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Teaching in a Blended Environment. Jill French. Who am I?. Masters of Educational Technology through UBC (2005) I teach grade 5 using a blended environment guiding question is always: which technology best supports my students’ learning ( high/low )

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Teaching in a Blended Environment

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Teaching in a blended environment

Teaching in a

Blended Environment

Jill French

Who am i

Who am I?

  • Masters of Educational Technology through UBC (2005)

  • I teach grade 5 using a blended environment

  • guiding question is always: which technology best supports my students’ learning (high/low)

  • goal: to use technology purposefully & seamlessly throughout the day

What is a blended learning environment

What is a blended learning environment?

  • face-to-face + computer mediated learning (Charles Graham)

Why use digital technology in the classroom

Why use digital technology in the classroom?

  • changes is society

    • online Connectivity Conference 2007

  • changes in learning

  • leads to some changes in teaching practices

Benefits i have noticed

Benefits I Have Noticed

  • engagement levels

  • access to experts

  • transparency

  • independent learning skills

  • new ways to teach, model, extend student learning

Challenges i have encountered

Challenges I Have Encountered

  • time

    • classroom

    • personal learning

  • sufficient equipment

  • reliable equipment

  • technology support (everyone busy)

  • displacement of other resources

  • using computers in diverse ways

Classroom support online

Classroom Support Online

  • own class website

  • example: Mrs. French’s

  • http://www.sd91.bc.ca/frenchj

  • benefits:

    • transparency

    • disseminated information

    • asynchronous access

    • supports independent learning (e.g. PS)

Synchronous asynchronous

Synchronous, Asynchronous

  • synchronous: information or learning occurring at a specific time

  • examples:

    • V-class lessons

    • live interviews

  • benefits:

    • ideas and thoughts can be exchanged immediately

Synchronous asynchronous1

Synchronous, Asynchronous

  • asynchronous: information and learning not dependent on a specific time

  • examples:

    • video cams (San Diego Zoo)

    • current events (CBC news)

    • follow a researcher (Catt Trax 2 )

  • benefits:

    • information accessed at the convenience of the learner

    • information can be revisited at a later date

Elluminate in the classroom

Elluminate in the classroom

  • Elluminate vRoom free for 3 participants

  • for example:

    • conference session video

  • benefits

    • supports real-time collaboration and construction of learning between students not in the same physical location

Daybook online

Daybook Online

  • interactive daily schedule

  • example daily schedule

  • benefits

    • schedule is archived

    • accessible to parents (homework, child away)

    • accessible to teacher to revisit a lesson

    • accessible to students to revisit a lesson

Cross curricular

Cross Curricular

  • holistic instruction

  • for example:

    • CattTrax2: BC researcher exploring global connection i.e. economic, environmental (project)

  • benefits:

    • constructed knowledge

    • non-linear learning

Language arts vocabulary

Language Arts vocabulary

  • vocabulary: easy access for daily vocabulary building

  • for example:

    • vocabulary building Daily Buzz Word

  • benefits:

    • dynamic: new word daily

    • social construction

Language arts mini lessons

Language Artsmini-lessons

  • access mini lessons quickly and efficiently

  • example:

    • mini-lessons online

    • spelling rules

  • benefits:

    • students can access at any time

    • teacher faces students, easily monitoring participation level

    • minimal time used to access, discuss lessons

Language arts novel studies

Language Arts novel studies

  • example:

    • novel study

  • benefits:

    • enhances the ability to explain the activity (hyperlinks provide further information)

    • can be linked to mini-lessons chapter summaries



  • Teaching French can also be supported with interactive sites

  • examples:

    • support teaching (resources, lesson plans)

    • support learning (resources)

  • benefits:

    • online pronunciation (essential phrases)

Science sturgeon recovery project

ScienceSturgeon Recovery Project

  • real life, current and relevant science units

  • example:

    • Sturgeon Unit

  • benefits:

    • current, relevant text can provide the information Nechako White Sturgeon Recovery Initiative

    • connections to local field trip opportunity

    • review material e.g. Jeopardy

Science social studies catt trax2

Science & Social Studies Catt-Trax2

  • access current scientific research

  • examples:

    • Catt-Trax2

    • Units with goals, vocabulary, assignments, and support links online

  • benefits:

    • real-life, current research

    • relevant

    • constructed knowledge (wiki)

    • networks students with global issues

Teaching in a blended environment


  • supporting students’ learning in math

  • examples:

    • visualization tools (addition with regrouping)

    • math term definitions

    • post lessons and quizzes online

  • benefits:

    • instruction: diverse tools

    • helps address different learning styles: visual learners

    • access by students and parents at any time

Fine arts

Fine Arts

  • supporting our Fine Arts content

  • for example:

    • music theory

    • how to play

    • online lessons

  • benefits:

    • provides support material

    • supports independent learning

Examples from the classroom

Examples from the Classroom

  • e-journals (private blogs)

  • Show What You Know: representing new knowledge

    • Power Point Presentation

  • Socially Constructed Knowledge

    • wiki

Technology used to support these activities

Technology Used to Support These Activities


  • SMART Board

  • digital projector

  • Computers

  • Digital cameras


  • All The Right Type

  • Macromedia Dreamweaver

  • Elluminate (free access online)

  • Office PowerPoint

  • Wiki (open-source)…..watch carefully


  • Internet

  • web space (provided by my local school district)

Further resources

Further Resources

  • Learning Theories





  • Instructional Strategies http://olc.spsd.sk.ca/DE/PD/instr/categ.html



  • Other Professional Development links (more on my list)

  • Blended Learning Environment (video)


Further resources continued

Further Resources Continued

Social Networking Tools

  • Global Learning Communities

    • Curriki http://www.curriki.org/xwiki/bin/view/Main/WebHome

    • Taking it Globalhttp://www.takingitglobal.org/

    • Learning Circles http://www.iearn.org/circles/ (video clip)


Social networking tools

Social Networking Tools

  • Technology software available online

    SMART Technologies http://education.smarttech.com/ste/en-us/

    Elluminate: http://www.elluminate.com/vroom/

    Wiki: open-source software http://c2.com/cgi/wiki

    moodle: open-source software http://moodle.org/

    Blogging: open-source software http://wordpress.org

    Blogger.com http://www.blogger.com

Social networking tools continued

Social Networking Toolscontinued

  • Questions & Answers: Teacher Magazine hosted this chat with Will Richardson, author of Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms and founder of Connective Learning.


Ideas in practice

Ideas in Practice

  • working with the experts: Virtual Astronomy

  • Pro D Connectivity global conference (52 countries, 1000 registered participants) at home: University of Manitoba

  • daily technology use (example from my class)

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