A Blended Learning Cohort – A Professional Development Model for Schools
An Analysis of our two day kickoff
Are you excited about the impact that blended learning has on student learning? Are you on board with the current research on the positive impacts of blended learning? If so, you may be looking for a way to train teachers and colleagues. There are sites that get thrown around in conversation (Khan Academy may be the most common) and tools that get referenced (e.g., edpuzzle, newsela, etc.) but the training around what teachers should be doing with these platforms and tools in many cases is what is lagging behind. To fill that void, Graded – The American School of Sao Paulo decided to host a Blended Learning Cohort that will not only increase the learning for a small cohort of teachers, but also share out their learning at their Innovate 2015 Conference in March. The cohort included:
- 1 Facilitator (Mark Engstrom– co-author of this post)
- 1 Teaching and Learning Coach (Ange Molony– co-author of this post)
- 10 Teachers
The structure for the two day workshop
The workshop was set up for teachers of all levels of experience with blended learning (including zero). It was also designed to model a blended learning format and therefor the learning experiences throughout the two day workshop were varied- much like a true blended learning classroom. Some teachers left with blended lesson plans while others made strides on blending complete units.
At the end of the first day these are some of the goals and ideas that participants shared:
Take a look at the presentation below to get an idea about the process (and progress!) that was made by all.
Remember, when organizing a workshop like this it is vital that participants are given time to explore. The workshop itself should be blended!
Amplifying/enhancing the learning through social media
We directly benefited from our twitter use throughout the workshop. A colleague in Brasilia joined our discussion and suggested we look at Nearpod. Our sixth grade science teacher then spent the rest of the two days implementing the new tool to her classroom! Additionally, the facilitator sent out a list of technology tools that teachers use to blend instructions and before he shared it with those in the workshop, he tweeted it out. When we looked at it in the workshop fifteen minutes later, twenty-five people were on the document looking at our list of resources. Over the next few months the cohort will continue to meet and share out their progress as well as look at ways to solve any problems that may have arisen.
This blog post first appeared on http://gradedblendedlearning.blogspot.com.br/ and was put together by Mark Engstrom (Blended Learning Designer- @markaengstrom) and Ange Molony (Teaching and Learning Coach- @angemolony) and as part of the follow up to Graded- The American School of Sao Paulo’s Innovate Cohorts Kickoff on September 5-6, 2014.