Why it seems that blended learning will become a number one trend in education in the next two years? According to NMC Horizon Report: 2015 Higher Education Edition“blended approaches were most successful in ‘unbundling’ the classroom — students felt that instructors were more accessible when learning materials and discussion forums were placed online and there was altogether more persistent communication through the use of virtual learning environments”.
What drives to this? The expansion of social and multimedia use, for sure. Students begin to rely more heavily on their mobile devices for accessing and participating in course activities. They are willing to contribute anywhere and anytime it is convenient for them. The second important fact why going blended is getting more practice time in class, which is a critical component for student success.
Blended learning stands for a variety of pedagogical approaches using multiple formats and instructional tools. In this post I will present a simple process of preparing lesson for blended learning using a Learning map.Learning map is a very simple tool that enables you to create a perfect blend of content/resources and student activities/collaboration for online purposes.
“I don’t have time to develop materials for my students and why re-inventing the wheel if lots of learning materials are already available through different sources.”
You’re right. On the web there are about 127.000.000 results about Solar system, for example. There are videos, images, pdf, etc. So why would you create another resource about Solar system. Well the only reason I create something “new” is because, I want to help my students to get the information quicker, to understand the information, not just giving them a list of links, that they can’t make head nor tail of them. And besides that, I want to give them a feeling that the material is addressing them.
New technologies allows us to create beautiful multimedia lessons by searching and importing existing content from multiple sources in one single place and share them with just one link. But here comes the most important part – how to put these contents together? Do we just gather links and perhaps content titles in a single place (see picture below) or do we curate the content?
Content curation comes from bloggers and online publishers when they collect links, share brief extracts from the content, add their own commentary and publish everything in a blog post. I especially like this quote by Stephanie Buck “A curator ingests, analyzes and contextualizes web content and information of a particular nature onto a platform or into a format we can understand.” We could use the same philosophy when creating lessons using existing content. Let’s have a look at a simple example below, showing content curation by using a Learning map. Learning map is a perfect tool for creating interactive lessons with existing digital content.
Constantly emerging social media that are changing our ways of getting information also have a big impact on how we learn and what is more important, on how our students want to learn. Technology becomes a constant in their lives, unfortunately also for social interactions. That’s why I’ve decided to dig inside Computer supported collaborative learning (CSCL) theory and present a possible tool that supports creative thinking and collaboration capabilities. But first some basics about CSCL.