Project Overview & Task
It will be up to you to determine what “blend” of online vs. face-to-face learning is needed, which includes the option of creating a fully online learning experience. You are highly encouraged to start with any existing products that you have created for this course (or an existing activity/lesson that you’ve taught before), only this time re-purposing these products/activities/lessons to create a blended learning experience for your students. If you merely consider the tools covered in this class, some of the possibilities for activities you could add to your project include:
- Using YouTube videos you or others have created or have your students create videos as a creative product.
- Using VoiceThread to encourage reflection, creativity, and collaboration.
- Applying SCIM-C in the analysis of digitized primary source materials.
- Using Evernote as a research tool.
- Using Google Spreadsheets to analyze data.
The point is to maximize technology’s (particularly the Web’s) potential for teaching and to encourage inquiry-oriented learning.
Through this Blended Learning Web Site you will:
- Design a new/evolved way of learning and teaching using technology.
- Apply leading-edge uses of technology.
- Efficiently locate appropriate resources on the Web and identify when and how these resources can be incorporated into the diverse needs of student learning.
- Design a lesson that allows learners to think critically and express themselves creatively.
- Use a variety of tools to present information in the classroom or online.
- Reflect on your own practices and evaluate whether or not they are inclusive so that everyone benefits from the power of technology.
Note: Once again, you may find a partner to do this project with. If you do this it must be “doubly awesome” and the web page(s) must be linked to from BOTH of your Professional Web Sites.
Creating the Blended Learning Web Site: In Google Sites, Create a New Web Site entitled Blended Learning Page (or better yet, a title more fitting for the topic of your activity). On your Blended Learning Page, your activity must include the following components (or is you choose each component can be its own separate web page):
- Introduction. This is where you prepare your audience and get them interested in the topic. Set the stage/context, entice the learners, and connect the activity to the overall theme of the unit they are studying (if necessary). This is also where you’ll communicate the Essential Question(s) that the activity is centered around, or if you’re more interested in having the audience derive their own questions this is where you’ll lead them to ask these questions.
- Project/Activity Task. This is where you will tell your audience what they’re Task is going to be (e.g. “You will use digital tools to develop a personal historical story”). Finally, inform your audience what learning objectives are going to be met through the activity, which for many of you might include pointing out what standards will be met.
- Learning Resources (PLEASE feel free to name this section something more fitting for the topic of your activity). This is where you turn your blender on, meaning this is where you will teach your audience what they need to learn in order to complete the Task. You might provide some direct instruction through written narrative, images, and videos. You might require learners to read a book or an article that can be found in the library or online. You might give learners an opportunity to practice applying their newfound knowledge (e.g. the VoiceThread practice you had the opportunity to do before your Personal Digital History assignment). This is your activity, so the decisions are all yours.
Note: You may combine Steps 3 and 4 into one section, because sometimes it makes sense to complete portions of the Task while you’re Learning the content.
- Project/Activity Steps (or if you prefer Process). This is where you will scaffold your audience’s experience by outlining how they will accomplish the Task (and if you’re combining Step 3, also teaching them what they need to learn). Be aware, there is no cut and dry way to do this. Depending upon your audience’s scaffolding needs, this section might include detailed steps to be followed, including clear definition of students’ roles, and guidance in using tools for organizing/analyzing information. The key is to give your audience enough support that they won’t fail, but not so much that they aren’t challenged. Regardless of how much you give your audience, this section should still provide relatively short and clear instructions.
- Evaluation. Clearly define how the learners are going to be evaluated. If you’re going to use a rubric you might create one from one of these online resources: RubiStar or iRubric. Keep in mind, the more your Evaluation can point back to the learning objectives you defined in Step 2, the better.
- Conclusion (optional, but often a HUGE bonus). The conclusion should bring closure and encourage reflection. Often it helps to summarize what the learners have accomplished and learned by completing the activity. You might include some rhetorical questions to encourage them to extend their thinking into other areas beyond the activity, maybe even providing some hyperlinks for further investigation.