.

What People Are Saying

“Kiddom is great for assessing data and then assigning appropriate work based on individual student performance. I love that it’s very easy to attach standards and rubric to every assignment.”

Jackie Curts, Middle School Teacher

“Using Kiddom has made me stop and ask ‘Am I just letting this student repeat what they already know or am I really challenging them?’”

Ann Leghorn, High School Literacy Specialist

“I can see where my class and any student is at any moment in their educational journey. This way I can take action to assist them to work towards mastery.”

Mr. Albrecht, High School Teacher

You might also be interested in these articles:

Individual Rotation and Flex: Blended Learning Models

Individual Rotation and Flex: Blended Learning Models

Jessica Hunsinger

Jessica Hunsinger

Product Manager, Kiddom

Former educator passionate about building human potential. Saving teachers time through interoperability is what currently drives me. 

In this third post of our blended learning series, we cover two models that are the best fit for classrooms with central learning labs.

In the first post, view a blended learning infographic to find out which blended learning model is best for your classroom. In the second post, learn about station rotation and lab rotation.

 

Let’s Start with the Basics.

The individual rotation model, included under the rotation model umbrella, has students rotating between different stations and learning opportunities, but is different from other rotation models in that students don’t necessarily rotate to every station. Each student has an individualized playlist of activities and only rotates to the stations or modalities identified on their personalized schedule, determined by the teacher or, in some cases, an algorithm.

In the flex model, online instruction is the primary mode of accessing content and materials, with additional support from a teacher face-to-face. Teachers share learning activities with students who access them at their own pace, and then teachers use data to intervene in real-time. This model is dependent on self-directed learning and allows for a fluid schedule that is more flexible than other models as online learning makes up the bulk of a student’s direct instruction.  

We grouped these two models together because they require the same technology access and they look very similar in classroom practice. In both of these models, the learning space is designed to have a central learning lab or collaborative space.

As explained in “A Deeper Look At the Flex Model” by Blended Learning Universe, these models “benefit from a larger, open learning space instead of traditional classroom walls. The value of an oversized classroom space is that it allows for students to flow among multiple formats and for teachers to roam more easily among the students.” The main difference is who is in control of the student flow. In the flex model, the student has far more autonomy, whereas the individual rotation is personalized but dictated by a teacher or a data system.   

 

 

Choosing the Individual Rotation Model

The individual rotation model is a good choice when you have enough devices for every student to use and you want to use those devices to plan personalized lessons for each student. Data is the main driver of student schedules and materials in this model. With the right tools, individual teachers can manage these decisions, but many schools use a data manager to help dictate the student’s schedule or the stations they rotate to throughout the day.

Individual and flex models are the most common model in world languages (BLU Directory)

Students checking out their individual rotation schedule for the day in a Teach to One classroom

One example of an individual rotation model is demonstrated through Teach To One, an offshoot of the School of One model that many schools have adopted. It is a personalized math program that uses the individual rotation model to tailor learning experiences to learning styles and rates of progress. The program includes nine different learning modalities that support a variety of learners. The video demonstrates how having students identify their learning styles helps students take ownership of their learning and advocate for themselves.

If your goal for exploring a blended learning model is to increase student ownership of their learning, you can also create stations based on learning modalities.  At the individual level this may seem daunting, but teachers can use a individual rotation model that does not require a different schedule each day.

At the default station, students always have work to complete online at their own pace. When teachers use the data from the self-paced curriculum they can intervene as misconceptions arise or mini-lessons are needed. You may use a messaging system or classroom display that informs students that they should rotate to offline stations: “You are scheduled for a small group discussion today” or “Rotate to group work station at 11.”

Illustration of the Individual Rotation Model with a Central learning Lab at the center

One way that teachers or schools do this is by using playlists. A playlist is a group of related learning activities. With a playlist, students are given a clear sense of the path they are going to take but it is also easy to work student choice in along the way. Heather Starks, a blended learning teacher explains how she uses playlists in her blog piece “Why I am Loving Instead of Hating the Beginning of this School Year”.

By using playlists, you can schedule different checkpoints for students. When students need more frequent check-ins, you can easily differentiate their playlists by including more face-to-face teacher time. Kiddom supports the creation of playlists in the Planner feature, which allows you to create a “Teacher Check-In” assignment, like the one in the image below, that will prompt students to see their teacher.

student dashboard showing what a Teacher Check-In” assignment looks like to a students

Getting Started with the Individual Rotation Model

Just like with the other rotation models, you can experiment with individual rotation in your class by choosing a day of the week to introduce the concept to students and practice it to work out the kinks. It would be helpful to decide how you want students to rotate in advance.

Will you use a playlist model which tells students to “rotate” when they get to a certain point in the curriculum or when misconceptions arise? Or will you establish learning modality stations and have students rotate based on their learning preferences? Either way, you can use Kiddom to support this practice.

An important thing to consider when adopting the individual rotation model is how to incorporate social emotional development. Critics of this model argue that it works best for self-motivated individuals. However, putting in the effort to help students develop that type of intrinsic motivation can be a great impetus for future success.

If you are interested in trying the individual rotation model, be sure to learn from the efforts of early adopters and pay special attention to organizing opportunities for social interaction and development.

Choosing the Flex Model

One of the biggest advantages of a flex model is that it lets students, not teachers, dictate when they rotate. They rotate between various stations when they need them and they are not constrained by time limits. If you’re hoping to increase student motivation and autonomy, this may be the model you choose. This form of blended learning is most often implemented at a whole-school level but can be accomplished at the class level with careful planning. 

The organization Blended Learning Universe explains how this impacts teachers: “Because of the heavy emphasis on student autonomy, the role of a teacher changes in a Flex model. Instead of delivering instruction to whole groups, teachers spend most of their time providing face-to-face tutoring, guidance, and enrichment to supplement online lessons.”  

Diagram of the Blended Learning Universe and the roll that teachers play in Flex

The amount of advanced curriculum planning that goes into developing, curating, and creating the online course materials that allow for students to independently progress through the material may be a shift for most teachers. Rather than planning throughout the year, with a Flex model you will plan and prepare most of your materials in advance.

Another example of this new teacher and student dynamic is illustrated by the case study of  Summit Schools, produced by Khan Academy. At Summit Schools, students sign up for assessments with the teacher when they feel like they are ready to demonstrate mastery. This shift in responsibility also helps to support many social emotional learning skills. Most implementations of a flex model also incorporate some form of weekly check-in between students and teachers that allows teachers to guide students to develop goal setting skills.  

Getting Started with the Flex Model

To get started with a Flex Model, you will first need to choose or create a self-paced online curriculum. There are a growing number of available online curricula but many teachers prefer to organize the online materials to match their style or even to develop their own digital lessons and activities.

Kiddom’s Planner is one way to organize and store your curriculum for a self-paced flex model course. In Planner, you can easily organize all of the curricular materials in units and playlists (groups of related assignments).

When you assign a playlist to students, they can work through the learning activities independently and check in with you when they have completed the tasks. Students can also communicate with teachers by commenting on the assignment and open the dialogue when a teacher is working with other students.

Finally, as mentioned above, the flex model shifts many responsibilities to the students which is a great way to teach social emotional learning competencies.  These competencies can easily be tracked using the 5 CASEL standards available on the Kiddom platform.

This blog post is based on our Blended Learning 102 Guide. For more information, we encourage you to download it here.

 

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Curriculum is Culture

Responding to a recent shift from curriculum analysis to culture change, author Geoffrey Schmidt argues that the two cannot be separated.

Station Rotation & Lab Rotation: Blended Learning Models

Station Rotation & Lab Rotation: Blended Learning Models

In the second of our 4-part blended learning blog series, we cover two models that are the best fit for a classroom with limited technology access.

This is the second post of our 4-part blog series on Blended Learning Models. View the first post and accompanying infographic to find out which blended learning model is best for your classroom.

Many people think you need to have a 1:1 laptop ratio to do blended learning, but with the station rotation and lab rotation models, teachers are able to maximize a classroom with limited technology.

In this post, which comes from our Blended Learning 102 guide, we’ll give you an overview of the similarities and differences between two of the most common blended learning models: station rotation and lab rotation. We’ll also share some tips to set up each model, and include a few ways Kiddom helps with implementation along the way.

 

Rotation Models: The Basics

Station and lab rotation are two blended learning models which belong under the larger umbrella of “Rotation Models”. A rotation model is when students move between learning stations, either 1. on a fixed schedule, or 2. at the teacher’s discretion, where at least one station incorporates online learning.

Fun facts: Station rotation and lab rotation models

While one group of students is engaged in independent online learning, the teacher facilitates activities for another group; activities such as small-group instruction, group projects, individual tutoring, or independent practice.

 

Choosing the Station Rotation Model

In a station rotation model, the teacher organizes students into groups within the classroom, where at least one station is a computer-based learning experience. These groups can be fixed (remain the same each day; grouped by learning styles) or dynamic (change depending on student skills/needs).

This model allows you to differentiate your teacher-led instruction by creating small-groups in class and personalized learning experiences on the computers. As mentioned, station rotation is a great option when you have limited classroom technology or limited access to a school laptop cart. It addresses many issues caused by large class sizes and can be used in classrooms of all ages, even kindergarten. You can also introduce students to the 21st century technology skills they need in small chunks of time. The possibilities are endless, which can be a bit overwhelming, so let’s get specific.

The station rotation model changes the role of a teacher by allowing for greater flexibility through small group instruction. This impacts how you plan your instruction for each day, although, it doesn’t mean you plan completely different lessons for each group.

Your lesson plan format may change to include the student groups and how you plan to address their unique needs with varied question types or examples. The beauty of grouping is that the groups can be dynamic, as student achievement levels or needs change. This will inspire more daily data-driven planning as well, rather than waiting until the end of the term to look at student data. Using a platform like Kiddom makes it easy to track student performance in real time and make decisions about student groupings or send individual assignments based on mastery levels.

 
Mastery Groups Kiddom UI

How you plan to differentiate is also flexible. You can hear a teacher’s’ first-hand explanation of these changes by accessing the Khan Academy Case Study of Kipp Los Angeles School. In this case study, you can hear how using stations allows the teacher to support her english language learner students by giving them more opportunities to speak in a small group.

 

Activities to Maximize the Potential of Each Station

Computer Station

  • Individualized assignments (i.e. remediation or extension)
  • Adaptable software
  • Research
  • Digital presentations
  • Interactive activities (i.e. discussion boards)
  • Simulations
 

Collaborative Learning

  • Group work with roles
  • Hands-on activities
  • Makerspace station
  • Projects
  • Games

Teacher Station

  • Direct instruction
  • Facilitate discussion
  • Oral assessment

 

The computer station can be used for many learning goals. Some teachers or schools sign up for an adaptive learning platform, but paying for that type of resource isn’t necessary — you can get creative with your stations by accessing free content.

One option would be to use Kiddom to send personalized assignments to individual or groups of students. On Kiddom, students can access those assignments, check their scores, ask questions or make comments, and monitor their own progress towards mastery.

Helpful Kiddom features for station and lab rotation

 

Getting Started with the Station Rotation Model

An easy way to explore how a station rotation model might impact your class would be to establish a “stations” day once a week. Depending on how many devices and students you have, you can start with 2–3 small(er) groups.

One small group could work independently or in pairs on activities appropriate for their current achievement level, such as practice from the previous days lessons, independent reading, journaling, etc. Another group could be working with the teacher on either a mini-lesson or a teacher-facilitated group discussion. In a third group, students use a computer to develop their social emotional skill of self-management by doing a progress check and setting a goal for the week. Using the computer station to allow students to check their progress is a way to ease into the benefits of this blended learning model. It wouldn’t require much additional software and can help you establish and refine the classroom routines needed to make transitions from station to station.

Working in stations one day a week would allow you to experiment with the classroom management supports you’ll need for your classroom to help things run smoothly. For example, you’ll learn how long it takes your students to transition from one station to the next and you can adjust accordingly. Anyone trying out stations knows that routines are very important and it’s okay not to get it right the first time.

A visual schedule like this one can help students know where they should be at the appropriate time and help them take ownership of their schedule.

Station Rotation or Lab Rotation Chart

 

 

Choosing a Lab Rotation Model

The lab rotation model is another option that works when you don’t have a full set of computers in your classroom. In this model, students rotate to a separate computer lab for the online-learning station. Many schools that use lab rotation have a co-teaching staffing model or have paraprofessionals in the classroom to facilitate transitions, but that is not a requirement. Students can either rotate to the lab as part of a class or as an online learning class of its own. This model can be used for all grade levels.

One common way the lab rotation model is used:

  1. Teacher delivers a mini lesson and does a formal check for understanding.
  2. Students who demonstrate proficiency are ready to rotate to the computer lab to complete independent practice or personalized practice.
  3. Students who need additional assistance get to work with the teacher in a small group in the moment.

This blended learning model allows you to intervene right away when students need additional support. The teacher’s role in a lab rotation model can be very similar to a traditional teaching model, in that you may still deliver whole class instruction.

The main difference is that you can intervene with a small group without having to manage the entire class of students at the same time. If you do not have a co-teacher or paraprofessional, you would rotate with your entire class to the lab and sit with the small group in the lab.

 

Getting Started with the Lab Rotation Model

Kiddom can help maintain consistency of expectations while in the lab. Establishing a routine and leadership roles for students when they rotate to the lab can alleviate classroom management concerns. Using Kiddom in the lab will enhance the lab rotation model by allowing you to direct student learning in advance, so you can focus on teaching instead of giving instructions.

It also opens the line of communication. While you may be working with the small group of students, students can comment/respond to comments on assignments. You can support student interests and learning needs by sharing personalized assessments. Finally, just like in the station rotation model, students can access their progress reports on Kiddom and know how they are performing at a skill based level.

One of the biggest considerations for implementing a lab rotation model is scheduling. Whether you are piloting the model yourself, or your entire school is transitioning to a lab rotation model, you will need to be on the same page with your colleagues about how and when the lab can be used by your class. Just like in station rotation, it may be easiest to start with a lab rotation day. In this case, you can reserve the lab for your class on a given day and experiment with rotation options on that given day.

This blog post is based on our Blended Learning 102 Guide. For more information, we encourage you to download it here.

Which Blended Learning Model is Right for Your Classroom? Infographic

Which Blended Learning Model is Right for Your Classroom? Infographic

In the first of our 4-part blended learning blog series, use this infographic to determine the right model for you and get a brief overview of each model.

 

In today’s schools, blended learning is becoming increasingly utilized due to improvements in technology and growing access to online learning materials. According to the Christensen Institute’s Blended Learning Universe, there are seven generally accepted blended learning models — so you might be wondering, which one is best for my class?

In this four-part blog series we will provide you with the right resources to answer that question and then explore each style in depth. For part one, we’ve created this infographic based on our Blended Learning 101 and 102 guides. You can use the infographic to determine the right model for your class, get a brief overview of each model, and learn some fun facts and helpful Kiddom features along the way.

In the following posts, we’ll cover the models in more depth, including how to get started, how our free product for teachers helps with implementation, and further resources if you wish to go deeper.

 

Recap: What is Blended Learning, again?

Blended learning, commonly understood as combining traditional instruction with computer-based learning experiences, can address many common pedagogical challenges. A widely accepted definition from Horn and Staker includes the following components of true blended learning components:

1. It involves teaching and learning within a formal education program

2. Students learn at least in part through online delivery of content and instruction

3. Students have some level of control over time, place, path, and/or pace

4. Part or all of instruction is delivered away from home in a supervised, brick-and-mortar location

 

 

At Kiddom, we believe a successful blended learning program is the intentional integration of educational technology within the classroom to enhance the learning process. Students engage with content via multiple modalities and gain some control over their learning pace. Effective blended learning models have curricula designed for integration, student buy-in, and access to appropriate technology and resources.

 

Why Choose Blended Learning?

To ensure that you are planning intentionally, first you must determine whyyou want to try blended learning or, more specifically, which instructional issue you hope to solve.

Are you constantly torn between the range of needs of your students and want a more efficient way to differentiate instruction? Are you hoping to revive student motivation by increasing student choice? Do you feel passionate about embedding tech skills into your assignments to prepare students for college and careers? Maybe you have heard buzz about the benefits of asynchronous learning, small group instruction, and paperless classrooms, and want to pilot something new.

 

 

 

In Blended Learning 101 we discuss four reasons to consider changing your instruction style:

1. Improved Communication

2. More Personalized Instruction

3. Student-Driven Learning

4. Improved Self-Management Skills

In the same guide, we seek to provide educators with a better understanding of how to implement blended learning programs, particularly in schools using standards-based or competency-based grading.

In Blended Learning 102, which our infographic is largely based upon, we have broken the models up into three main categories depending on the availability of internet enabled devices, in class or at home, needed to implement each model. Along the way, we also explore how Kiddom’s collaborative learning platform can be used to expertly implement a blended learning model in your classroom.

So without further ado, we invite you to check out our blended learning infographic to get the basics on which blended learning style is best for you.

 

Click the arrow above to download!

 

Over the next few weeks, we’ll post a series of articles to cover these models in more depth. In the meanwhile, we encourage you to check out our Blended Learning 101 and 102 guides, which you can access at our blended learning resources page.

Read the 2nd blog on Station Rotation and Lab Rotation Models here. 

 

 

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