Monday, June 12, 2017

Blended Week Two: Are All Classrooms Going to Blend?

This week we are reading and discussing chapter 2. Something that popped out at me in this chapter was the idea that moving to blended learning means you're utilizing the internet for more instruction time and, in turn, can redirect teacher time and brick-and-mortar resources to other important duties of a school. Do you think that is possible? Do you see how this could be helpful in your school community? Or if you would like to discuss something else in this chapter, feel free to do so.

The response to this book club has been amazing! We are now at almost 500 comments to the week 1 blog post! Thank you all for your patience in interacting with the blog. A few things that might be helpful:
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Please note that I will be on vacation beginning this Wednesday, June 14, and will return on Monday, June 26. During this time I will not be accessing my email. If you have a problem with the blog you can email me (Meri Carnahan) at carnahan@doe.in.gov, but I will not respond until the 26th. Remember, if you get an error message try to connect from another computer or Google account.

Even though I will be gone, you all will still be reading and discussing chapter 3, "Start with the Rallying Cry," next week.

521 comments:

  1. IMPORTANT NOTE FOR THOSE WHO MIGHT BE INTERESTED: I’m excited that I got in early for my first post this week because I wanted to share some information. Perhaps it was mentioned last week, but there were so many posts I cannot be sure. Perhaps you already all know, but, while looking for additional PD this summer I noted that our book’s author, Michael Horn, will be a keynote speaker at Creston Middle School’s Blended Learning 2017 conference in Indianapolis on July 20!

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    1. Thank you for sharing this, Brenda. I knew there was something I forgot to mention in my post. To get more information on MSD of Warren Township's Blended Learning Forum 2017 and to register, visit https://sites.google.com/warren.k12.in.us/warrenblf2017/home.

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    2. Thanks for sharing this information. I appreciate it.

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  2. I saw that too on the Summer of eLearning Conference List and I registered right away.

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  3. I enjoyed the strong focus on "hybrids" in chapter 2. I do see that this can be helpful in my classroom and offer a type of blended environment. It can also provide more internet instruction (say in a Flipped Classroom lesson), and then open up the brick-and-mortar time for other important classroom tasks. As a psychology/sociology teacher, so much of class time is spent with application of topics to real life examples/demonstrations. Getting part of the instruction taken place outside of the classroom would allow for more time for the integration of activities to reinforce the topics. It also can allow for time spent on the "nonacademic" factors mentioned in the chapter. As a psychology teacher, I often have the opportunity to address deeper issues with students and things they are dealing with - they think I'm free therapy for them :)
    I do feel that to a point it is possible... I say to a point because as we all know, each student is different. I think back to my students from this past semester: In my regular classes I teach mostly seniors and as elective courses students are of varying abilities. Those of you who also have seniors probably know that second semester is a struggle to keep them motivated. I feel that any work given to them to do "at home" or to do on their own would not be completed. Second semester is a completely different strategy in how to get work returned/done.
    In my AP Psychology classes, this would be much more beneficial and a productive use of our limited time. My students would probably welcome the chance to not have so much lecture in class time and get a bit more "disruption" in class. They would be motivated to use internet resources in any way that would help to better prepare them for the class and our AP Exam!
    As I read through chapters 1 and 2 I started to get discouraged that the need for a dynamic and engaging teacher was becoming obsolete with this idea of blended learning... just find a technology program to do everything for you! I liked that the end of Chapter 2 addresses this thought and says we'll learn more about it in future chapters.

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    1. Robin
      I agree with you that it is a struggle to keep students motivated. I also teach elective classes. Many times students will not complete and turn in their assignments. I think hybred blended learning class would be difficult.

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    2. Your concerns about students completing work at home in the flipped classroom are ones that I echo. I see the potential for saving valuable instructional time by having students watch video clips, read articles, and respond to prompts at home so that face-to-face time can be focused on applying the content in meaningful ways... however, what happens when you have students who don't work outside of class?

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    3. Robin

      I think it would be hard to motivate students to get their assignments turned in on time with a hybred blended learning class. What are the consequences for students who do not turn in their assignments on time or not at all?

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    4. Lindsey, I agree. For the students who don't do work outside of the classroom, why would they in a flipped room? These students would continue to struggle unless they have time to watch the videos, etc in class and complete the assignment. I have witnessed too many students like this.

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    5. Just throwing this out there: What happens to those students who have multiple teachers that flip a classroom and are watching multiple videos/reading at night for an extended amount of time?

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    6. My opinion is, the video probably wouldn't have to be very long since the students can just rewind if they didn't catch what was said or didn't understand the concept. At first I was appalled by the flipped classroom, but if the students do actually watch the videos at home it would be so nice for them to get help in the classroom from the teacher instead of Getting home with the homework and not understanding.

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    7. I have found that my students like to watch the video and then come in and ask questions. Sure, not every student watches, but they are also the ones who don't use their notes to do the homework when assigned.

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    8. I teach 9th grade English co-taught and block classes, where I need to scaffold a majority of the content. I too have struggles motivating the students to complete their homework. After reading the first couple of chapters, I start to envision the ability to have the students broken into smaller groups according to what they do outside the brick and mortar classroom. This will allow me to differentiate my teaching/ student learning and make it meaningful for all of the students in my classes and ultimately complete all of the necessary work at a pace that each individual student can handle.

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    9. One of my first thoughts when reading this is so similar to many in this thread. How many students are going to be mature enough to be motivated to do the work on their own? Perhaps being on computer will help some, plus we, as teachers, will be able to work with more students individually.

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    10. I didn't realize this was your post, Robin, until after I read it. :) I completely agree with you about second semester seniors...they have very little incentive or motivation to do any work outside of the classroom.

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  4. I found chapter two very interesting with the focus on “hybrids” and it gave me a new perspective with the idea that internet can be used for more instruction time and also change the teaching instruction time to make it more meaningful. This could be used in a flipped classroom. It may be harder to do this with elementary students than high school students just because I feel my second graders need a lot of help when it comes to using technology and how to navigate on their own. This could happen though with practice and learning how to work more self-motivated. We can be using the brick-and-mortar resources to help improve other areas in our school buildings. I do think this is possible, but there will have to be teaching/training for how it can be done successfully. Like the chapter said, we can have the “best of both worlds” if we understand this model correctly. I liked reading about the example that Acton Academy used with the flex model. This allowed their students to talk, listen, and challenge ideas with one another with having the face to face interaction, but still with the online component integrated. One quote that stuck out to me was that “the arrival of online learning is good for stressed out schools to focus on other important things. They must keep up with both things to make it a success.” As educators our job is to give the students a safe place to learn, but also make sure we are using our time wisely to create meaningful lessons for our students. In my school district, the demographics and the type of students we get keep changing. Even this year, there were a few students in my class that would benefit from a mentoring program or other resources that they could use due to other personal issues that they were going through at home that would hinder their learning or make school hard because they weren’t getting the basic needs. There were many options available to them, but I’m thinking of the possibilities of more. I’m still eager to learn more on how I can use blended learning in my own classroom someday.

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    1. I really enjoyed reading your post! I teach with 3 year olds...and had many of the same thoughts you had. I love the idea...but wonder how I can use blended learning in the type of classroom I have...I couldn't agree more with your making learning meaningful. We seem to be in and era of technology...so we must prepare the kiddos as best as we can too.

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    2. Mrs. Laura- Good luck with your precious three year olds. I know the idea with technology would be difficult with your age of kiddos. We just have to do what we feel is best sometimes too. Best wishes to you.

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    3. I teach 4 and five year old children and would like to make blended learning work well in my classroom as well. First thing each year is just getting them to be able to use the computers and the mouse. That can be a big challenge!

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    4. I have a really hard time seeing children this age using so much technology. They need the hands on learning, the fun engaging learning taking place off of the computer. Too many times parents give their kids a hand held device to keep them entertained.

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    5. I agree about young kids needing hands on learning. I limit my pkers time on the IPADs. I have noticed that my students come in already knowing how to use technology. The ones who don't pick it up quickly.

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  5. Several things jumped out for me on chapter 2:

    1. The programs we currently use for credit recovery classes are asynchronous, and we like that component.

    2. I am wondering what role teachers' unions will play as corporations/states make decisions about implementing blended learning.

    3. The notion that blended learning might free resources which could be used for more counselors, mentors, food services, etc. is one that I embrace fully. Until we start serving the whole child, his cognitive production isn't going to be optimal. I have students who are parenting themselves; I have students who have the task of feeding, dressing and overseeing younger siblings in the mornings - getting them ready for on-time school attendance; I have students who work at after-school school jobs (some of them have more than one job); I have students who do not literally get enough to eat at home and do not have clean clothes to wear. At one point last year, I had a student whose father did not allow the teen to shower at home because it "uses too much hot water." Do we really think that any (or all) of these students can focus on the flashbacks/foreshadowing in a given text? Do we really expect them to care about exponential equations? When real-life responsibilities and worries fill a student's mind - these concerns will always interfere with learning! Anything that frees up monies and time that can address these issues is a positive for everyone.

    4. Did I get this correctly: The only rotation model that is disruptive is Individual Rotation?

    5. Thinking about whether all schools will go to blended learning makes me smile with wry amusement. In my experience, school corporations are quick to jump on to the bandwagon of every new flavor of ice cream that comes around the block. We go to different grading and school management programs at the drop of a few cents. We go to different technology as the best offers come in. We switch between one "testing enhancement" program to another. We RARELY give any single program, strategy, or idea enough time to become fully usable and to give staff and students time to become proficient with them. Just about the time we are beginning to get all of the bugs worked out...to understand the capabilities and to have had time for exploring them...the corporation switches to the "next best thing" and we are back to square one. I can imagine that this may be the case for some corporations in the "commitment" to blended learning, and this will put those corporations dismally behind the rest of the learning world. I am curious and eager to watch how this unfolds.

    6. Favorite Quote: page 81 "As online learning helps students to know, schools should be able to focus increasingly on helping students to do and to be."

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    1. #6 was impactful for me too. It summarizes what is truly special about blended learning.

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    2. I wrote down that same quote that you had for comment number six. Very impactful. I love the idea of spending more time on helping students apply the knowledge they have gained in meaningful ways rather than use the limited time I have with them trying to simply teach them information.

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    3. loved your thoughts on #2 and #3...I also loved that quote.

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    4. Thank you Krissanne for your honest input!

      I don't think I could have written your #3 any better. Those thoughts were going through my mind as I was thinking about how I'm going to implement blended learning next year as we head 1:1. I like the idea of the flip model where we can give our instruction online for the students to learn ahead of time and allow for more application and mentoring in the classroom, but with the examples you mentioned in #3, that seems nearly impossible. However, finding a median or a Hybrid that works may be the solution.

      I'd love to see more resources for our students besides the in house school counselor (who is often times put into many roles besides counseling the students...) to help the students learn "to do and to be".

      Finally, your 5th point was SPOT ON! My current district (going on 5 years) has adopted THREE curriculum programs since I've been there. None of them long enough to either finish the tasks given or be implemented to students/parents. By the time I feel I'm getting the hang of it-we've moved on.

      Thank you again for your input. It's nice to know there are other educators out there with similar thoughts.

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    5. Thank you, Krissanne for your post. I enjoyed reading it. I completely agree with your # 5 point. It will be interesting to see how school corporations make blended learning successful and if it will really work in some or if it will just be another new idea.

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    6. Thanks guys. This is my 10th year at my current position, I've lost count of the ideas, programs, new-best-things that we have briefly tried then tossed. Thank goodness Shakespeare, Hemmingway, Dickinson, and Frost do not change!

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    7. I really appreciate your thoughts on #3. I teach a mentoring program where my high schoolers work with children in our elementary and middle schools. It is through this program that my eyes have been completely opened to the hidden needs our community has... child living in horrible home conditions where they don't get their basic needs met. Each instance that I come across and report I always stop and think about that child and how his/her home life impacts the ability to focus in the classroom, to trust the teacher and students around them, to stay awake, to be open to learn, and to feel optimistic about the future. These kids have so much more going on than just a seat filled in our rooms for us to teach a lesson to!

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    8. It isn't the school or the administration that is going to make blended learning work, it is the teachers that are in the trenches that will implement a successful blended learning program in their classroom.

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    9. You bring up many points that add depth to my own thoughts, Krissanne. As I am reading this book I am trying to remain open-minded to "blended learning" as it is being presented in chapter two. I find it very interesting that the authors have argued that blended learning allows for schools to be free to fulfill other functions (Horn & Staker, 2015) yet they only gloss over this concept. What exactly does a physically pleasing school entail?

      What I find more perplexing in this chapter is that they are arguing the success of digital equipment companies and steamboat technology to the arena of education. This is not a business. This is not a production line where we are trying to gain profit over competitors. We are working with human-beings. Do not tell me that because people were afraid to innovate with steam that I should not fear putting children in front of screens and call it successful learning. They have not actually provided their definition of “learning” and that is cause for some strong concern. Are they speaking specifically to academic achievement? Would anyone argue that most children’s optimal social growth is through technology? There is an overwhelming amount of research that clearly points to the importance of active experience as optimal learning regardless of academics or social skills. While I welcome the idea of utilizing technology, I find all things in life require balance. Balance between screen and human interaction and experience… This, to me, sounds more like the hybrids to which they appear to arguing against (number bullets 1-4, p. 73-75). These reflections encompass and circle back to my first question- if a school is not for interactive instruction, engagement, and learning in all forms (in this case I am referring to both social and academic achievement)- then what other functions is it for? Where is the connectedness that humanizes experience for children, that makes them different from steamboats, computers and banks? What will happen if we are individualizing everything through technology?

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  6. I do feel that it is possible to redirect instruction time to be more of a blended learning situation. I feel that we are still a little ways away from it in my school system and that I still have a lot of questions based on how to implement something such as this in a math classroom. Students already use the internet for so much outside of the classroom, if it can be opened up to place them on more educational, learning applications I feel it will truly benefit them in the long run. I have students who know how to maneuver around the internet extremely well but do not know how to solve problems using the order of operation. If we can gain their interest by using the computers and internet it could benefit them in so many ways. I love the idea of blended learning especially when seeing it done using the hybrid models as its a way to begin using the technology but slowly integrating it into the classroom. My school system this year adopted google apps for education which I have tried my best to integrate; however, there is still so much I need to learn to be able to fully implement and feel comfortable using it in my classroom on a daily basis. My students loved when we could use the computers in class but it was more of a station type use.
    Over the next few years, I believe that more schools will work towards being an online learning community leaving more time in class for other activities. I love being able to have my students work on projects throughout the learning process; however, I feel that the time isn't quite there yet. If I were to utilize more of a blended classroom situation that would free up the time necessary to be able to give them projects that they can work on and discuss in class with me and their classmates. I do not feel that technology can fully replace the fact of having brick and mortar learning but maybe we can use it to enhance the learning of the students we do have in a positive way.

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    1. I definitely agree with many of your perceptions.

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  7. When I was still in the classroom, I flipped my biology 1 class, and I saw first hand the benefits of opening more class time up to activities that could deepen student learning. As Jon Bergman says, "What's the best use of face-to-face time?" I don't believe that it is kids in their seats and me at the whiteboard, although there are times when that is completely appropriate. Blended learning is a move in the correct direction to enable students to be more in control of their own learning.

    The bulk of this chapter focused so much on the disruptive blended learning models that took away a lot of the face-to-face portions of education, and I firmly believe that the in-person interaction between teacher and student is vital to the process. I was alarmed that it seemed that the authors were advocating solely for the disruptive models, almost to the extent that brick and mortar schools in their traditional sense would go the way of the dodo bird. However, on the bottom of page 81 of the hardcover edition, the authors showed their hand when they wrote, "As online learning helps students to know, schools should be able to focus increasingly on helping students do and to be." I've seen this in my own classroom, so that I know this to be true. The sustaining innovations such as the flipped classroom and the other hybrid models are the way to go in most cases as these maintain the community bonds fostered by the traditional school.

    Moving to fully online learning at the expense or severe modification of the brick and mortar schools that are often the bedrock of a community would have unintended consequences. The interaction between students and adults that occurs in a traditional school setting is vital to the social fabric of our communities and society. Schools and their extra-curricular activities, be them athletics or the marching band, foster a strong sense community. Extra-curricular activities are also tremendous sources of learning opportunities that can't be discounted. The disruptive models of blended learning will cause harm to the ability of the traditional school setting to continue developing a strong sense of community.

    In my view, the sustaining innovations such as the flipped classroom are very disruptive to most teachers. Most teachers use the methods that were used by their teachers when they were in school, and moving toward blended learning in just a small portion is extremely disruptive to them personally. This move would be a radical shift in instructional practice of most. My final thoughts are that we will need to leverage the use of online learning to maximize deeper learning within the traditional school. To abandon the social interaction, and community-bonding that comes from the traditional school would be a mistake.

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    1. I am a fifth grade teacher - in a self contained classroom and have flipped my math class. I agree with you whole-heartedly. The relationship that a real live teacher can form with their students is not replaceable - however, being able to devote more classtime to actually helping kids is fantastic. This is where the blended model is so very helpful.

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    2. I agree with both of you. About six years ago I had a principal who asked us to put the basal away and find a new way to teach reading that meets the need of all students. At first, I was like where are we going to get reading materials then? Although it was a tough process we pulled and collected many different reading passages, plays, fluency passages, etc. at all different levels. By meeting in small groups I was able to truly meet the needs of my students. I was skeptical at first, but I have seen huge improvements in my students growth. Students are being challenged, and their needs are being met. It's not a one-size-fits-all program. I have an on-line component that the students use while I'm working with small groups. I agree with Linda that it's still important that a live teacher interact with the students. There are questions that come up that just can't be answered from a computer.

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    3. I agree that the social interaction of traditional schools is a very important part of student education. I teach at the high school level and am constantly surprised at how quickly students ability to hold meaningful conversations is deteriorating. They also are loosing common curtsies of not interrupting someone as they are speaking, making eye contact, truly listening to what someone else is saying, and replying respectfully to someone else. This new group of students has lived on the internet with all of its anonymity. They do not have to listen the moment things are said, and the tone of voice in which they are said. They simply read and reply however they wish without fear of insulting someone.
      A large part of our jobs no matter the age group is to teach these students how to become responsible and productive members of society. This is "social interaction" portion of the brick and mortar schools. It is not in the curriculum, but it is something we model to our students every day.

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    4. I was having a conversation last weekend with a friend about global energy consumption. He spoke in front of Congress in an attempt to save 2 nuclear power plants in North Central Ohio. Now I realize that energy consumption seems off topic to education speak; however, I liked his analogy about not putting all your eggs in one basket. He claimed that if the auto industry moved all of their production to electronic cars, there would not be enough lithium in the world to sustain the industry. In my mind, this idea of sustenance and hybrid innovation works similarly for education. From what I have read in this blog, many educators in the state are working in a “technology rich” classrooms and making gradual changes to improve their student’s learning experience(s).

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    5. I agree with your post. I think flipping or doing some type of blended learning would be very beneficial but the students need the face to face time with the teachers. Some students get more face time with their teachers and more love from their teachers than they do at home.

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    6. I have flipped my math class several times too, and I know my students got a lot out of it, because when it came time for asking questions during homework time, the questions flew, but not all kids learn best that way, and I feel they need the one on one time with the teacher, to form relationships and to really get to know the student.

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    7. I also have flipped my classes many times and the gain from doing so was on both ends I believe... It placed more responsibility on the students but it allowed for what you stated Sandra, more questions and dialogue. My freshman Biology class ate that up with questions especially on Evolution and how it connected to the bigger picture that they have learned about all year. For my upper classes, being mixed of sophomores, juniors and senior, Flipping a class allowed them to listen to things at their pace but go back and study from that material, ast questions in the classroom that were deeper for the content, and we were able to do more hands on material.

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  8. I had a difficult time getting through this Chapter because I kept thinking about 30 years from now-just when I am about to retire-and not seeing me there. Technology has never scared me and I like to think of myself as savvy and willing to implement new technological strategies but I just kept thinking of the banking example and how it is possible that traditional banks and tellers may become obsolete. I understand the hybrid concept but I also felt like that was just a way of saying, "Let's try to keep these jobs as long as we can by not giving everything away all at once." I am also the type of person to do what is best for my students and I loved seeing the Acton Academy example. One thing that I DO NOT want to see is that this becomes just another "thing" that a school jumps in/on to and as the year progresses it doesn't get enough support, back-up, or see-through. I've only been an educator for 12 years but man have I seen some trends come and go quickly!

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    1. Cortny, I completely agree about this becoming another fad. After twelve years of teaching I've used Four Blocks, Daily 5, Six Plus 1 Writing Traits, Working With Words, and the list seems to go on-and-on. I feel like some of them I've really held on to, and felt that they were making a difference. For some of the others I was just doing it to follow what my principal asked me to try. Eventually everything seems to circle back around, it's just named something different.

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    2. Similar thoughts crossed my mind. Mine, however, were that if the divide becomes those who design the curriculum that is being administered online and those who are the caregivers in the classroom, I prefer to be designing. The description of a teacher or school absorbing even more of the role of family and parents than we already do bothers me.

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    3. It is true that we are taking on most all roles of parents. I too want to be there to teach, not just support the things they are missing at home. I sometimes see technology as a way to rid us of teachers but ultimately, they need us to fill all the needs of children.

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    4. I think the difference with Blended learning is that it is a disruption in the "same old same old" pattern-- the basic structure CHANGES. I have been playing this game for 27 years, and I really want to get off the "here's the latest new program" merry-go-round. If this idea truly changes the structure of learning, not just the way we deliver material, then I believe it will be truly valuable. As far as being a babysitter instead of a teacher, that's not how I read the chapter at all. I thought it talked about schools providing those services, not teachers specifically. The teacher role would be to develop relationships with kids by working with then on the curriculum.

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    5. I agree - trends come and go constantly! I think this is why many teachers are reluctant to implement such a disruptive change (especially when they are not comfortable with technology).

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    6. I am looking at it from the lense of retiring in @5 years and how deeply I want to become involved in this.

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    7. Cortny and Kelly, when I first started reading I was shocked to think that they want teachers to basically be parents to the students. Teach them everyday things. I was thinking, I don't want to clean the school and make sure it's sanitary, I want to teach these students and make a difference in their lives!! As I kept reading though, I thought more like Kelly, we would be there to help the students understand and learn what they've been taught but we would also be able to be more connected with them because we would have more 1:1 time with them. We would be walking around talking to individual students and talking as groups about what they're learning about.

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    8. SISTER! I totally identify with what you're saying! Trends do come and go and technology replacing the instructor has become a thought I've entertained for a while. Once I witnessed students and school using E-learning days my fears took flight. Maybe these back-burner fears are why I've not incorporated as much technology as I could have over the years... :)

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    9. I agree with Pamela and Hilary. I am looking at retiring soon, but I have incorporated flipping my classroom on several occasions. I also have had e-learning days. Just like them, I have thought what if we are replaced by technology. Then I had the chance of participating in a class where one of my students took a course online. There still is an instructor. However, the one on one with the teacher is not as much as I feel it should be. I do not think teachers will be replaced. I feel we need to push our students more in the use of technology, but we will always need to be here to help support them.

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  9. I think the concept of opening up teacher interaction/class time is intriguing in the amount of possibilities for enrichment it brings up. I definitely see the value that this could provide for both student and educator. My mind is trying to imagine just what this could look like in my own classroom.

    While reading chapter 2, I also found myself reading with a bit of skepticism. It sounds like disruptive learning would be dependent on internet based curriculum software. A roadblock for me imagining my classroom becoming blended is what if I don't have access to an online curriculum at my school? That's probably expensive and when would my school buy in to that or have the means to purchase for our school? Or do I have the know-how and time to create such a system myself? I found myself thinking - how can I ensure high quality lessons over core concepts from an online curriculum? What about my students with special needs who sometimes require a lot of creativity on my part on how to deliver content to them in a way they will be interested in and understand? If you are essentially using a "boxed curriculum" for internet based instruction - how much will that limit teacher control over content (or I guess that's the idea, but shouldn't teachers be deciding what concepts need to be taught and even how they are taught during their course even though teachers don't need to control the pace at which students learn them?). I certainly don't have the skills necessary to build a complex online learning system that covers the concepts I want taught in a way that is differentiated to each student's skill and pace, so I would be dependent on a pre-packaged system. While I did have these questions as I was reading, I also realize that with content being delivered to students online I could use class time to make sure students are receiving instruction or practice on any concepts the online program might have left out, and I could also use that time to work with my students who need extra scaffolding and support.

    I just see myself drawn more to the "hybrid" than the "disruptive" models but that might be because I am a brick-and-mortar school teacher and I have trouble imagining my position shifting in such a way. That brings me to my overall skepticism - the authors draw parallels to other historically successful disruptive developments as a way to give credibility and a sense of inevitability to the described trend of disruptive learning. I kept thinking, okay here are three examples of disruptive developments we know have become mainstream but surely there were countless other "disruptions" that faded away and failed to eventually take over the reigning system. Isn't it a little presumptuous to say that disruptive learning is on the same track of inevitable take over as a steamship or personal computer?

    Skepticism aside, I do think the ideas in this book can be a great asset to education. I want to learn more about how I can start making my classroom a blended learning "hybrid."

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    1. Your point about other disruptions that failed rings true. We have many systems that continue very much in the way they were originally designed. Will 3-D printing replace certain areas of manufacturing? Will on-demand entertainment replace traditional systems of delivery? I wonder though if those and others have not yet had time to fully disrupt.

      Others may not have received attention because the non-consumers did not demonstrate a need for alternatives, because the resistance to change was too great, or because the disruption was cost-prohibitive. Those last two could also be factors in disrupting education.

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    2. I had many of these same thoughts and concerns going through my head as I read this chapter. I like the challenge of figuring out the best uses of blended learning, but don't want my students to be guinea pigs.

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    3. Agree with you on this. Want to learn more on blended learning, but not at the cost of my students education.

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  10. As a reading teacher, I love the idea of blending all the good ideas with some great online innovation. I am ready to start setting this up. My wheels are really turning this summer as how I can set this up.

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    1. Great point Susan! I too started to brainstorm on ways I can use this in my lower level English classes. Different strategies I can blend the concepts of what the students are to understand as they are reading their books each quarter.

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  11. I think that we will always need the brick and morter model because the relationships between teachers and students are so important. Being a teacher who has "flipped" one of my classes, the incorporation of technology within my class has only opened up more time to connect with my students, spend time helping those who need extra assistance, and being there to guide those who are pursuing more challenging projects. I don't think that technology is replacing teachers - it is an entity that can enable us to help our students dig deeper, help us to differentiate more effectively - thereby teach more effectively, and give us opportunities to connect with our students even more. I also use a model of "in-flipping" in my class where students have short (<2-3 minutes) videos that they watch and then take notes using a graphic organizer that I create. This has been a great way to help with station type work - if they understand the concept - they move on to either group or independent work. If they don't, I am there to help to re-explain. I feel that with the help of technology within the classroom, I am able to see and meet the needs of my students more effectively. I have more time with them.
    Furthermore, I am a fan of being the author what what the kids are seeing and doing online! There are many different modalites available that allow you to create the videos that your students watch - this is a great way to also meet the kids where they are.
    I think that the brick and morter will stay - community and relationships are of the utmost importance for kids, However, we can't just teach the way in which we were taught. We are obligated to prepare our students for their world so as educators we need to remember to be flexible - using tools that we have to best prepare this generation of kids - academically and socially.

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    1. One of my favorite professors always told us, "Above all, teaching is about relationships." I find the students I connect with learn more, participate more, and smile more. You never know if your are the one adult they really can talk to.

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    2. I agree with both of you that building relationships are key to student success in the classroom. It is so important to connect with each student in the classroom! I think a good balance of face-to- face interaction along with developing independence through online learning is important in our world today.

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    3. These 3 posts are exactly how I feel. I rec'd my Masters along time ago in Admin., but I have stayed in the classroom because I think that relationships are always going to allow the best Teaching/Learning to take place. Seeing all the added demands on Admin, let alone us Teachers....I prefer to stay in close contact/relationships with students in the classroom.

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    4. Linda,
      I LOVE your idea of "in-flipping" by using instructional online resources even during class time or station time! Perfect for review for kids who don't understand the concept being taught. And I couldn't agree with you more about preparing our students for a world that is different than the one we grew up in!

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    5. I like the term "in-flipping" also. That would work perfectly with the rotation stations. Great idea!

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  12. Good morning all! In response to the question this week, I do think it's possible to shift instruction to more computer-based learning and free up teachers for other important duties of the school. However, I do not believe this is going to happen at a fast pace or even very easily. We all know that change is hard. I teach in a junior high (grades 7-8) with 950 students, getting every teacher in my school on board with this new way of teaching would be nearly impossible. In our corporation, we have one-to-one technology. In the neighboring county, the have no one-to-one technology in any of their schools. Reading books like these provide great ideas and thoughts for somewhere to get started, but I think getting something like this up and running would be a task to say the least. It's not impossible, but you would need to find the right combination of teachers and administrators to get it done. Personally, I think it sounds intriguing and would be something to give a try!

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    1. "Change is hard" sums it up perfectly. Unfortunately, there are so many changes and initiatives being thrown at teachers right now, many see blended learning as something that will pass. The thinking among many teachers in my building is that if they just wait, this too shall pass, and they can continue doing what they've always done.

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    2. I agree with your comment Lindsey. Change is often hard especially for veteran teachers. I think the concept of blended learning can be beneficial to both the teacher and the students. As I read I am constantly thinking how I can incorporate this teaching style in my classroom.

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  14. I thought the examples of the ships on how to explain the hybrid model were helpful. I feel like I have a small version of the hybrid model in my classroom. We use the Daily 3, so when I meet with small groups other students are working on stations. One of those stations the students are on the computer completing on-line activities. The hard part is I can't really give feedback electronically when the students have completed an assignment. I feel like this would be a very helpful tool, so the students are still getting feedback from the teacher after working independently. Currently our technology is not up to speed. My daughter's school has Ipads and Chrome Books for each student. We have mentioned this to our school corporation, and they are aware. I'm not sure if there is enough money in the budget at this time for everyone to be one-on-one. Although all of the middle school students will have one-on-one Chrome Books starting next year, so that's a step in the right direction. Right now I'm just using what I have, and trying to be creative.

    When I read the section on page 71 about the need for a hybrid solution in banking I thought of my mother-in-law. She enjoys going to the bank and personally speaking with someone rather than doing everything on-line. She says that she enjoys seeing the same tellers at the bank, and doesn't enjoy the on-line banking. My husband on the other hand loves to use on-line banking. He enjoys the convenience factor of doing everything on-line. I see good and bad to both of these things, so that's why it's great to have a hybrid option. It attempts to meet the needs of both parties.

    I marked this quote in the book as well on page 81, "As content and instruction shift online, schools can focus more on activities that they have tried to do historically but all too often lacked the time, space and resources to do well." I would love to be able to spend more one-on-one time with my students discussing novels and just how they process information. I think there is great value in that. I'm looking forward to reading the next chapter to see how to implement this more in the classroom.

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    1. It is definitely nice to have these hybrid type models that serve all students because not every kid wants to do everything online. It reminds me of those that want to actually hold a book in their hands to read versus people like me who LOVE the Kindle :)
      And I definitely agree with you about the value of having time to have conversations with students just about how they are doing, how they are making sense of what we are learning, what they are not understanding and so on....exciting possibilities!

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  15. I found it interesting that this model is really geared towards middle and high school even though the elementary level has already established teaching with rotations for their literacy block and at my school we use rotations for our math block as well. They hybrid model makes sense because you still need great instruction with face-to-face interaction, but it does need to be delivered differently to reach all of our students at their levels. With more schools going 1:1 and the push for STEM classes, I don't think this notion is going away any time soon.

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    1. I agreed with your statement that instructions needs to be delivered to address various styles of learning and using online is definitely one that our students relate to. It is also important to have the face time with our students and to develop social interaction.

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    2. Hi Linda, I agree with your statement "the hybrid model makes sense because you still need great instruction with face-to-face interaction." The human element of the teacher/student relationship will always be an integral part of learning. The idea of being able to blend the brick and mortar classroom with the virtual classroom to reach all of our students at their levels truly excites me!

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    3. Hi Jill, I also noticed that the assumption is that blended learning is more for middle and high school, but in talking with my own children who are both in college now, I learned that they both remember the rotations that they did all through elementary school, but they do not remember anything similar in middle or high school. In fact the older they got, the more traditional "sage on the stage" their classes became. Now that they are in college, they both report that the instruction is almost exclusively in the lecture format. They both have used the internet for their learning throughout their schooling, but it was mostly self-directed in pursuit of the extra knowledge they needed for understanding.

      I find that my own students will also often report to me that when they didn't understand something in class, they search YouTube or Khan Academy for a relevant video to help them. Needed information can be obtained by anyone on the internet today. Hopefully, we as teachers can help our students learn how to obtain needed information from the internet, and help students understand that they can initialize this process themselves and become the instigators in their own education.

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  16. I very much enjoyed this chapter. As an Engineering Technology educator I find the examples very impactful and spot on for demonstrating the authors point. I am a strong supporter of the hybrid models. They can supplement our teaching and provide better resources for learning for students who cannot always be in class. (Anyone besides me have that student who in constantly traveling for competitions?) I also am willing to admit I have my weaknesses in teaching certain content in my classroom. Carmel has implemented teaching coaches for our faculty. I utilize the Math coach on a very regular basis, especially when it comes to explaining standard deviation. Dan, my coach, ended up being an artifact for my rise evaluation. I know how to do the math, and why I need to do the math, but the explanations I give may not make sense to all students. With something as important as math it is imperative that students understand not just they how, but also the why. That's why I call in for reinforcements.

    One thing I found myself wondering during this chapter was where the content would be coming from. Do the schools buy a curriculum? Do the teachers create it? Is it developed by the state or a company? I know it will be addressed in upcoming chapters, but it still is on my mind.

    At the end of the chapter it discussed teachers who are currently in blended programs sit back and passively let the internet do the teaching. They feel replaced and see their roll as babysitters. I see this as a fault of the administration. Teachers need training on what their new roll is. Page 81 states, "As online learning helps students to know, schools should be able to focus increasingly on helping students to do and to be."

    A final thought on my reading rant. I am a born skeptic. I still keep attendance on paper, I have paper copies of everything that is important, I write checks, and I proceed with caution on each new initiative the school introduces. The last one is mainly because of the first school I worked for. Change for the sake of change was the trend. They loved the buzzwords and bandwagons. Now a good number of schools in that district are closed and students were the ones who suffered the most.
    I love my new school because they proceed with caution. They do formal studies, beta tests, and provide training before they jump in. We try to think about what is best for the students and help the teachers develop the skills they need to provided this.

    I am eager to learn more about the hybrid models, and to read the posts of everyone else in this book study. The previous posts were very exciting.

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    1. I like your comments about "proceed with caution" . The market is flush with products "guaranteed" to improve student learning and achievement. As they say, "A sucker is born everyday" I want to make that we are not only using programs that can improve our students lives, but that we are using them with fidelity. How much time did the students spend on the online programs in order to make the gains reported in the book? One school in our book said students spent 25% of their day online. If we can't make that commitment should we even bother starting a blended learning path? I don't want to jump on the bandwagon without knowing what kind of time commitment is really needed to see student improvement and growth.

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    2. Being another Carmel Teacher, I agree with appreciating how our school "proceeds with caution" when making changes. Before we switched to CANVAS a group researched other options; then there was a group of teachers that volunteered to use it for a "test" year in their classes and provide feedback; then we all had a semester where we were able to try a few tasks out in a class (or two) before implementing it in all of our classes! This allows for a greater level of comfort for ALL involved and makes for an easy transition in the classroom and corporation!
      Laura- I was also wondering about the purchasing of the programs being used... If you are like me, I know that I've had to spend so much on resources for my classroom! (When I total it up for taxes at the end of the year I'm always shocked.) As I was reading through ch 2, it seemed that most of these programs would need to be adopted school-wide and not just teacher-wide--that sounds like a school expense :)

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  17. Our school is fortunate in the aspect that all of our kids in all grades have a device (IPAD or MacBook), the problem we have is that many of our students do not have internet access at home. Our school district is comprised of many students who come from a low socioeconomic background and this hinders us from doing some of the things that we would like to do. For example we would like to have an e-learning day so that we could still have students working even if a snow day were to be called. I think in time we will figure out a solution to the problem but it will take time. And I am sure many schools are dealing with the same problem for the same and different reasons. This leads me to the part of the chapter that stood out to me. Students are dealing with many issues before they get to us and after they go home (some we know about, others we do not). As teachers we are dealing with so much more that just their school work these days. In some ways I can see how blended learning could help the situation, like being able to work at your own pace and being able to turn-in work with out the danger of a response being see by fellow classmates, in some cases. I think that schools are doing a good job of starting the integration process but we will have to have student, teacher and parent cooperation to make it happen.

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    1. Karen- I completely agree with your post. We as teachers have filled some of the roles that students need when they walk into our classroom these days. Some of the things that our students have to go through is sad and sometimes I think we have too high expectations. I have to remember that when I see some of these students who aren't getting the basic needs or deal with some rough stuff is to remember to show grace. Also, I try and see how I can help to make things better for them. The technology aspect can definitely be hard to integrate when some students are worried about other basic needs or especially what their next meal might be. I'm not sure how our district will do e-learning either if we plan to do that sometime. Thanks for your post.

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    2. Hi Karen, I agree with your post as well. I have several students who do not have access to computers or the internet at home. Plus they have different responsibilities as teenagers, that I could never have imagined when I was growing up. When the students are physically in the brick and mortar classrooms in our school, we have numerous HP Convertible, Chromebook, and IPad carts. I envision dedicating instructional time to allow the students the ability to work on/complete work we would ask them to do away from school. This will allow us, as educators to meet the students specific learning needs, as well as be there to support whatever other needs the students may have.

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    3. I mentioned the same issues in my comment as to students not having the internet access at home. Our corporation did implement eLearning days last year, but we made sure that students had the needed materials downloaded to google drive in order to access it. We had 2 such days and they went fairly smooth considering it was our first attempt.

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  18. As I was reading this chapter, it became obvious that we have used the devices as a sustaining innovation, not a disruptive innovation. It was our first year and this change to blended learning is new to us. When reading of hybrids, one statement really opened my eyes to a pitfall of hybrids. P. 77 " Instead of requiring face-to-face adults to manage BOTH online learning and traditional instruction, they delegate the job of managing instruction to the Internet..." It seems that I am complicating the teacher's job with the hybrid model, whereas, going all in would free them "..to focus increasingly on helping students to do and to be.
    In my community of students, freeing teachers from managing instruction could be the disruptive innovation needed to turn the community around. The high poverty and drug use has increasingly impacted students in every facet of their lives. If teachers felt free to devote time to the soft skills and support systems, I believe the impact might be greater than we could imagine. What a different mindset to have that doesn't focus solely on test results.
    If our schools could become a whole community center through blended learning, that would truly be a disruptive innovation.
    Aren't the possibilities exciting?

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  19. In the notes on page 89 say in the elementary school setting rotation blended learning accounts for 80% of the model implemented for blended learning. The hybrid models of blended learning are capable of filling the nonconsumption need in our schools. This model still requires a teacher to be actively engaged, they can't passively sit back and let the internet do the work. In fact in the book models that have a teacher sitting in the back of the classroom were not successful.
    Based on the preface and first chapters it seems blended learning has really taken off in places where no other viable alternative was available. Schools had to implement a disruptive program because they were operating on a shoe string budget. I feel in the traditional school blended learning isn't going to save our budget, but rather help fill the need of more individualized instruction for students with achievement gaps. We already are in a place of nonconsumption, we have students who are failing, students who aren't making progress. I don't believe using a blended learning model is going to suddenly free up a teacher so they can focus on wraparound services, but I could be wrong. How much time do you spend agonizing when a student fails an assessment over a topic you taught your heart out on? I can't begin to describe all the hands on multi modality lessons I have implemented to help kids understand fractions. When they failed the test, after all the instruction, it's pure mental anguish! Having a set time, plan, and path in place for remediation/ enrichment could alleviate some of the worry we experience. Would that in turn free up some "brain space" to focus on other wraparound services or planning extracurricular activities?
    We need the blended learning model to help us close the achievement gaps that already exist. A teacher will never physically be "free" from their classroom duties. Class size is still one of the first things parents ask about when they visit a school. I believe blended learning will help us deliver better instruction, but it's not going to reduce costs or alleviate physical school problems such as a need for new carpet or cafeteria improvements.

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    1. I agree with your last comment regarding cost reduction. I'm unclear as to the author's argument that online learning will "free-up resources" so that schools may also focus on wrap-around services, improved building facilities, and focus on improving extra-curricular activities. As a teacher, blended-learning will not free up my time. I still have to create lessons, including online material, but now I may be able to work more with individuals and small groups.

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  20. When I started teaching first grade, we just had about 3 or 4 computers per classroom and a computer lab. Thankfully in our elementary school we now have a device for each student, either I-pads or MacBooks. We have the same problem at our school with students not having internet access at home. We tried to have an E-Learning Day where students had school at home and teachers were at school to answer any questions the students might have throughout the day. There were several that had trouble connecting and therefore were not able to complete all assignments. We also have several students that come from a low socioeconomic background. Several of these students are having to focus more on surviving daily than just learning the curriculum. School a lot of times is the only stability they have any more. They enjoy the structure and sense of belonging that they may not be getting anywhere else. I agree that online learning and the disruptive models of blended learning would help teachers to focus on meeting these other needs of the kids. I would love for the kids to have more time for face-to-face mentoring, discussion, enrichment, and role models. Our kids need clean, pleasing environments, nutritious meals, and learning more about health and wellness. I also think it would be great for our school to have more time to work on eliminating bullying and help the kids to become well-rounded individuals.

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    1. Our school is going 1 to 1 this year and I believe E-Learning Days are in our future. I know that many students do not have internet at home and I worry about those kids finishing the assignment. I love that you mentioned that doing this would allow for teachers and schools to focus on meeting other needs. I think that face-to-face mentoring would be a wonderful asset to the high school classroom.

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    2. We implemented eLearning this past year and had some of the same issues. We also allowed for a 2 day make up time on the work of the students were unable to access it at home. The teachers monitored the work that was submitted, and there were some students who simply did not choose to do it. They had to spend recess times making up the work. On the second day, those students chose to work a little harder. It was more of an issue with our parents accepting the changes than it was for the students.

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  21. This chapter firmly reinforced for me the idea that all students must be met where they are, but that doesn't mean repetition and remediation for those who are behind. The methods we are using at the extremes of the performance spectrum are varied, tailored, and connected to the real world. We know they work for students who need assistance and those who need a challenge. Why are we not using them for the students in the middle? Blended learning would seem to me a way to spread those methods across the spectrum.

    I also appreciated the authors' distinguishing of what is sustaining and what is disruptive. Although my anxiety says I prefer sustaining measures, I am excited to explore the disruption of our current system. The time we gain from incorporating online instruction opens so many possibilities for application and adaptation.

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    1. I wanted to comment on your post about staying in and using sustaining measures. I completely agree with you. I was reading the chapter and worried and thought how can we get teachers to use a disruptive blended learning when the word disruptive has such a negative connotation.

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  22. At the beginning of this chapter the authors mentioned that a superintendent from upstate New York felt that blended learning makes a lot of sense for struggling students in under resourced schools. I strongly believe that blended learning is great for many students in all schools. As a special educator, I am able to see on a daily basis how online learning is motivating to all students. I appreciated how the authors gave many real life examples of hybrid models specifically looking at our world of banking. People continue to use branch banking along with ATMs, online banking, and mobile wallets. This just shows that people appreciate and utilize the valuable functions of traditional branch banking along with the new technology of banking. I could see an instant connection to blended learning in the classroom. I feel a hybrid model would be a good place to start in the classroom as it allows for a combination of traditional classroom as well as the benefits of online learning. Educators would be able to try and adjust to using station rotation, lab rotation, and a flipped classroom model. This would give educators and students the chance to get use to their new roles while using blending learning models. The authors stated on page 75, "Nurturing, face-to-face adults are of course critical to children's success, but these models begin to encourage maturity and independence by allowing students to participate in the management of their own learning." This statement emphasizes the value of one-to-one interaction and also focuses on the importance of developing independence as well. I agree with the authors in that future learning environments of middle schools and high schools will look very different from typical classrooms today as blended learning spreads throughout the schools. The authors state on page 81, "As online learning helps students to know, schools should be able to focus increasingly on helping students to do and to be." This statement is very powerful to me as it emphasizes the importance of developing students' independence, skills, and confidence. I look forward to reading the next chapters to find out more about implementing blended learning in the classroom.

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  23. I loved on pg 70 when the author explains the disruptive learning with a hybrid. I think that with what I teach (preschool 3 year olds) and the amount of time that I am with them (2 days a week for 3 hours)...a hybrid is the direction that I would need to go. I could actively involve parents with lessons that are videoed and put on-line that they could refer back to or links to other places to try. Maybe this would build a foundation of blended learning as our private preschool often works with the local elementary school. Making it easier for teachers to have a blended learning environment starting at the kinder level.

    I know with my students being 3...they would need help lots of help learning to navigate the internet...maybe having apps prepared for them to use. Also...our parents pay for the kiddos to come to the "brick and mortar" building so blended learning would need to go outside of the walls after our normal hours. Or maybe I am still having some trouble understanding how to incorporate this into our school.

    Overall...I think a change would be good. As the author puts out there that test scores are "flat" or deteriorating...and have strained budgets...maybe a model like this can change the way not only schools are presented but how kids prefer to learn! I know I have personally noticed that even my own child doesn't love going to school and sitting on the floor or at his desk...but I think that navigating learning on his own he would thrive...but he is that type of child...a "go getter" he could for sure push himself and enrich himself while going above and beyond...but are all kiddos as self motivating?

    I am enjoying this book thus far...It makes me think outside of the box. What could our schools look like!?

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  24. I was surprised to see that this chapter kept stating that the blended model will be mostly seen in the upper grades. As an elementary teacher, I have seen and used many different rotation models of blended learning at the hybrid level, it being used for sustainable innovation. I can see so many benefits of having a blended learning environment and getting closer to a disruptive innovation. One of the challenges my district faces is that most of our students do not have internet access at home. I'd love to use blended learning to truly personalize learning and then focus on being a facilitator in the classroom. I made note from a statement in the book that said using the internet is for students to get to know new information and the face-to-face time with peers and teachers is the discovery time. It would be great to have more time to focus on digging deeper into content and developing critical thinking skills with students.
    Hoping to continue to develop a plan to have a blended learning environment where learning is personalized so that students are having a role in planning, which can definitely free up teacher planning so that we teachers can focus on increasing rigor and also teaching students to be well-rounded individuals.

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    1. My problem with this blended learning in lower grades is motivation. I had many unmotivated students this past year and I worked hard at all times to keep them tuned in and on the move (educationally). I enjoy that part of teaching but feel that for many, internet would still be "game time".

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  25. This chapter begins by citing one of my concerns about desiring “disruptive” learning options. An administrator of a high-performing school (who was not cited by name) commented that blended learning has led to some success in underperforming students or underserved schools, but his methods are working, so he does not see why he should rock the boat. Did you see what I did there? I tied this to the steamship analogy. (Yep, I only write to please myself.) I cannot agree that we should not try new ideas because they may produce even better results, but I do understand his fear, when it seems that the system seems to be used more in non-traditional (aka, underperforming) schools.

    The majority of the success stories in the book seem to have come from schools who are using school-wide or at least large scale/third party programs such as Khan Academy, Apex Learning, and Teach to One. I realize that this is probably the only type of program where adequate data can be gathered, but it leaves me wondering how to access this type of learning material in a traditional classroom. I am not much for abstract notions; I want to learn concrete solutions (and I assume we will get to those later in the book). If this system can work for all (and I do believe in can; I am just playing devil’s advocate), then I would like to see an actual plan of attack for each subject/grade level. My primary concern is locating resources without spending an additional 5 hours per day after school curating Internet sites without plagiarizing, and recording lessons for flipped classes and creating quizzes, while still achieving the differentiating that is built into the predesigned programs. As one poster said last week—INTIMIDATING! I guess I’m seeing this as “use one of these existing programs, or you won’t be able to adequately assess or differentiate.” So I can’t wait to hear more about how these details are managed.

    Because I think the notion of a flipped classroom has received most of the attention in years past, I will add that I heard some teachers walking the halls of the recent PD Ignite conference at Jefferson High School in Lafayette after a session on flipped classrooms. They commented that they could never have a digitally flipped classroom because many students don’t have Internet access at home (even one of the presenters did not have the Internet at home because she lived in a rural area). We cannot just address the digital divide in terms of access to a device, but we must also consider the lack of connection.

    My favorite part of this chapter is captured in the “To Sum Up” section on page 85. It takes the stand that disrupted and blended learning does not actually require more work, but it instead allows teachers more time to form personal and meaningful relationships with students—and this was part of our discussion prompt this week. But, unless one is using a school/district/department wide app and receives sufficient training (something that seems truly lacking), I am not sure how comfortable I feel with the concept. If one is using such an app, I am all in! I selected teaching as a second career because I like the content but love the kiddos. I would relish more time to really help students with their academic struggles, but that rarely happens in a traditional classroom.

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    1. I like that you mentioned the extra work required to check internet sources that have correct and reliable information. That was 1 concern that I have had with using videos and many online resources. I think that it will require extra time, and a lot of extra time for teachers who have been teaching a while and have a set curriculum.

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  26. As I was reading the hybrid model discussion in this chapter I found myself making several annotations.
    First of all, the “Hybrid innovations target existing customers rather than non-consumers” made sense to me. Many of the teachers that I work with in my district are innovators and have created some type of rotation model for their classroom while implementing digitally focused instruction. We also believe in creating students that are critical thinkers: those students that want to “to do” and “to be” (81).
    I also noted the “Hybrid innovations tend to be more complicated to operate than disruptive innovations” (75). I noted the “managing digital devices” and “integrating data across” as 2 points that were highlighted from the first chapter. Transparency and differentiation are vital aspects for the blended learning model, and both of these points although so imperative for instructing to each student as an individual can seem daunting and assessment confusing in our current model of standardized testing, grade level structure, and finance budgeting. I wrote in the margins how frustrating it is as an educator to see that dollar sign cost is at the forefront of most discussions about educating our children.
    Finally, I was most interested in the discussion of A La Carte models for disruptive potential. The fact that several states required this type of course for their diploma was interesting. I was especially interested in knowing more about the Advance Placement course offerings. I teach in the AP classroom and would be interested in the A La Carte program offerings, not to displace my instruction but to use some type of hybrid in creating a blended learning environment in my classroom. I would assume that there is a subscription cost for this “online” course; however, I am curious as to whether there are schools that could use this as a component for the individual rotation portion of a blended learning AP course. Both I and my collaborative teacher use much of our classroom time for small group discussion, Socratics, and individualized conferencing. If an individualized rotation component already existed and was able to provide immediate data, I would be the first to sign up and implement. If anyone else is using Edgenuity software or anything else similar in their AP classroom, please let me know your successes and challenges.

    On an added note, I wanted to see a scan code video for the “Pennsylvania Hybrid Learning Initiative” (79). If anyone found a link to this additional resource let me know, thanks.

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  27. Using laptops in my classroom for the first time this past year, I felt like having the technology in my classroom doubled the amount of time I spent preparing lessons, and took away from the time I could spend really helping my students. After reading this chapter though, I do believe that technology could open the door and allow teachers to spend more time building relationships and a better classroom community. I was trying to use technology to duplicate what I was already doing. Already in the first two chapters, this book is helping me understand that technology should enhance my time with my students, not take away from it. I think it is a combination of both the way I was using technology, and simply because of the transition toward more technology, that was increasing my preparation and instruction time. I do believe it is possible for technology to open the door for school communities to improve, but I believe there also needs to be a transition period with subject specific training for teachers like myself who are struggling with how to blend technology and use it more for instruction and less for duplication of the instruction I already give.

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  28. This chapter seems to indicate, to me at least, that it is inevitable that all classrooms particularly in the high school and middle school levels will have the disruptive style of online learning. While the elementary level may have more of the blended versions. This pattern does seems to be starting in our country.
    I feel it can be a positive effect on education to have a blend of online and teacher based learning. In chapter 2 the authors mention that in some blended learning programs there is a feeling that teachers have been “replaced” and have little to offer learners. However, I agree also with the authors when they state that teachers will now have time for, “Deeper Learning.” I am a special education teacher and tutoring time is very necessary with all of our students. Students also need face-to-face interaction with peers and adults that develop social life skills. This chapter states that teachers will engage in focusing their time on assisting students with “to do and to be” concepts. I’m looking forward to upcoming chapters to see how the role of actual teachers in the classroom is going to be implemented, which the authors mention is going to be one of the main purposes of the remaining chapters.

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  29. While I like the concept of using blended learning to free up more teacher time to focus on struggling learners and enrich higher learners, this could be accomplished with more assistants in the classrooms or "tutors" available. We get a bit of this from Title I but that can't help those not targeted by need. Not everyone can do everything all the time. There is nothing more important then being there to assist students when needed.
    I believe the hybrid form of blended learning is probably best for my second graders. I try some form of this with what is currently referred to as "learning centers". A computer area is there but it is mainly for practice of learned facts. Even that doesn't always work because many of my kiddos came to me able to read at only a kindergarten level.

    I also am concerned about the type of program used to promote the blended learning. Cost is a major factor in our area because as an urban corporation in Indiana, we are losing money at an unbelievable Pace from the state coffers. While this is happening, suburban corporations are getting more and more. Most of those students are higher socio-economic families that can afford computers and internet access. Mine cannot. Help us all see how we can fix this problem.

    I love working in my district because these kids need me, in more ways then one.

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  30. I love how blended learning can be used to free up time for higher level thinking activities. The "Deeper Learning" section of chapter 3 mentions using online learning for core knowledge so that more class time may be used for group projects, Socratic discussions, and hands on activities. Our students need to be able to work with groups, speak, communicate ideas, write, listen, problem solve, and empathize with others. The last line of the section sums it up appropriately, "As online learning helps students to know, schools should be able to focus increasingly on helping students to do and to be."

    I'm struggling to understand the author's argument for how online learning allows schools to "shift resources to other important jobs". IF you read the last point in the "To Sum Up" section on page 85, the author makes it sound like we can have our dream school because of disruptive models of blended learning. I don't understand it. As a teacher, if I incorporate a hybrid model in my classroom, I am still on overload attempting to meet everyone's needs in my classroom and monitor their online learning, as well. How does it free up the money and time for this "model" school? Also, how are they gauging improvements in schools that utilize this method. I hope it is not simply test scores which do not test creative thinking, ability to share ideas, and skills to work with others. I'm hoping this will become clearer as I read future chapters.

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    1. I also don't understand how it frees up money or time by using this model. I think that the most important job is teaching and meeting the needs of the students. I think it would be difficult for teachers to monitor students' learning in this way but hope to learn more in the following chapters.

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  31. I like the idea of utilizing the internet for instruction time and allowing more face-to-face help, motivation and practice in the classroom. However, I am skeptical. As a middle school teacher (and I’m sure it would happen with any age), I am concerned the students wouldn’t watch their lessons on their own time, thus making it much more difficult to move on in the classroom. I would be worried I would further the educational divide with students who do vs. students who do not get their instructions ahead of time.

    I think using a type of hybrid off of the flip model would be great for my choral classes! They could get their introduction to the music, history, and theory on their own time allowing for more rehearsal and practice in the classroom. This would help with the scaffolding of theory and performance. However, as I mentioned before I’d be a bit nervous students wouldn’t get their lessons ahead of time.

    As far as General Music-I like the rotation models. I’m not sure if our building facilities would allow for such an idea-or the structure for the technology for that matter.

    Our school is ready to go 1:1 next year, but us teachers have only had PD days to learn about apps and technolofy-NOT how to integrate it into our classrooms. This is partly why reading this book makes me both nervous and excited at the same time!

    I’m looking forward to further chapters and examples as to how to slowly introduce blended learning and not just adding technology to the mix.

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    1. I agree with you Holly! I have used the flipped model and there are students who do not get the lesson done and come into class and can not participate fully in the leveled lesson. This is especially true for my high school kids! I think with this model--the lesson would have to build from the lesson previous to it in terms of content and the online learning might be in preparation for the next class period?! I am hoping that this issue is addressed later in the book as I truly believe that it is a major pitfall. The one video from Chapter 1 did address the issue somewhat...the Chinese students learned after a while that they needed to be prepared for class and were doing their work ahead of time, which they had stated was new for them. It is possible that they students will not do their work at first but as Chapter 1 states, the program takes time and eventually they might start to become more prepared.

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  32. The question this week is an interesting one based on the chapter. As I started Chapter 1 I thought that Blended Learning would be more plausible in my classroom; even if other classrooms were not participating. As I delved into chapter 2 I began to have the feeling that some Blended Learning was better than none but that in order for there to not be just a disruption in the environment there needed to be more of a whole school adoption. The question I kept asking as I read is- is Blended Learning possible if you're the "only" classroom participating and especially at the high school level. In the past I have used flipped learning where I give students instruct using canvas either with reading, questions, powerpoints,and videos. The students return the next class period ready to apply the learning and participate in an activity. This works really well in utilizing time in the classroom for skills I feels are important to address; the application of content. When reading chapter 1, I felt with the hybrid model of 3 groups: online, direction instruction, and independent/peer work--this would be a great way to utilize class time and to create smaller, differentiated groups to yield better results. However, I was confused in chapter 2 if hybrid was the best answer for high school students. On the one hand, I believe the chapter was eluding to hybrid is better than nothing; however, I got the impression that long term this would not sustain and the "program" would fall away. For me, I believe it can be sustainable. Students in my classroom enjoy when they work outside of the traditional setting of lecture and get to work with others and in small groups. In addition, I would also build in time during the class period or the week to spend whole group to have a discussion or activity that would bring all levels together. I am a little concerned about my IB class who love to have whole group discussions on a regular basis but could see its value in breaking into research interest groups or in writing groups based on skill level. I would be interested to see how everyone else thought about this and if anyone has trying this in an upper level high school classroom?

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  33. I like the idea of utilizing the Internet more often, but I am also realistic and I know that our school has connectivity issues quite often. This would hinder a daily schedule. Our school community is very rural and many do not have Internet access in their homes. They would likely not embrace this concept right away. I could anticipate some resistance and comments as to why are teachers being paid when they are using the Internet for so many lessons. I really related to the analogy about the branch banks. I do not do online banking, and I prefer face to face transactions. I can see this relating to our school community's view as well. I made notes on the page that I would like to possibly try to implement a pilot program of an after school "club" that would allow me to try some of the strategies in the book. Since I teach at the elementary level, I cannot see a full implementation of disruptive learning like I would anticipate at higher levels. I firmly believe, as was stated in the chapter, that a classroom will change before the whole school will. I do see some of our "older generation" of teachers feeling like they are trying to replace them because their methods are becoming obsolete, though that would never be the intention of administration to do that.

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  34. I will admit that I was one of those "this is never going to work" people when we first started talking about going 1:1. The thought of 8-9 year olds having their own laptops made my head hurt. Just going to the computer labs and having them type a simple sentence or two made me want to bang my head against the wall. However, it took me forever to read this chapter because my brain kept wandering, thinking about ways I can incorporate technology into my classroom. While many of the models aren't necessarily appropriate for elementary classrooms, I think we can easily create technology rich classrooms and even work some of the hybrid models into our everyday routine. I think it will be a very long time, if ever, that elementary classrooms will reach the level of the middle/high school just because of the content we teach and the needs of the students.

    I keep coming back to the statement from the first chapter about the purpose of technology and blended learning is to give options to students who don't really have any other options. He said something about where the alternative is nothing. I want to create opportunities for my "high flyers" to get more opportunities while allowing my lower students the opportunity for more remediation all while allowing me more time to focus on the lesson(s) at hand. We switched for math class and began guided math in our grade level last year. We found great success in being able to "level" the students and provide more meaningful instruction. I think having students with their own computers will continue this success. I will be able to utilize remediation websites and give students different options for work each day. It will make creating differentiated activities a little easier and provide more exciting activities for the students each day.

    So after reading this chapter, I have to admit that my opinion on going 1:1 has flipped. I am now excited, and slightly less overwhelmed, at the thought of students having access to computers. While I might start out slowly, I think by the end of the year, my classroom will look very different than it did previously!

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  35. The bulk of this chapter focused so much on the disruptive blended learning models that took away a lot of the face-to-face portions of education. I firmly believe that the in-person interaction between teacher and student and student and student is vital to the process. I was alarmed that it seemed that the authors were advocating solely for the disruptive models, almost to the extent that brick and mortar schools in their traditional sense would go the way. A hybrid model seems like a better option. I guess I want steam and sails.

    The section of ch 2 titled Deeper Learning was interesting to me. It stated that teachers "often tradeoff between making sure students had the core knowledge necessary for these critical activities versus engaging in these activities." Students will always need the core knowledge for deeper learning. Do we really believe that by offering core knowledge online, students will automatically be more interested? Getting all students to complete homework is always a difficult task. Students must take an active role in their education and that requires coming to school prepared. How can teachers move on to critical thinking, collaboration, exploration and creativity if students haven't obtained the core knowledge necessary to participate in these types of activities?

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    1. I really like how you brought up that the students will come to school prepared and be an active part of their learning. It is very difficult to get students to do homework and/or take responsibility for their actions so I see issues with this part of the learning process.

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  36. Using blended techniques in my IB Psychology class can be a great tool. IB already lends itself to discussion and using modern approaches to learning. In my class we often have students read and research approaches and principles of why and how we behave. I like what is says on page 75 when it says hybrid models of blended learning are not noticeably simpler for teachers than the existing system. This is especially true of a teacher has been lecturing for many years and is set in his or her ways. But I remember when using a power point to enhance a lecture was considered innovative. Those teachers used a new technique to enhance the classroom. Today we are using technology, research, platforms such as CANVAS to mix with older techniques to enhance the classroom. We are blending new ideas and making hybrid models ourselves to make enhance learning. Sooo. To answer the question Are all classrooms going to blend???? At some point I think they will. I have evolved from a lecturer to a discussion facilitator. As I read that teachers are often a tutor, hands on project leader or counselor I would say that I have evolved to that point myself.
    On line learning is already becoming blended into classrooms even when teachers don't think that is the case. I watch how many teachers in my department are using various forms of "disruptive models of blended learning" and I am intrigued.
    Earlier comments on motivation do play a part in the discussion. This is particularly the case when it comes to second semester seniors. However I have also experienced that using research and presenting relevant questions on how and why we behave according to principles of psychology can be an interesting assignment which keeps the students interested.

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  37. This is my first year teaching in a district that has traditionally had some of the highest test scores and graduation rates in the county. I came from a school that has seen regular drops in scores over the last decade. There was a sense of urgency in my old school in regards to finding new and better ways to teach and reach the kids who were struggling in the traditional classroom. We implemented our 1:1 program in an attempt to better teacher the 21st century learner. Although it was not perfect the first few year, we were beginning to see improvements. In my new school, this urgency for change does not exist. Many veteran teachers see no need for a 1:1 program (or technology in general) because "what we're doing is obviously working". This mentality has been difficult for me to stomach this year.

    I truly believe that in the near future, all classrooms will be blended in some way. Even the most hesitant teachers will be asked to implement technology as schools move towards better preparing students to be college and career ready. The immediate jump into disruptive innovations, however, is unlikely. I believe that most schools (and educators) will utilize hybrids first. This allows teachers to "get their feet wet" as they learn how to best implement technology in their classrooms. Once educators (and students) are comfortable with a hybrid version, the transition to full blended learning will be much easier to implement and more successful for all parties.

    It is important to remember that technology implementation is not the magic cure for all that ails schools today. Implementation must be meaningful and teachers must receive extensive training on best practices. Unfortunately, today there seems to be little money and time for such training to happen. Many schools are "throwing" computers into student hands and hoping for the best. This simply results in lost money and frustrated teachers.

    Professional development must help and encourage teachers to make a mind-shift. We have to understand that the sole purpose of schools is no longer to be the provider of information. The primary source of content is now at students' fingertips. We need to help teachers understand their role is now about helping students DO something with the content. This mind-shift must also happen in students, parents, and the community before blended learning can truly revolutionize education.

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    1. I agree that technology is not a magic cure. Schools in our state and country are struggling and technology can only be part of the solution. We as educators do need to have the right training and getting everyone on the same page so to speak is easier said than done.

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  38. I see the hybrid idea being the way to go with my classroom. I like that my students will still have the traditional learning mixed in with the technology. I also like the idea of student pacing being at their own level; an easy way to help differentiate. A downside in my mind as I was reading was how easily this can become a heavy burden on teacher's shoulders if not given the proper support and guidance. There are so many other things we have to accomplish in a day and this seems like it will take a lot more of our time. It said adding the technology will free up some of our time to help us give more "physical care" to our students but I can't really see that right now. Hopefully that is something as we become more practiced and seasoned it will be easier.

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  39. Reading Chapter 2 Are All Classrooms going to Blend? was interesting. Teachers in the hybred blended learning will take a passive role in the classroom. But will spend most of their time getting their online lessons ready for their students. At my school we use Canvas. I have spent hours getting my classes (3 different) ready for Canvas. My students are getting use to using Canvas for resources, assignments, and tests. My goal for using Canvas is high quality learning for each and every student. My question, are students motivated to work online at their own pace? Will students complete their homework? What do you do with the group of students will complete all their online assignments? Do you create more assignments for them?

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  40. Online learning and blended learning will be in our classrooms in the near future. Schools may shift resources to other jobs such as mentoring, role models, discussion, and developing students into master creators and innovators. Will we need less teachers if most of the learning is online? Will teachers feel they offer little to enhance the learning of their students? What will teaching look like in the future?

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  41. I know for me personally I would need to start with a hybrid model in my classroom before I fully make the jump. Going off the atmosphere of my school I think it would be hard to implement even a hybrid model school wide. People are so unwilling to change, so until they see it first hand work in their school they aren't going to trust the amazing data in this book to support the hybrid model. Working in a low income school I can see a real advantage to implementing this school wide. Being able to give our students more parental guidance (one of my many teacher hats) would be amazing! I would be able to give them more of the positive attention and advice that they are craving. I also agree that with the implementation of digital learning we are going to be able to pull in more community support. I would love nothing more than to feel like the community is behind me and all the time and effort that we as a whole school/education community are putting into these students. As this book progresses I will be most interested in implementing the hybrid model and seeing how that changes how my student consume my social studies material. I love the face to face part of teaching and being able to tell the stories not located in the textbook, but I also love the idea of students being able to take what I am teaching them and supplement their own learning. This would involve extra online lessons and more project based learning. I can already feel my teacher brain turning itself back on to work some over time this summer.

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  43. I didn't enjoy the section "What is to Become of Schools?" as much as I have the other sections. Perhaps I'm skeptical and too pessimistic, but I wonder what would happen if it becomes apparent that we can deliver quality education with fewer resources. Will those "extra" resources be taken away?

    It's not that I don't think it would be a good idea. I think we could benefit from many of the ideas put forth in the chapter that serve students' non-educational needs.

    On a positive note, I was encouraged by author's words about the target of the disruption: "But the emergence of online learning and some models of blended learning as disruptive technologies does not in any way spell the doom of America's public schools. Notably, the disruption is taking place at the classroom level, not at the classroom level. In that way, Christensen, Horn, and Johnson got it right when they titled their book Disrupting Class, not Disrupting School" (P. 80). Each school has a culture and an importance in the community. I just can't see that structure ever not existing.

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    1. You make some really great points. (Normally I'm the cynic, so I'm happy to see someone else take up the baton!) These are all concerns of my own as well. It's hard to imagine schools that don't function like we're used to. I'm already imagining the backlash from parents if I were to change up my classroom suddenly to something flipped or more blended. I think hybrids are as much about getting everyone (parents, students, teachers, administrations) used to the idea as it is to improve the technology to make the blended classroom really work.

      I did also find them idealistic when it came to creating this bully-free, virtually stress-free environment for students to learn in. Absolutely, that's what we would love schools to be. But I think any time you get more than 5 different personalities in a room together, there is bound to be conflict.

      In summary, I see what you mean with your points. :)

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  44. Is it possible to use blended learning models to free up traditional instruction time for other educational purposes? Absolutely! If meaningful in the approach, blended learning models such as the flipped classroom can be used to provide quality instruction (to students) outside of the traditional classroom setting. That traditional classroom instructional time can be used to reinforce learning goals through project-based, critical thinking, problem solving, and/or applied learning activities.

    The meaningful integration of technology into the classroom enhances the blended learning experience. While the disruptive model is great for recovering credits and alternative approaches for “getting students through,” it's not sustainable in the broader k-12 environment due to its lack of interaction and guidance in the learning process. The success of the hybrid model of blended learning lays in the approach to technology. Technology should not be used just to being using technology. It should be meaningful and purposeful in its integration--good blended learning lends itself to purposeful integration that positively impacts student learning.

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  45. In response to the question, yes, I believe a form of blended learning can be achieved in most schools. However, I will say that this blended learning may not be what is best for all schools. I will also say that this idea will be slow to catch. You cannot go from a complete brick and mortar type classroom to a technology rich, blended classroom over night. In the school I work for, we have nearly 800 students who are sharing/fighting for time in 3 computer labs. Between our MANY testing times, it doesn't leave much time for us to use the labs for any type of long-term use. So, while I think the idea is great, I don't see it happening anytime soon.
    I do like the idea of a "hybrid" classroom. I could see this idea being used as a bridge from our old traditional classrooms to the new blended classrooms. If I had the technology available to me, I would love to incorporate more of a hybrid classroom into my curriculum.
    The one thing I worry about when reading this book, is the fall-out of the relationships that are built between teacher/trusted adult and students. Some of our students really don't have a great home life, and I would hate for the blended classroom to take time away from interactions with a teacher/role-model. Some of my students crave the positive attention they receive from me. I know that some might argue the fact that students may get more attention if using the correct blended model. I am on the fence with this topic and would love to know what you think. Will blended instruction take away from building student/teacher relationships?

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  46. During the first chapter, I had a lot of anxiety about how I could change my traditional, technology-rich classroom in a blended classroom. It's daunting. But this chapter, and the idea of making it hybrid, was actually a huge help. I think to some extent, a lot of classrooms are moving toward this hybrid approach. At one point in the chapter, they made a point to say that hybrid classrooms are more challenging because you have to be an expert not only with traditional teaching, but with the technology as well. And I think that's true, but I don't think it's as much of a hardship as he makes it out to be. I think my generation (I'm 25) grew up in both of these worlds. I grew up in traditional classrooms, but I also grew up knowing how to use a lot of this technology now available for classes. I think that presents some interesting opportunities for younger teachers, like me, to fully integrate this technology into the classroom.

    I would love to see my time freed up in my classroom to work more one-on-one with the kids. That's a huge part of why I became a teacher. I want to be able to look over their essays and help them make revisions. I love watching the creative process as they put their words on paper, but I spend a lot of my time focused on other things. It would be really awesome if a flipped classroom or a hybrid blended learning classroom could bring about these changes. I hadn't thought about it so much from this angle with the first chapter. I'll be interested to read more about how this works.

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  47. This chapter gave me mixed feelings. It is scary when they bring up how online learning could be replacing face-to-face learning. I think that for the best interest of the children/students, this should never happen. The face-to-face learning and interaction with a teacher (and classmates!) is very important for so many reasons. No technology can replace it, but can definitely help enrich it (and vice versa). I’ve read a few other comments, and have seen other references to the quote on page 81, “online learning helps students to know, schools should be able to focus increasingly on helping students to do and to be.” This stuck out to me the most in this chapter, and I highlighted it immediately when I read. We need to not only present information to our students, but teach them how to understand, apply, and how to be successful. Having technology aide us, we can focus more on the whole child and I believe it will help us to build better relationships with each student as an individual. I would LOVE to have more time in small groups or one-on-one face-to-face with my kindergartners. Our relationship with students is just as (or maybe even more in primary) important than the curriculum. As I’ve been seeing commercials for the IN online pre-K program, it makes me crazy. I cannot fathom this being very beneficial since social interaction and play is such a HUGE part of pre-K. My son is 4 and will be heading into his second year of preschool in the fall. I chose to send him to preschool more for social development than academic, and he has grown immensely having the social interaction of his peers and teachers.

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    1. Jamie: At least the definition of blended learning is that it MUST have a face-to-face component. Technology is a TOOL. I took a lot of my own college courses fully online, but I felt I was mature enough to know those in which I needed a face-to-face component. I knew I needed to hear French to learn it (and not some canned recording, but live and interactive lessons). I even knew that an online option with synchronous classes would not do it for me. I needed to be forced to interact and respond constantly in French instead of hiding behind my avatar. I felt the same about math. If I didn't understand something, I wanted instantaneous help. There were times when my entire class looked like deer in headlights, at which point the teacher could realize she might have missed a step or something. Again, I realize all this can be done online, but I didn't even have a camera on my computer at the time. More than anything else, I worry that we are losing our personal communication skills, and they were already in need of help, long before the tech revolution. Pre-K online? WHAT? School may be the first time some kids experience another adult, culture, lifestyle. So many of kids in schools (at all ages) NEED to have contact with a mentor, to realize that all adults may not behave as they see at home.

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    2. I teach 8th grade, and I'm not sure that most of my students are responsible enough to do the work on their own. Extracurriculars take up so much of their time. At this age, they have so many questions that they need the face to face time with the teacher. I'm hoping to learn a lot from the content of the book and other's thoughts on here.

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    3. Dustin: I also wonder how these programs seem to be working well for schools that seem to deal with more than the average level of academic achievement. Is it just because kids are allowed to be on the computer that they magically change their poor study habits into success? Is it because they are deciding what to do instead of being told what to do? Like you, I do not find that attitude to be prevalent in middle school (OK, let's face it, or high school) in most classes. It seems that the students who were already self-motivated would continue to be, but what would entice students who have established their satisfaction with failing grades? I watched 6 classes of middle school students in an online reading intervention program just ignore the assignment for most of the class, and others who rushed through it in 10 minutes and spent the next 80 minutes playing games. I can't imagine if they had the opportunity to do this at home, or the media center or public library or study hall, would be any more conscientious. But I'm willing to be proven wrong--happy, in fact, to learn that there might be a motivational factor that works.

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    4. That is true, Brenda... at least we are included in the blended model. And to you both, I thought the same about the student motivation when working on their own when I was reading the first chapter and watching all of those videos. What about those lower, hard to reach, unmotivated students? I teach kindergarten, so I don't see much, if any, of that. But I can't imagine middle and high schoolers...

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  48. This chapter highlighted all the different modes that blended learning can be used successfully. As an elementary tech coach, I think the hybrid model is a great starting point for our district. We are almost 1:1 and my goal as a tech coach is to help teachers successfully integrate technology in their everyday curriculum. I feel that my freeing up some of the teacher's time using technology in rotations, educators will have more ease working one on one with more struggling learners or create/find content for their high ability population. The books states that at an elementary level achieving anything more than a hybrid model of blending learning would be difficult or a small amount of success. I still feel that at elementary school, students are still learning how to interact with one another, how to follow basic rules (wait your turn, stand in line, ect..) and it would be hard to expect a 5-6 year old to gain most of their instruction via a video. Technology has a place in current curriculum and should be explored.

    I would have never thought about how using technology could free up funds for the school's other focus-child safety. More and more students come to school without proper clothing, adequate food, or poor hygiene. Many students receive most of their meals at school. By creating the opportunity to have kids be ready to learn by helping them meet their needs, schools can then help educate students to have a positive impact on the world.

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  49. I agree that education is evolving and will certainly look different ten years from now. I love the idea of using technology to provide a means for deeper understanding and to allow teachers to utilize their classroom time more efficiently. Technology becomes a vehicle for students to learn how to learn, find, process, and evaluate information. In chapter one, I felt like this book was a giant advertisement for blended schools. I was troubled by the rigid structure of the blended settings. I was somewhat relieved to read chapter two and find that the hybrid notion incorporates the old with the new, where teachers can determine how technology will be incorporated into their classrooms. I think that most blended or hybrid models can work effectively, as long as we have good teachers at the helm. Teachers will need time to explore and find their own connections with technology to make it an effective tool. We need to be careful that this isn't just a simple substitution, but an even better means for educating our students. Professional development, mentors, and teacher networks will be vital for this change to occur effectively.
    I don’t want to lose sight of teacher professionalism and the ability to produce highly effective work. I worry that too much technology without teacher training and involvement will undermine the most powerful force in a classroom: the teacher. I would be curious to get the opinions of teachers within these blended settings. Sure, test scores are increasing, but are they treated as professionals? Do they get to determine what is best for their students? How do they know that their students are really grasping the information enough to transfer it to another situation? We need to hear from these teachers, outside of a two-minute advertising blip, to get a more accurate picture.

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  50. So many thoughts going around the brain. With longer chunks of time happening at our school next year, I see possibilities in expanding blended learning. Do not want to lose my station rotation but can see days where there can be individual rotation.

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  51. After week 1 & 2 reading, I realized I was using Blended Learning ,this year in sixth grade. I utilized the rotation method in my 90 minute block. The benefits were that it allowed me to work in small groups regularly for more direct skill base instruction. Students were able to then become stronger and more confident in their own learning . I had the opportunity to work in a Reggio- Emilio inspired school so bringing that student driven learning to my public school, was assisted through chromebooks.

    Once our routines were established I was a facilitator providing additional feedback and lessons for support. Students learned to drive questions, discussions through collaboration. Programs such as NOREDINK allowed students to progress at their own level of mastery. So while some students were working on adjectives others were mastering active and passive voice.

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  52. I enjoyed reading this chapter because it made me start to think about how we need to support teachers as things start to evolve. One thing that is certain to me is that teachers are going to needs LOTS of time to adjust to a blended classroom.

    If I was still in the classroom I would be very excited to attempt to flip it. I think that a flipped classroom would really lend itself well to engaging students and developing a deeper sense of knowledge. But how do we get to that point? What does a teacher need in the classroom to make it happen? video camera, presentation software, microphone, extra time, editing capabilities??? How will they learn to use all of these things? What kind of support will administration give to those teachers willing to try these new methods out?

    I truly believe that a blended classroom is a fantastic way to teach and learn in today's world, but what is the first step in getting there?

    I am looking forward to the rest of the book.

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    1. Totally agree with you! The support teachers will need to be able to make this happen will take time and support. Where does this all come from?

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  53. I did not enjoy this chapter. It didn't hold my interest as much as Chapter 1. My fear is canned lessons that are used year after year, and eventually getting rid of the classroom teacher. I love our new one to one technology in my school but believe a more gradual approach is prudent. Education seems to jump on and off bandwagons every five or six years. It gets old.

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  54. I found this chapter to be very intriguing. Education within the classroom is definitely an evolving process. I completely agree that classrooms need to incorporate a more blended learning environment. However, I do have a few concerns when transitioning to a completely blended learning environment. I am an elementary teacher and fear that incorporating a blended learning environment to lower level grades may become too much for the students to handle. Blended learning environments will have a great impact on high school, middle school, and even upper elementary grades, but will just need a little more time and patience will need to be involved to incorporate it at first to second grade students. I also fear that some students may get lost in the scuffle of things when it comes to blended learning environments. I have had the experience of working with several students who could not handle the freedom of blended learning. Given the opportunity to complete assignments at their own pace and learn through their own methods of learning may not be suitable to all students. I students that I have personally worked with simply not complete the assignments.
    I do love the concept that teachers will be allowed to focus more on non-academic skills that are vital to the growth and development of children. I filled a long term sub position this past year and the school I was at focused on character count traits. I feel that allowing teachers more time to focus on traits such as trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, etc. will help the students become more well rounded individuals.

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  55. Chapter 2 gives a good overall view of blended learning. I don't feel that it is trying to replace face-to-face altogether but significantly. After watching the video, the concept reminded me of the Montessori method of teaching. I'm interested to see how assessment and grades are given. I also agree that face-to-face is extremely important especially in the primary grades where Students want and need that interaction with their teachers.

    I do see the need for online learning but at what expense? Is there a happy medium? I don't want to be replaced and would like to feel that a teacher still enhances learning and is the main mentor of learners. I am interested in getting more from this book.

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  56. This chapter was a struggle to get through at times. I was concerned that the author was trying to say that giving the students an online program for learning was the only way to move forward but the chapter went on it became clear that the disruptive learning focuses on each student working at his/her own pace.

    It is important to remember that blending instruction takes time and effort by both teachers, administrators and needs support from the parents and students. Changing the mindset of the public from the "traditional classroom" to one that is blended will be slow to evolve. As the chapter stated, fitting the disruptive learning into the "egg crate-shaped" schools will take longer than it might if there are those who don't embrace the change. Teachers can not be expected to use technology if we do not receive adequate training. Trainings can't be just a quick overview and then you figure out the rest, which I feel happens most of the time.

    Since I teach special needs students, it is vital for me to have the face-to-face time wi my students. I am concerned that a disruptive environment will not be the best solution for my students. I am looking forward to blending my classroom more over the next few years.

    I am looking forward to the next chapter.

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  57. My thoughts on blended learning being able to shift the focus from being the knowledge source to being able to provide further services is that it was almost relieving. I believe it will take a lot of preparation time to find the sources from which you want your students to gain their knowledge but at the same time once you do that will free up more time to make the connections and provide the support you so badly want to give your students. I have felt that I have lost that ability with all of the other demands of the classroom. It would be so nice to get back the time to really get to know my students establish a rapport with them and be able to support them in ways that are not strictly academic. At first I was unsure of the goal of services that the brick and mortar school would provide; it almost made me feel as if we'd be glorified babysitters. But when you really think about it we'd be able to see more of the whole person our students are by being able to spend time providing services that we don't have the time for now and in turn be able to help them more to develop into the future successful people we want them to be.

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  58. I really really like the idea of blended learning. It would be awesome to have students come in to class after watching videos and other things on the internet. Here is the problem that I see with blended learning. I think in order for this to work it would almost have to be a school wide or district wide initiative. The biggest thing I see is students will not do the outside classroom work. Well most of the students. I would love the idea of being able to have more discussion and more informed students without having to show the videos or other things. The problem would be if students don't do the extra work teachers would fail those students and that would cause a problem the good old are you teaching question when really the students are just not doing the work. I would love to teach this way but I cant see it as a viable possibility.

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  59. I actually preferred reading Chapter 2 to the Intro and Chapter 1. I could easily understand the comparisons of the Steam/Sailing ships, the Hybrid cars concept, and the banking industry. I fully think that Hybrid learning is the way to go. We get the best of both methods, classroom teaching and discussion with the use of some internet based material. It is pretty humorous that they use the term DISRUPTIVE learning. We as educators, when we think of disruptions we normally think negative thoughts, and some times it is warranted. Technology does change and adapt with use and misuse by students and staff.
    I am still NOT a fan of the flipped classroom that encourages students to do most of the learning of new material outside of the classroom. If you have highly motivated students or an AP type class that is above the level of normal mandatory classes, you will be insured that students will make or find time to complete the flipped curriculum on THEIR own time outside of the school day. Students who are not highly motivated or who have to take the normal core 40 classes needed for graduation are less likely to complete flipped curriculum. Disruptions & responsibilities will always take the attention away from homework, projects, and videos needed to be viewed. I am a firm believer in NOT assigning the bulk of learning curriculum as Homework. If you look at the best students in a graduating class....They are the one's who are involved in numerous clubs, activities, athletics, & fine arts. Yes, they know how to manage their time better than most students, but they are also the most stressed when it is the end of the semester.
    I like the discussions I have read through some of the posts, that echo many of our experienced teachers concerns. Is this the newest trend? Will this Last? Will this get replaced by something else in 2-3 years...before we can master this, and get comfortable with it? We have seen numerous Learning Management Systems in the last 5-10 years. Moodle, My Big Campus, & Canvas. It looks like Canvas is the best of the three, but what is coming next to replace this. We are spending how many educational dollars to train and encourage Teachers to get comfortable and use the different LMS's.

    What is to become of schools??? I liked that the authors found many good reasons to keep Brick and Mortar school and encourage school systems to find good ways to use blended education. I agree the Internet is Awesome, but it should never replace Brick and Mortar schools. There are still many educational reasons why certain communities are viewed as more desirable to purchase property than other area's of the city,county, & state. If school districts cannot fund to keep up the Brick & Mortar school buildings, they will never be able to fund technology programs that are SUCCESSFUL.

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    1. Steve, I did not get the sense that brick and mortar schools would be on the way out because of all this. I think that no matter what happens with changing schools, there is always going to be a need for a physical location.

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    2. Steve, thank you for your post. Your comments about the best students in a class being the most involved in activities and the most stressed hit home. My daughter just completed her freshman year of college and made the Dean's List both semesters. When anyone asks her about college being difficult, she replies that it really was easier than her senior year of high school. She is very driven and likes to be productive and busy, but without many of the leadership roles and time she donated to various organizations and extra-curricular activities, she says her time feels less pressured.

      I also share your views on the flipped classroom. I can see it being used part of the week, but when it is used everyday it becomes a problem for our super-involved students and for students who struggle with Internet connections at home. My daughter had the perk of going to school with me late at night when our Internet was slow to watch the videos, and we did this many times. I hear other students complain about videos taking two or three times as long to watch at home because of slow Internet, but they don't have the ability to come to school between 9 pm - midnight to do homework assignments. Sometimes I hear teachers say, "Students can watch the videos during study hall." Until the second semester of her senior year, my daughter didn't put a study hall in her schedule because she wanted the AP classes and many elective classes that she thought would help her in college or that matched her interests. Many students prefer the face-to-face time with a teacher, so I would be willing to use "flipped" lessons only on a limited basis.

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  60. I feel like the amount of parent support has rapidly declined in the last couple of years. Because of this, I think it would be difficult to get the results I expect in the classroom without the brick and mortar schools. We are not all 1:1 in our corporation, and each teacher has different rules about when the devices can be taken home. I believe that rotations are great! I use them every week in reading, and I would love to incorporate them into other aspects of the curriculum. This chapter really got me anxious to implement new ideas for next year.

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    1. I agree about the parental support. The question I see from students and parents is "More work at home so there's more work at school?" I'm interested in getting into into the implementation chapters of the book because a hybrid approach is the only one I see working at my public school.

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    2. I agree, Dustin. I can't see our school ready for a truly "blended" type of instruction. We would certainly need to start with a hybrid. I think for blended instruction to actually happen, the entire corporation would have to buy in and the change would have to come from the administration; not that we- as teachers- can't implement some hybrid form of blended learning in our own classrooms. I think that teacher training programs are going to have to "rethink" how teachers are trained (maybe they already are doing that), but I feel like I would need a lot of coaching in order to truly implement blended learning.

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  62. My name is Juliette Lucas. I am listing my name since I cannot get Google to show my name. I followed the log into google directions and my profile does show my name.

    Regarding the book .. I agree with others it would definitely need to be school system widely implemented program. What I can see as a definite potential benefit: areas with high turn over. I worked in an IPS school with a high turn over rate. I started a year with 22 students and finished the year with 23. Only 10 were in the original 22! It was very fluid and as a classroom teacher difficult to keep up with getting each student started partially thru the year. In a blended system however with students working a their own pace I think would work well for this situation.

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    1. I think that this is what the authors are talking about when they talk about disruption working most effectively when there are no other options for students. The book says "Successful disruptive innovations do not challenge the incumbent system head on; instead they find an alternative market that values them for what they are." I think that quote encompasses the same situation that you are describing. I agree that this would probably be beneficial for students in that situation. I also agree that you must have administrative support for fully implementing this type of model in your school. I think that disruptive innovation can work in an isolated setting, as exemplified by the Acton Academy whose student roster sits around 30 students, but I think that they are probably successful because they are implementing these ideas wall to wall.

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  63. This chapter got me thinking a lot. The quote that got my attention was "Traditional educators see the emergence of online learning but are hesitant to adopt it in its pure form because it does not the needs of their mainstream students as well as the traditional classroom does." I think this describes me to a tee! I am a very traditional educator and like a lot of face to face interaction with my students...which in my opinion is super important with today's youth....you have to develop a relationship with each of them. In addition, I like a lot of paper and pencil practice. Within the last few years, our district has done an outstanding job offering technology/online PD and I have been able to implement it into my classroom instruction. So I am on a tight rope because I feel that what has worked and what I have been doing over the past 16 years, has proved effective with kids scoring and achieving highly.
    So I think this is great to learn about hybrids. I do think that allowing my students to participate outside of the classroom and doing online work will free up more class room (face to face) time where kids can interact and use the target language in more applicable situations.

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    1. I do like that this book realizes that there is not a one-size-fits-all approach. I do agree with you that many students can and do learn in that traditional way, so why change that? I am curious about the possibility of having a classroom where students have options. So the group who wants the teacher to remain the "sage on the stage" can still have that, while others have an option to spend some time in self-driven online learning. So many possibilities!

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    2. I agree with you that face time is important, but I think that the authors are arguing that the disruptive innovation that can be used as a content delivery tool is providing teachers with more time and opportunities to increase the amount and quality of the face time that they have with students. I understand your concern about jumping in headlong, though, especially when you are able to see your students succeed with current methods.

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    3. Yes totally agree! Part of it might be a fear of "change" on my part! This book will be very helpful for me and others who are creatures of habit!

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  64. I would like to believe it is possible eventually. I do have the fear that the initial implementation could take a lot of time and resources; therein would lie the growing pains. Extra PD time could definitely help. I have used student-driven online programs, and even though students can drive the direction of them somewhat, teacher time is also involved to help guide students, and sometimes to even keep students on task. I would like to know more about what programs successfully blended schools are using, especially those that really do free up teacher time for other important tasks. I am committed to remain positive, so I do have the hope that all of this blending will get easier, sooner than later, that free time to allocate toward other important tasks will happen.

    I can definitely see the benefits of freeing up time to mentor students, especially those at high risk of failure. I often say that I would love to reach every student, but with "bell to bell teaching", it is very difficult to fully engage with every student as I would like. I would also like more time to catch those students who are in fear of failure, especially those who are just unmotivated, and intervene to help them pass and become successful.

    With school choice options right now, and the money following students who move to other corporations, I am excited about the opportunities that blended learning could bring for increased enrollment, especially in small rural, often shrinking, corporations. If our classrooms are more engaging, fun, and increasing learning, people are going to take notice and want to send their kids to us!

    I loved what I read in this chapter about allowing the online component to work with the basic skills, so students and teachers would have more time for creativity and critical thinking. That would eliminate a lot of the drudgery and bring back the passion and engagement for students and teachers alike!

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  65. I enjoyed this chapter. With Chapter 1, I was a little hestiate about the idea of blended learning and having students stare at a screen all day. Chapter 2 reinforces the idea of that blended learning, but recongnizes the importance of face-to-face nurturing.

    As the book states, teachers no longer have to be the "sage on stage". I loved the other suggestions the authors give: We could use our time as tutors, discussion facilitators project leaders or even counselors.

    Another point that this chapter makes is that blended learning can help the student to do and to be. I love the idea of focusing on the whole being of the student. Many school, such as my own, don't always have the resources to offer a student everything they may need. This would be one way to accomplish that.

    My concern? What to do with unmovtivated students? Self-guided or self-learning just doesn't work sometimes. I am interested to see if this book will address these types of issues.

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  66. I think that using the internet for more and even increasingly diversified instruction is possible, but will take a lot of prep work. Without a pre-packaged curriculum, creating finding or creating internet videos, assembling presentations (Slides, Prezi, etc.), and other methods will take time (which is already at a premium for many of us). There is also a fear that, despite all your efforts, students will simply not do the work. However, I believe it is worth the effort to help students learn to take responsibility for their own education.

    As students move beyond our school facilities and out into college and the workforce, they will be faced with even more technology and personal responsibility. Part of our job is to help prepare them for this inevitability. Resisting technology innovation because it’s daunting and at times outside my comfort zone benefits no-one.

    I’m not advocating an all-or-nothing approach. Transitioning into a new learning model will take some time and will have an adjustment period (probably a really rough adjustment period), but the potential for positive outcomes for students is too great to ignore. Besides, I’ve found that one of the best ways to keep my own teaching fresh is to try something new each year.

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  67. I was very interested in the distinction that the book made between hybrids being a supportive innovation rather than a true disruption of a given industry. I think that hybrids have a very important role to play, specifically during a period of transition that may take place from a traditional structure of learning to a truly disruptive form of learning. I think that many of our models are functioning currently as hybrid formats, and that very few have completely fulfilled the definition of disruptive, and, in many cases, the definition of blended learning presented by the authors. I found several parts of the chapter that prompted me to ask some questions. I would welcome any opinions from you all on them:
    1) In chapter two, the authors state that there are important caveats to consider about the application and impact of blended learning at different grade levels, specifically that disruptive practices will be more prevalent and impact students in high school and middle school more heavily. The question I was left asking was "what ways would be most beneficial to implement these ideas into an elementary setting?" I am aware of several types of online instruction for young students that allow them to work at their own pace and pursue differing interests within a common framework, and I think that they are really great, but I am left wondering if it would be better to employ the hybrid format of blended learning at the lower grade levels in order to focus on foundation skills and teaching learners how to learn.
    2)The chapter says that the emergence of online learning does not spell the doom of America's public schools. I couldn't help but wonder if that is really true. In every other example the authors provide, the people at the forefront of innovation and the creators of hybrids are the people who come out defunct at the end of the disruption. What is to say, then, that schools won't eventually meet the same fate? I am not playing doomsayer or devil's advocate, but it seems as though the more we shift the focus of how content delivery functions to more and more online resources, the less need there will be for teachers and staff in the brick and mortar schools. I am always surprised to hear people claim that the reason that our country is losing so many jobs is due to people from other nations doing those jobs. It has been my experience that the true enemy of job sustainability is not other people, but rather it is automation and innovation. If a machine or robot can do the same job more efficiently, reliably, and cost effectively, then the person who does that job is obsolete. I just think that the ultimate goal of disruption is to do things in a better way, and that may see the brick and mortar schools going the way of those who did not embrace the steamboat. What do you think about it?
    3) I think that disruptive technology can be an incredible motivational tool for students to develop intrinsic interest in the learning process. I also think that it requires a shift for the teacher to probe the students' thinking to push them to learn required material. What examples have you seen of this?

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  68. After reading chapter 2, I think a hybrid model would work best in my classroom (and school). With teaching both science and English I would lean towards flipping my classroom more with science and doing rotations with English. I also have been questioning how can I rearrange my classroom to make it so students are working more in groups or working together to solve problems together.

    A few years ago, my schools schedule had all the 6th grade teachers having a study hall/homeroom period at the end of the day. I felt this was a great way to make connections with students, help those students who still had questions and ease the transition for students (and parents) from elementary to middle school. After reading this chapter, I miss having this time with a group of students that I could help, do enrichment activities with etc.

    As a parent of a middle school kiddo who is involved in after school activities, manages her time wisely (and can stress out over school), I worry about the number of teachers/classes she may have in the future that "flip" their classroom. There is only so much time at night to accomplish stuff. Perhaps flipping the classroom doesn't happen everyday or does it? This was just a thought as a parent when I read chapter 2.

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    1. Holly, I am with you on the hybrid model. Even though most of my post was about disruptive models, I think most teachers like a hybrid model. I also have a home room period. It is only once a week, but during that time I get to do other life skills types of things with them and I think it is good.

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    2. Our school (last year) began the PBIS program for giving students incentives for displaying positive behavior and giving less focus to the consequences of bad behavior. One component of our program was that every teacher in the 9 - 12 setting was given one class period a day (shorter in duration) to work with a core group of 20 students. We kept these 20 students all year and were the personal advocates for them. We monitored their grades, helped with homework, and taught life skills and lessons on positive behavior (power, wisdom, respect, right choices, etc.). Additionally, we played board games and cards. We used adult coloring books while alpha mind music and soft lighting filled the classroom. We played with tinker toys, Legos, Playdoh, and Japanese origami. We built things out of "stuff." Since this was our first year with this program, I already have a different game play for my specific group next year (more play, more teacher led discussions, the creation of an "all about me" personal book, and some basic skills such as tying a tie, proper introductions how to give a good handshake), and the overall rule of LESS COMPUTER TIME will guide everything. They will use their Chrome books for directed research (for example their color choices and the meanings behind them), to check grades, and sometimes for a "group on-line game, but overall we will use our hands for physical manipulatives not keypad manipulation! I may teach them how to make a CHEWING GUM CHAIN. Do any of you other "mature" teachers remember those?

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  69. I think that using the internet to allow schools to focus on other things that would help the community is a novel idea, but I don’t really see how it would work. I like to think that my primary job is to help my students learn, and I know that I fill other roles at the school to like coach, mentor .etc. But, how to we shift more of the instruction and stuff to the computer and still insure that kids are getting a quality education? Furthermore, the chapter talked about school filling more of a “parental” role in the lives of the students with this approach. Where is the line on that one? I understand the idea that you have to fulfill basic needs before you can devote yourself to learning. Students need to be rested, be fed, and feel safe before they can give themselves over to the process of learning, but is it my job to be that child’s father too? I think this could work in my community in the way of providing more things for kids to do outside the school day and other things like helping parents with filling out forms and stuff for college and assistance and things, but I don’t know how comfortable I am going any further than that. And if we do shift more resources to online learning what happens if the other part of the equation is not done right? Or what is right? I know I am asking a lot of questions here- but this question is challenging for me philosophically.
    On another note, one of the things that stood out to me the most in the chapter was the idea of a “pure disruption”. I know that in my last post I talked about how I liked the A La Carte Model and the Enriched Virtual Model, and I liked the idea in chapter two when it said that, “Pure disruptions are not focused on the job of keeping students in their seats for the prescribed number of minutes [and or days]” (75). If we are going to change education for the better we have to start by letting go of arbitrary roles that have nothing to do with student learning. Why must every student be in school 180 days? Like tailoring their weekly schedule, why can’t we use a disruptive model and tailor the entire school year? The statement at the end of the page 81 also stuck with me when it said, “As online learning helps students to know, schools should be able to focus increasingly on helping students to do and to be”. This sounded a lot like project based learning to me, and I am a big fan.

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  70. If these trends are going to free up school resources and teacher-time for other important school functions, I do wonder how our colleges/universities will have to alter their teacher preparation programs. As an administrator, I'm left to wonder what changes we will see when interviewing potential candidates. I began teaching in August of 1999, and my university courses were already stressing the importance of being the "guide on the side", and not the "sage on the stage", so this concept is nothing new. I just wonder if teacher preparation will focus more on these "other important school functions" rather than content knowledge and the methodologies on how to relay that knowledge through instruction, since instruction will mainly be delivered through an online source, according to the models from the book. It seems as though a truly effective student teaching experience will need to be completed in a classroom setting where these blended styles will already be in use...but how many will there be? I also think about how many local school boards will have the foresight and, for lack of a better term, the guts to begin implementing these strategies. Not the hybrid models that are already being used in schools today, but the actual disruptive innovations that this chapter talks about. These school board members will not have been educated in this way themselves, so when push comes to shove, will they actually begin to allow these kinds of blended methods to be financed and used in their schools? Will they, and the community as a whole, be "ok" with teachers performing tasks that are now more aligned with counselors and social workers, rather than being in charge of the actual instruction?

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    1. I have been thinking about teacher preparation myself. I got my license only 2 years ago, but I am already uncomfortable that I could not possibly know the 40-50 apps that were introduced at a recent PD conference. Yes, we don't have to know them all, but there seems little to know time to REALLY learn the best practices of any of them, starting with learning all the ins-and-outs of the school's LMS instead of just using it in a basic way. I know the answer is to jump in, learn on the fly, take time--but I am not in agreement that is the best options (for teacher learning OR student learning). I did not take a 4-year education undergrad; I was an English undergrad and did a transition to teach program. I can avow that there was not a single course that involved technology. I would be much more prepared today if I had 6 courses in technology options, and none in psychology or pedagogy. I hope that all programs--4 year as well as T2T are now including LMS instruction (at least Google and Canvas), and multiple courses on a variety of tech that will be useful in classrooms (of course, those classes will have to change every year--or even every semester--to keep up with the changes). I know I would feel much better prepared if I had that instruction.

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  71. I think it's absolutely possible to integrate more technology and internet use to better the use of teacher instructional time within the classroom. However, as I think many will agree, it is difficult to shift our thinking and instruction when that isn't something we are always used to. I am used to spending quite a bit of time in front of my class and for some texts and lessons, it will be hard for me to shift my thinking to something totally different.

    Because I work in a middle school setting, I think it's important to start shifting our classes to a more student-centered classroom. There are several teachers in my building who use centers, which is similar to station-rotation that is described in the book. Others use a lot more project-based learning. I think once students get more involved in their own education in a way that is more accessible to them, it will be a lot easier to meet with smaller groups and facilitate that process.

    As a language arts teacher, I think the hybrid model would work best for my classroom. I like the idea of having a lot of different instructional approaches based on what we are digging into that day. I have seen the negative impact of integrating technology in other classrooms, so I am really trying to integrate technology with intent and purpose instead of just a replacement. As I start to shift more towards a blended classroom, I will refer back to all of the models that were provided in this chapter. The tables and descriptions that were provided were really helpful.

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  72. I liked the fact that this chapter really broke down the meaning of blended learning. All of this time, I have definitely perceived blended learning as a combination of teaching styles with technology-enriched instruction. I liked the highlights of introducing hybrid blended learning strategies. I am heavily leaning toward introducing stations in my classroom. I currently teach 7th and 8th grade math with two periods where our special education teachers push in and co-teach with me. I do feel like stations would work for these classrooms specifically. We currently use ALEKS for our students in the smaller class that need the extra support. My biggest concern is that this could be costly. What programs and how do we incorporate technology instruction without the use of more funds? I know the book doesn't begin explaining ways that we could implement these strategies into our classrooms until later chapters, but I have struggled trying to see how this could work in my classroom based off of their definition of blended learning.

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  73. I do believe teacher time will be redirected as we move to blended learning, and to insure that this redirection is positive, there needs to be a commitment to protect teachers' roles in a blended learning environment. It is important that qualified, certified instructors continue to be a component of blended learning as opposed to persons who fill a position but may not have the educational background to be the face to face part of the blended learning. I see this as a hazard and a trade-off that will quickly lead to a break down of what Horn and Staker promote. Many school districts are willing to make an educational sacrifice to save money. Blended learning as Horn and Baker propose truly requires highly qualified teachers who can provide individualized face to face instruction to create deeper learning aa well as explain to a struggling student what the online instruction does not.

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    1. I agree. And not only certified teachers but teachers offering the instruction in their area of expertise. I know of one teacher who served in a credit recovery setting. Students were taking every kind of course imaginable. She was CLUELESS with the math components and not strong in the ELA areas. However, the system could honestly say that the setting was led by a certified teacher.

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    2. Well said, Tammy, and unfortunately, this seems to be happening more frequently as our school system struggles with money issues. I know there would never be 100% agreement about what to cut and where, but some decisions the past couple of years have led to public outcry in our corporation. This year a third party is to do a study to help guide future decisions. Looking forward to the results even as I know it most likely won't be easy to take all of the suggestions.

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    3. Our district has on online program to recover credits and it is monitored by an instructional assistant. This year we were lucky to have a very qualified person able to really engage students but she is leaving. We could basically end up getting someone not in education with no experience working with struggling students. This has happened in the past and really diminishes the program itself.

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  74. As most have noted, blended learning is not a "one-size-fits-all" method for teaching. I teach middle school and have about 10% of students who would be self-motivated enough to handle the all the responsibilities that come with online learning on their own. However, most of my kiddos are not mature enough to take the initiative to do much work on their own. I know of some teachers who are trying to implement this and are getting quite a bit of resistance from parents. When the students do not keep up the pace with the out of class videos or readings in flipped classrooms, often teachers are blamed for not teaching. Perhaps in time this method of instruction will become more accepted, but right now parents want teachers to interact with their children one on one as often as possible. It will be interesting to watch this evolve. I know 25 years ago I thought schools would be obsolete by 2020, and all students would be learning from their homes. While this works for some, the majority are still in brick and mortar classrooms. I'm not sure if this a good or bad thing.

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    1. Online learning does need a great deal of parental support (as does traditional learning). We have had some resistance to it in my school community as well. It is important, especially at the elementary level, for parents to monitor students and include themselves in this new learning process. Online/blended learning won't be going away anytime soon so hopefully we will start seeing a more widespread acceptance in the near future.

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    2. I agree with you on the majority of what you've said. Learning in general is not a "one size fits all" concept. While the flexibility that teachers have when involving online learning, it is also hard to get all students to buy in to what is going on. I taught sophomores, and I can attest that about 10% of the students actually have the maturity to hold themselves accountable and take initiative on their own.

      Heather: In the community that I teach in, I have support from parents on both ends of the spectrum - some too much, some not at all. Online learning, I think, is definitely going to bring parents back into the fold to help us as teachers effectively incorporate online learning. Not just for learning, but assuring that safe practices are being used when learning online.

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  75. I'm back. I love waiting a day and then going back and reading everyone's posts. How powerful to have so many perspectives helping us to see things from every angle.

    Another things that comes to my mind is the content on the internet itself when thinking about using one-to-one instruction (not through blended learning) for tasks, research, documentation publishing, drills, exercises, interactive instruction, videos, film clips, etc. SO OFTEN THE SOURCES ONE FINDS ARE JUST WRONG! I always begin by demonstrating how easily one can find erroneous information on the web. This year I started with MLA which revised to its 8th edition. Very, very few of the resources in a general search were doing the MLA citations correctly. This is just one of many examples. My students were doing research about what the climax of a particular story could be. While they found several plausible and supportable possibilities, some were ludicrous! I know my job here is to teach them how to discern the difference. I get that. But, this makes me wonder about the curriculum adopted for blended learning. Without working through the program literally screen by screen, how can we TRUST that the information is accurate? I'm not talking about the occasional typo that slips through on any program, but flat out information that isn't correct? And it is even more worrisome to think that some corporations would try to save money by just using the computer's searched resources for each concept.

    Course my favorite thing to do is to demonstrate to students who easily it is to edit Wikipedia with false information. I usually make some individual who is really famous graduate from our school and married to me! Sometimes it is caught very quickly and edited within a few hours...sometimes not. Be aware, the device that does this bogus editing will be block from the cite for a specified amount of time. It's just fun to show the kids the way things can be manipulated.

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    1. ...and now I notice several typos in my post!
      I love when the universe teaches us a lesson.

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  76. I believe that changing the the instruction time and having teachers be able to help students with other resources besides instruction seems like a wonderful dream. I think that those students who struggle might get lost by this model. What happens when the students don't have the opportunity or internet access at home. Or what happens when they just don't view the material?

    I believe the extra time and being able to connect with the students on a level and talk with them about bullying, being a respectable person, manners, etc. would be a wonderful addition and great to do in the classroom, but everything is structured now that I am not sure how.

    I liked that it talked about a report of a school using the Rotation blended-learning model and it raised the student's performance by 8 percentile points. I found this to be insightful, because my school seems to struggle with math scores.

    I also was struck with the "As online learning helps students to know, schools should be able to focus increasingly on helping students to do and to be." I think that schools fall short on teaching the students "How" to be an adult. We are very concerned with the students knowing the information. I wish schools had more time for this. I know that, that is what Blended learning suggests, but I am not sure that having students view the information on their own is the best, especially for those low students.

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    1. I agree. You really have to have strong motivated students to really benefit from the independent learning that the online programs offer

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    2. I also agree that students have to be self-motivated. Many teachers use this an excuse as to why independent online learning will fail for most. However, I see it as challenge to find ways to help students become self-motivated, especially since this is what we want them to do in life. If I can ever find a quick and easy way to develop self-motivation, I will be sure to share it. In the meantime, I recognize that their are self-motivated students who would benefit from blended learning. Now, my question becomes, how can we provide a blended learning environment for some but not others?

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  77. I'm still not sure I could apply many of these ideas at our school. We don't have laptops or iPads. The students are not allowed on the wifi as it cannot handle many people being on it. I'm also concerned about when they would watch the outside of class video. Some students have jobs, sports, etc. I don't want to go home and do a ton of extra work, why do we think they do. I prefer to use my class time wisely and get it all done in class. I will be interested to see more about practical application.

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  78. I am not sure how I feel about sending third graders out on the internet. While our school has a ton of filters, etc., it seems that our kids always can end up where they shouldn't be. Sending them to do on line learning while I am attending to other tasks seems like a bad idea. I am comfortable having them on line when I am there focused on them. However, app learning learning is something different.
    Another piece is that third grade students need a lot of support. I need to be working with small groups or with individuals. Another big part for me is that most of my students do not need the types of support that were discussed in the chapter. All of my students have basic needs met and very rarely does the school need to get involved in home life.

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  79. I can see where the changing teacher role in the blending learning environment could be beneficial to the learning process. Blended learning, such as in the disruptive model, allows the teacher to be more of a tutor, project leader and counselor to the students. These roles are certainly very valuable. Having teachers available to support, enrich and mentor students would definitely benefit a school community. This model also allows for students to work at their own pace which is beneficial.

    One important thing that was noted in the chapter was that the disruptive model is more suited for MS/HS classrooms at this point. Tutoring in certain subject areas and the reduced number of minutes in a school day could drive the need for the disruptive model in the elementary school setting.

    If blended learning programs are implementing in a high quality approach, breakthrough improvements can happen in the traditional classroom setting. Additional services from counseling to arts classes can be offered with arrival of online learning.

    Once faculty understand that online content is not a way to replace them but rather a way to help them enhance and mentor learners, high quality implementations can occur.

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  80. I do think that it is possible to use the internet for teaching content and direct face-to-face teacher instruction elsewhere and I am excited by this prospect. I have an academically diverse class, as I'm sure a lot of us do, and it is exciting to me that we can better differentiate learning and realize a reduction in the learning gap we are seeing in our classrooms.

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  81. I really appreciated the focus of hybrids in the second chapter. The idea of hybrids is great for teachers for multiple reasons -
    1. every teacher has to find his/her own way of doing things in their classroom. While I love the idea of a flipped classroom, it is not realistic to use that model full force with the students that I have in my classroom.
    2. while every teacher needing to find his/her own way of running their classroom, every class learns differently also. Skill level, learning speed, student personalities, etc. all play a role in HOW a class learns. Any kind of hybrid blended learning model would allow little tweaks to cater to each class's learning style.

    I can definitely see myself using a hybrid model of blended learning in my classroom. I would really like to implement a flipped classroom, but (with the students that I had last school year, at least) I would not be able to incorporate it full force. I would still need a little bit of group instruction at the beginning of class to make sure that everyone was close to being on the same page; incorporating small stations, additional instructional videos in class, even small group instruction would benefit students. For me, I would use the majority of my time in my actual classroom to help students practice the skills they learn in the online classroom.

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    1. I also liked the discussion of hybrids in this chapter. I agree about the flipped classroom. I can't see most of my students being disciplined enough to follow through on any internet instruction. I think I also can see myself using a hybrid model of blended learning. And like you, I would love to be able to use most of my class time to help students practice and apply the skills they learn in an online environment.

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  82. I may struggle with this response, I was typing some really good thoughts and hit the back button and erased everything, how frustrating. I love the idea of the hybrid classroom I think students could benefit from online learning in the idea that they can find different examples that help them, not just the one way a teacher may teach it. When a student is struggling with a math concept or any concept how much time to teachers really have to stop everything and reteach something? By using Khan academy or other online resources, students can start to teach themselves, they can find resources that best suit themselves, they can stop, start and restart a lesson until they understand. Teachers at my school have 45 minutes a day in which they see students, take away the 15-20 days a year in which they don't get their students due to testing or other events that take them away. It's not enough time in the day to "teach" students what they need to know. If we could get parents and the community on board to have students teach themselves in a away by using online resources and use teacher time to help students with examples, I think things could turn around. Sadly, many students at my school never take anything home(besides their iPad, gotta play those games all night), parents do not care if their child fail all of their classes, and don't have reliable internet. While I think the idea is great, some schools and areas will find it hard if not impossible to implement. If there is no support at home and no one to make them do anything, it's a waste of time and money.

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  83. Reading through this chapter, I am not really sure how I feel. I am on my last 5-6 years of teaching. I have had young, new teachers come into the school with their new idea, and have tried to incorporate many of their ideas into my classroom. I love technology. I know it has its place in our world now. However, all technology is not good. Students think that everything they find on the internet is/can be true. I have had students look up answers on the internet, solve problems for math, etc. How is this helping them to learn? That is my biggest fear… We give them a flipped classroom, showing then what they want to learn by watching a video, or do stations.. .and most of the students know they can go online and download Math Papa, or Symbolab Math Solver and it will work the problems out for you. I had a parent show me an app on her phone, you just put the scanner over the math question and it gives you the answer and shows you step by step solution. I know students can use this for book learned lessons too.
    I do flip my classroom occasionally, but I have had several parents complain about it. Maybe because their son or daughter didn’t understand what I was doing. I explained that when they come back into the classroom it gives me more time to go over things with them, that they didn’t understand. I also don’t have the most motivated students who can handle this. Even on our e-learning days, I have many students who don’t bother checking the assignment, or ask for help as I stay online for my required hours.
    I know technology and our “style” of teaching will be changing over the next few years. I will accept and try my best to give the education to my students that they deserve. I just don’t think letting them learn it all through the internet is a good idea.

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  84. I love the whole idea of using technology in the classroom but I feel that we learn one thing and it's great but then by the time we really master it we are on to something new. There are so many great uses of technology I just find it hard to keep up and really have the time to dig deep and discover all the uses of a particular program. I am a 10-12 resource teacher and all of my students struggle especially with motivation. They definitely respond to online programs but they also need a lot of support so they do not get off task and start looking on you tube etc. Our district does not have a way to block other programs so a lot of the teaching going on is actually babysitting so students actually stay in the program they are supposed to be on.

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  85. When I think about the examples the authors gave regarding the ships, cars and computers, it is very true competition was left out and money was lost because the companies were not as innovative. What concerns me, though, is that our students are not money and profits and they are missing out. For some of them, it can mean the difference of graduation or not, college or not, future jobs or not. As an administrator, I know my job is to find innovate ways to meet my students' needs, and I know technology is a great resource to help.

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  86. Hybrid models of blended learning make the most sense to me. A truly disruptive innovation would seem to cheat students. No parent would be happy with a year that made their student "miss out" or fall behind in any way, and I dont' think my school would be happy with that either. After all, scores are published in the newspaper, and teachers feel the pressure and responsibility of giving each student the best year possible. I am more comfortable with the hybrid solution - "which promises the 'best of both worlds' - the advantages of the traditional classroom, combined with the benefits of online learning. The concerning part for teachers is the authors' warning that hybrid models are more difficult because expertise in both the traditional model and the digital devices are necessary.

    One sentence that jumped out at me was on page 83: "Among the most important characteristics of these schools is that they are warm, caring places where teachers and principals form parental-like bonds with students." Southwood is a small, rural school, and I think this is certainly true in many cases. It is impossible to form this kind of bond with every student, but I think my school does offer a warm, caring place for many of our students. This is a role that traditional schools have that is important and that we sometimes don't get credit for from lawmakers.

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  87. In my opinion implementing blended learning is possible but as pointed out in the book, it can be a disruptive innovation. Teachers and administrators have to develop a new mindset, one with which many of them are unfamiliar. As a member of an “older” teaching staff, many of our educators use the model of “sage on the stage” and everyone stays on the same lesson. This was the model with which they learned and it is comfortable to them. When they think of the online learning portion of blended learning, some view it with the hope that they will be provided the content including practice, quizzes and tests and can sit back and watch. Others are dismayed that they are not instructing the students and often comment “they don’t teach it the way I do.” Meanwhile, those who do see the value of blended learning are frustrated and overwhelmed at the thought of having to design an effective and efficient learning process.

    As pointed out in chapter 2, typically more middle and high school classrooms implement blended learning. However, it is often the elementary teacher who is better equipped to handle a less traditional instructional format. Most elementary teachers are comfortable with groups, learning stations, and lab rotations. It is easier for them to to offer a variety. I think that my background and training as an elementary teacher benefited me greatly as I moved to teaching content in grades 7 - 12. My experience includes creating learning stations, teaching and taking classes using mastery learning, and designing sections of a course that were presented entirely online. To me, blended learning seems a natural step in the evolution of education.

    Additionally in my roles as academic coach and robotics coach, I know I cannot simply teach my team members. The subjects and topics we need to cover are usually more advanced than what is taught in their classrooms. Therefore, I must support, enrich, and mentor the students. Our brighter and more motivated students already know the content is out there somewhere online. They just want help in finding it and guidance in using it. It astounds me that I am told, almost on a weekly basis, that the learning experiences I am providing is the first time they have learned something new (and interesting) this year.

    I embrace the concept of blended learning. Unfortunately, many of my colleagues cannot look beyond the level of disruption and the amount of work teaching in a blended learning environment requires. And, I am a person who thrives in at atmosphere of collaboration. While some schools may be able move to a complete blended learning environment, I can only hope that, as a corporation, we will be able to take well-planned baby steps before I retire within the next few years.

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  88. Certainly, with blended learning models, instruction can be delivered via the computer and online materials. During the first year of 1:1, I was able to try out this option. For the upper level Spanish classes that I thought, the possibilities were endless: students were able to view websites that I had reviewed for them to learn a particular topic, students viewed a pre-recorded lesson I have created; students were able to learn using an online language program that our language department was able to purchase. Along with the instruction delivered via the computer, students then were able to practice a particular skill on a selected website. While some of the instruction time was assigned for home, there was also some class time designated for it. Finally, students were able to do application assignments and performance assessments individually or in groups. Having instruction via the computer certainly freed up more time for “deeper learning”. Did I feel like the computer and online instruction was replacing me? Honestly, I did not. While I was certainly doing less face-to-face lecturing, I was as busy or busier, designing, planning, reviewing material, assisting students individually, and most of all, I was creating more meaningful assessments and evaluating students’ performance. Moreover, students seemed to have enjoyed more the face-to-face time, which means more students paying better attention and remaining motivated. As many other readers in this book club, I still however remain intrigued and have yet to get more training and practice on allowing more personalized learning where students can progress more at their own pace. I have no doubt that the technology we have available today in the classroom can help us be better teachers and deliver better instruction to more (or even all) our students effectively. It however takes some risk taking and patience. Aren’t those prevalent traits of the teaching profession anyway?

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    1. Thanks for sharing what you have done. It does take patience and the willingness to take risks. It is so easy to continue to teach as one has always done- change is hard. Your example is one I will use to help others that that step to incorporate blended learning in their classrooms. As an educator, I would rather spend my time designing and planning, than hours of grading.

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  89. I think hybrids are sustaining more so than disruptive. The brick-and mortar schools have a permanent place in our community. On-line learning may be great but students will need the resource person to help when information is not understood. I see technology as a way to introduce and enhance learning but not as the primary source of their education.
    The electric cars had great success for the older population. I can see hybrid models being disruptive to a select population but not all students. Most students desire some type of interaction as they learn.
    Freeing my time to help students in other areas is a noble idea but is it realistic? Do all teachers want to act as a guardian for their students? Teachers already do a lot of what was suggested in the chapter. We bring snacks for those who are hungry. Clothes are kept just in case they are needed and we mentor students with home issues. I do not want to be a counselor, maintenance person, or parent to my students. I want to be an effective teacher. Letting go would be hard for me.

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  90. Interesting chapter title. That is a great question for us to ponder and continue to dive into. I believe that for me personally that blended learning will be a sustaining innovation that will definitely improve my classroom. More and more we as educators are mandated that our students perform at higher levels than the previous year. Hybrid innovations do seem at this point to be more complicated, but hopefully by the end of this book I will be ready to jump in and have it up and running before school starts.i absolutely love watching students achie, so it's thrilling to think that so much progress could be seen within a single school year. I have gained a lot of insight by reading many of the responses on the blog, too.

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  91. I enjoyed reading the historical parallels of disruptions, examples including the boating and car industries. How to best incorporate blended learning is the crossroads that educators, parents, and students face today. What a multitude of strategies and ideas schools are trying across the country, I found it fascinating!

    A thought I had after reading and thinking about chapter two is the notion that blended learning is not just about doing what is best for the child now but keeping in mind what learning is going to be like long term.
    Think about how you solve problems as an adult in the workplace or at home. This week I was interested in trimming the grass along the sidewalk, driveway, and patio properly. I searched the internet, found some YouTube videos and collected ideas. Then I tried it out! It did not look right so I went back to the internet and watched more videos, learned more about my machine from the owner's manual, and then tried again. My point is that I properly used the internet to learn something new and acquire a skill. Today's young learners also need digital skills to learn and flourish.

    Students need these opportunities in school to solve basic and even complex problems. They need practice in using the internet effectively and teachers need to guide them when they are stuck. Students need to feel comfortable using online resources to maximize their learning.

    This brings me back to thinking about how to incorporate a rotational blended learning model in my classroom. I will have to spend some time upfront early in the school year teaching my class how to use the online resources effectively as there will likely be a learning curve for all involved. I greatly look forward to this challenge and feel it will have a lasting benefit to the students I teach.

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  92. I have thought for a while about ways I could shift more instruction away from the classroom, and have considered flipping the classroom. I think it would be awesome if this could work because then I could devote more time to in class labs (I teach chemistry), or in class problem solving which I think would be beneficial to most students. My major concern with this idea is that I always have students who do not do anything outside of the classroom whether it be homework or reading assignments. The students who did not do the online instruction part before class would not have the knowledge necessary to continue forward during class, and would be left even further behind. How do those of you who already use a flipped classroom deal with the students who didn't do what they were supposed to do? How do you make sure that they don't fall further behind?

    There is a part of this chapter that I had issues with, and I'm not sure that I'm reading the intent of the authors correctly, but on page 82 it states that "Such deficiencies in the basic care of children are horrifying to parents but often overlooked, as educators are compelled to prioritize the job of imparting content and instruction. As schools shift more of the management of content and instruction to the Internet, they will have the opportunity to refocus and devote more time and resources to providing world-class physical care." Although I certainly agree that basic human needs must come before a child is ready to learn, the entire purpose of our education system is to educate the child, and that this must continually be kept in the forefront of everything that we do.

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  93. Is it just me, or does anyone else think that students spend TOO MUCH time on the internet already? Kids, teens, and adults are on their phone (facebook, texting, blogging, etc) so much that people are beginning to develop an inability to show appropriate behavior when they interact with people in person. Adults are lacking in proper social skills and can't communicate clearly without being misunderstood. Maybe I am missing something, but I think students should be DOING. Why shove them - yet again - onto a computer to learn about butterflies when we can take students outside and observe them in person (for example)? Even us teachers are lock inside a building all day long and want to go outside to get fresh air. As a music teacher, my students are doing - not sitting in front of a computer screen all day. Technology can be implemented, especially when creating music because there are lots of cool software programs that allow students to create full orchestral pieces on sheet music. But is that really where we want to go? More instruction on tablets and computers? Just think about it...if every teacher of every subject uses technology for 50% of their instruction, and students are on their personally smartphones and computers for 90% of their free time, they are literally spending more time (in a 24 hour period) being disconnected from the world and real life.

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  94. This week’s reading hit home with me when I read that Disrupting Class pointed out that computers have been in the classrooms for several decades with very little impact on learning. Teaching and learning are very similar over the years. This brought to mind all the technology that we have in our building. This technology is so under-utilized, and hasn’t made the impact on student learning that it could have. We have to change our mindset on how we teach. When we see the conclusions and impact in RAND’s report, it would be in the best interest of our students to change our mindset and embrace blended learning.

    I like the components of the Flex model. In reading, I was trying to imagine how a classroom would look like using this model. How as a coach, could I help a teacher embrace this model? It is like flipping a classroom, and that takes a lot of risk and change to do.

    I do think that any model of blended learning would allow the teacher to address the varying needs of students. Differentiation could be realized and students could make progress.

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  95. This all seems a little daunting to me. I think a hybrid model would work best for me. My school would have trouble with a flipped classroom as many families do not have access to internet in their homes. I found it a little worrisome that they are talking about freeing up time and using some of it to be more like second parents. Sometimes I already feel like I am parenting these kids. Except that I can't really do that with the restrictions that are placed on us. There is always the worry that someone will take offense at my parenting. As a teacher of young children I do teach more of the life skills than other teachers. It seems as though those life skills are taking up more and more time that should be used on academics. I agree that it is sad when students do not get this support at home, but my job isn't supposed to be their parent but their teacher. The roles do overlap a little, but shouldn't completely.

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  96. I can see blended classrooms, freeing up more time to provide physical care and social services for more students. A lot of my time is spent listening to my students. They seem to want to talk to someone who cares about them. They want a mother or grandmother figure. As the book states, "doing these things alone is not a guarantee to improve student outcomes", but it can not hurt. If we are helping with the basic needs, this will help students focus. Plus it will help build relationships that can possibly motivate the students to work.

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  97. As I was reading Chapter 2, I kept thinking about the reference to a Toyota Prius, and the Tesla. It was mentioned in the chapter that the electric/gasoline powered car was embraced mostly by an older audience, but I don't think that is necessarily true. I spend some of my time in LA, and hybrids are huge in that city. The biggest consumer of the hybrid car in that city is anything but an older consumer. These are the young, hip consumers who want to cut down on emissions and do more to help our environment.

    My point? Maybe in some parts of the country, the hybrid is used with an audience who values their limitations, but this car works best in a culture that can make the most of what it has to offer. Why is this hybrid working in LA, but maybe isn't quite as popular in Chicago?

    While learning about the Blended Learning classroom, it is more and more apparent to me that we need understand why the hybrid was created, and why parts of the idea might work well with an individual school. There is no right or wrong way to approach this - it depends on the needs of your district.

    When I started online banking, I didn't jump right in. I was cautious and wanted to see just how this new way of banking could benefit me. At first, I couldn't deposit a check, but I could pay my bills online -which was extremely helpful. Once the model became familiar to me, then changes began to occur, and check deposit was added to the benefits of online banking. It was a process, and it did take some time to learn about the best fit. Maybe a hybrid is going to be the best fit for your school - maybe it won't be. But our educators know the needs of their students, and if our educators learn about innovative teaching practices, then a model (disruptive or hybrid) will emerge.

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  98. I teach in a traditional classroom setting during the school year, and I teach an online economics course during the summer. As I'm reading this book, I continue to compare these types of blended learning to the different courses I teach. Though the book explains how the hybrid examples can be more complex, I see the hybrid examples fitting more easily and being more successful our school.
    I like the idea of the flipped classroom. It would free up class time for more application of materials and less lecture. However, teaching second semester seniors requires some adjustment in lesson planning. In the second semester, more of the work needs to be completed in the classroom because second semester seniors are taking very little work home with them. If I want them to learn, I have to figure out how to present a majority of the material in class.

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  99. In chapter two, I found the hybrid discussion to be almost a relief. It was like a confirmation that, yes, education is changing, but there will always be a need for caring and talented professional teachers to guide students. The emphasis on hybrids demonstrated how we can ease into blended learning. In my most recent teaching assignment, my corporation was never on the forefront of what's "new" in education. We cautiously watch how our neighboring corporation adopts whiteboards, goes 1:1, etc., then we follow later. I agree with the authors that a large reason for this is the desire to preserve the best of the old and marry it with the excitement of the new. The problem with this approach is what the authors explain on p. 75. "Hybrid innovations tend to be more complicated to operate..." I guess it's like easing into a cold swimming pool slowly or pulling off a sticky band-aid slowly. If you just jump in the pool or rip of the band-aid, it's shocking for a minute, but there's no going back! When we slowly implement blended learning, it will require expertise in the traditional teaching style and the online style until we become comfortable enough to mesh them together into the one blended style.

    Also in chapter two, I loved the concept of blended learning classrooms providing more face time for adults and students to solve problems together. This is dependent on students doing their homework at home, which is easier said than done, but it is a good thing for which to strive. The concept that I don't necessarily see happening is the impact that will carry over to non-academic areas of school. On p. 82, we read, "As schools shift more of the management of content and instruction to the Internet, they will have the opportunity to refocus and devote more time and resources to providing world-class physical care." This page references rodent droppings in some Chicago schools' food service areas. Is the person making food service decisions going to be affected by the way teachers are presenting information in a blended manner? I'm not sure. I guess the authors would argue that the administrators would possibly have more time to devote to managing food service issues like this because online management of content and instruction is freeing their schedules. I think this is a stretch.

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  100. My favorite quote was the same as many of you have stated, "As online learning helps students to know, schools should be able to focus increasingly on helping students to do and to be." This caught my attention; how many times have a wished I could go further and deeper with a topic or an issue, but because of time constraints just cannot get there. I agree that with the core skills being taught online, teachers' jobs can move toward helping students apply the knowledge and skills. I feel that to move toward this model of learning I would need a lot of coaching. I can read a book and watch videos, but there is nothing like having a real coach at your side- I guess just like the students learning on line still need the face-to-face teacher time to guide them in applying their knowledge.

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