he interactive online and blended-learning classroom

Since the possibility of moving classes into the online world here are some helpful hints for teachers to use in their online classrooms. 

The interactive online and blended-learning classroom

By Thomas E. Stanley 

Series of ideas used to help make the online classroom more interactive

Topics: 

  • Subject matter
  • Posting discussions
  • Using Synchronous tools 
  • Creating presentations
  • Guest and Experts
  • Use of advanced materials 
  • Testing and Analyzing what you have learned and still needs to be done. 

Subject matter 

  1. Overriding themes - thematic, inquiry and project-based learning 
  2. The question is the answer
  3. Using various new technical tools as more than a wow factor
  4. Drawing conclusions and presenting ideas.
  5. Using guest experts to involve students 
  6. Using contradictory materials
  7. Student forms his/her own ideas. Student use of technology to illustrate answers

Discussions:

  1. Key ideas from the units, themes, projects before any reading 
  2. Students attempt to prove their ideas through readings, video’s,  and audio materials 
  3. Outcomes and conclusions presented while using synchronous/asynchronous tools to be evaluated by students 
  4. Final Outcomes and presentations to “experts. 
  5. Teacher role is to develop rubrics -  create group roles (academic, social, and technical), Timelines and Organize groups

Synchronous tools

  1. The slide, quote, and wording is the key to creating more questions than answers.
  2. Use of breakout rooms for students to brainstorm and do student presentations (mix up the groups so that each student is responsible for presenting to other groups. )
  3. Throughout the session, teacher should go around the “room”--asking for opinions, ideas and just a what’s up
  4. Make sure the students understand that their opinions do not have to be all the same…that within their presentations should be a place for “alternative opinions” 
  5. This is the place that you can “bring it all together”....students can post and show their video’s, audio, etc. 
  6. Teachers should develop rubrics for synchronous sessions. 




Creating presentations

  1. Based on the reading, videos, discussions, research….
  2. When to present...synchronously and asynchronously
  3. Use video, audio, animation, and more
  4. Assigning roles so that everyone is involved 
  5. All present to other groups
  6. Final presentations or arguments: 
  7. Presenting to other students, adults, organizations
  8. Rubrics, group presentation format- student/teacher graded or critiqued first then presented to outside sources. 
  9. The teacher creates a presentation, academic Rubrics



Guests and advanced materials

  1. Three possible audiences: World audience, national audience, local audience
  2. Bring in higher level reading (research studies), presentations by others to support or not support your ideas
  3. Students should ask, “What changes do I have to make based on these new ideas?”
  4. Be sure to explain the role of the questions...how to ask them, use synchronous and asynchronous tools  
  5. Teacher developed Rubric for questions and participation 

Grading

  1. All along the way, not just the test...set it up well before the project. Students evaluate at the end of the academic, social, and technical work of group, class, and project. 
  2. Final student evaluation of what went well, did not, and unfinished business. 
  3. Traditional test is just a part of the final evaluation. ...What did I learn, did not learn?  



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