Wednesday, March 18, 2015

January post (Sorry so late)

My inquiry group has no clever name, but we are learning about blended learning.  Blended learning is a mode of learning that incorporates a mixture of online learning with classic old school bricks and mortar learning.  Our group has various levels of experience with technology and incorporating it into our lessons.  We decided as a group to simplify our mission and propose our queston as "What is blended learning and how can we use it to help our students learn."

An artifact that I would have brought in is an example of what I call a webquest.  I give an assignment online that directs you to a website and a digital worksheet.  I rarely use technology for open inquiry as I prefer to direct students to certain websites that are reputable and align with middle school science standards.  I like to call this guided inquiry.  Students can form their own understandings at their own pace.  I have save a ton of trees this year, but having students turn in assignments online through google forms.  Here is a recent example of a webquest assigned for a 7th grade genetics unit.

I think students benefit from these assignments.  There are so many great interactive website that really help students understand content in an engaging way.

What puzzles me somewhat is I understand their has been some research done that indicates students possible commit their understandings when pencil meets paper rather than virtual writing.

I want to explore other ways to have students complete digital assignments, but at the same time use a little old school two-column notes and gage its effectiveness.

1 comment:

  1. I love how you have incorporated Blended learning into your class, Jon! The more I use Google Docs myself, the more i realize what an amazing communication tool it could be, and it looks like you and your students have started benefiting from that! I have never been brave enough to try. Is that through Google Classroom? And I agree with your "guided" inquiry. I have been struggling with that myself in working with struggling kids: I can't just hand over a big question to them and be confident that they can take charge of their own learning... I definitely have to scaffold a ton for them. I really like how you were able to guide your kids to specific resources that allow them to still ask questions, but prevents them from getting so far off track in the infinite universe of the internet.
    Like your question surrounding learning through pen and paper vs. reading/note taking online... I wonder if this generation is already adapting to the digital world? I think about my son and how he processes... definitely expands his understanding the deeper he is able to dive into information that he is choosing- maybe it is a "digitized" constructivist theory! Ha!