What's going to happen here today?
You will experience Blended Learning for yourself as you learn about it.
You will view videos and take online notes.
You can choose to watch the videos in any order you like. You may pause, rewind, review etc.
You will begin to create your first Blended Learning lesson using some free online tools and a little help from me.
You will be working at your own pace and can ask for help if/or when you need it.
Let's get started!
Please watch these three videos that I have selected for you and complete the viewing guide below.
Ready to make your first video?
Maybe you are like me, and you're a little camera shy. No problem, you can make your own original slideshows instead of filming yourself, or if that seems too hard right now, you can simply search online and "borrow" other people's videos to use for your online lesson. Just remember to give credit where credit is due and not to charge money for any of this borrowed content. Below, are the free online tools I use to create my video tutorials. There are links to tutorials showing how to use the tools, but feel free to just jump in and start if you like. Click around and see what happens and I'll come around to help if you need it.
prezi.com is my go to website for creating the backbone of my tutorials. It makes preparing a dynamic, animated slideshow presentation super simple. It is NOT complicated like PowerPoint.
The image to the left will lead you to a tutorial sharing the basics on creating a Prezi.
After I create my prezi. I launch Screencast-o-matic and record my voice narrating the prezi. I do it this way because it's simple and it's free. If you are concerned with perfection then this is probably not the best tool for you because it's not so easy to edit if you make a mistake. I just had to get over it. As the "Common Hurdles" video stated above, my live lessons weren't perfect either (sigh). The image on the right will lead you to a brief tutorial about using screencast-o-matic.
This website allows you to take pre-existing videos and add your own questions and comments to personalize them and make them more interactive. Your students will interact with the content rather than just being passive viewers. Edpuzzle is a wonderful time saver. Since there is already so much great content available online, you don't have to make your own videos if you don't want to.
The last step is to publish your video into a format that is easily accessible to students on their phones, tablets or computers. I chose to use youtube because screencast-o-matic will publish to your youtube account with just one click. Youtube videos have urls that you can share with your students by posting them on your website or onto schooloop etc. The image to the left will link to a how to on creating a youtube account.
What to do with all that classtime
The reason why I decided to try to flip my classroom was that I wanted to increase engagement and participation. I was sure that I was not reaching every student in my class and I certainly was not differentiating instruction effectively for them. I wanted to be able to teach my class in small groups but I didn't want to teach the same lesson 5 times per period. My videos could take care of that and freed me to be able to do guided practice, conversations in Spanish, interventions, reteaching, etc within a small group. More details here. So, what do you want to do with your classtime?
Blended learning is not just about making a video and posting it online. It's not magic. What are the types of activities that you never have time for? What kind of higher order thinking skills would you like your students to engage in? What kind of learners do you want your students to become? These are the questions that I'm still searching for answers to myself, but those answers are what will take our teaching to the next level.
Thank you so much for letting me share the little bit I've learned so far and please share your discoveries with me in the future.
Teresita E. Romero