The Blended Learning Cycle
Blended learning combines on-line, mobile, and classroom learning together into one classroom. It also blends the Learning Cycle which is made up of the 5 E's: Engage, Explore, Explain, Expand, and Evaluate. All of these things combined make up blended learning. There are 6 parts to Paul Anderson's blended learning cycle. First it starts out with a really good question. Then you want your students to investigate. The 3rd step is a video with further instructions or directions. The next step is to elaborate like with further reading or diagrams. The next step is to review what you have learned so far. The last step is the summary quiz, which is given once he feels like the students know what they are talking about. After about 5 Learning Cycles, Mr. Anderson gives a paper and pencil unit test on all 5 Learning Cycles.
I actually like Mr. Anderson's blended learning cycle. It seems like even though the steps are in order the students are still able to learn at their own pace. This is great for students because if you are stuck on something difficult then you have to take the time to really understand it before moving forward to the next step in the learning process, which makes sure you understand something well, before starting something new. Plus it gives you one on one review time with the teacher so it kind of gives you an example of what types of questions may be asked for the unit test. Maybe things would have been less difficult for me in math and chemistry if some of my teachers had followed this type of blended learning. I really like it. I'm not sure how it would work in a kindergarten or 1st grade classroom. I'm sure some variation of it could be done in simpler terms. Hopefully my classroom will be equipped with the technology to allow my students to learn in this type of way.
Back to the Future by Brian Crosby
So I was one of the students who thought there was only one part to Blog Post #13 and am now doing the first part of the blog post that I missed. Brian Crosby is a teacher at Agnes Risley Elementary School, in Sparks, Nevada. 90% of his students are 2nd Language Learners and live in poverty. They have a 1:1 laptop ratio in the classroom and all students have their own blog. His class is involved in interactive learning. Students were asked to write stories as if they were a hot air balloon and write from the view point of the balloon. The project was called the High Hopes Altitude Balloon Project. They sent their hopes up in the balloon. They then posted their stories and the illustrations to their blogs. They received so many comments form all over they decided to ask people to send in their high hopes to send up in a balloon as well. They sent the balloon up with every one's high hopes. There was a camera on board so the kids could see the view point of the balloon on the journey above the stratosphere. It was really really cool to see that the balloon traveled so high up and to be able to map it on Google maps. His classroom is empowering kids to want to learn on their own. They're connecting themselves to the world. It was really cool to see that a student with Leukemia was also participating in the classroom activities from home. That was really touching to me.
I really enjoyed seeing how the project turned out in Mr. Crosby's class. I think that is a really cool way of teaching and learning in a classroom. The more interesting you can make it, the more they learn in my opinion. They even learn without realizing they are learning. I think all classroom should be interactive learning environments. I also wish all students could have their own laptops but that just does not happen at every school unfortunately. I hope to make my classroom fun and exciting like Mr. Crosby's and I hope my kids are able to use the technology in class like his kids are using.