By: Beth Kurz
What I have become very excited about in class is either being reminded about tools I had been exposed to or new learning that I can use in my journey with blended learning. A few years ago, I had been exposed to tools such as Weebly and Symbaloo, but it was all in one day, and I was a little overwhelmed. Now I am ready to take another look to use these tools. I have experienced new authors such as Matt Miller, Ditch That Textbook, and Paul Solarz, Learn Like a Pirate, I have finished the first book and have started the second. However, what I’m most excited about is what I am learning on Twitter. Before now, my biggest excitement on Twitter was Aaron Rodgers responding to my tweet at a Milwaukee Bucks game he attended. The past few weeks I have scratched the surface on what a valuable resource this is for my PLN. I have learned about Twitter chats, hasthtags, tweetchat, chatsalad, and tweetdeck. I have followed the authors of all the books we have discussed in class and have begun reading their blogs. I participated in a chat at #kahoot and experienced the fast pace of the question responses.That part was a little crazy. I was able to collaborate with other teachers and even received advice on what other chats to follow.I have discovered book studies that are being held on both of my books. I have found new ways to use Kahoot, for example, as a preview to a unit called Blind Kahoot. Valuable, rich, and relevant class discussion can be held. It is all very exciting. I feel a little addicted right now because I find myself always checking the Twitter feed. I feel that I can use all these sources and tools to expand the blended learning in my room. I will use the stations choice because it is the logical one to use with my classroom and school setup. Stations could include using Quizlet for vocabulary, using flipped learning with either teacher created videos or videos modified by Edpuzzle and having readings with blogging responses.A check off list could be made on Moodle or another resource for students to keep track of their learning. Of course, teacher feedback is extremely important and is my job as facilitator. I am curating resources to use on my newly created Weebly, Pinterest, Youtube, and Google doc list.Overall, I think blended learning is the way to engage students, give them choices, and allow for creativity and problem solving. Finally, it allows students to become independent, lifelong learners.