Chapter One: What is Blended Learning?
Chapter Two: Why Was I So Afraid of Technology?
I was hesitant to embrace an online discussion platform for a host of reasons. First, I do not consider myself technologically savvy, so the idea of successfully getting 164 students online sounded daunting.
Second, I feared blended learning meant I would be losing control.
As the typical type-A personality, I like things to run smoothly. Students having asynchronous- not occurring at the same time- conversations online made me nervous. I worried students might post inappropriate things or jeopardize the safe space I spent so much time creating in class.
Finally, I worried about my role as an online facilitator. Would I actively engage in the discussions? Would I be a silent observer? Would I spend hours online facilitating discussions? Would this add to my already overwhelming workload? How would I make this online component a part of our in class experience and culture?
These questions- and countless others- caused me to question my decision to embrace an online discussion platform.
Now, after a year and a half of using my Collaborize Classroom site with students, I realize my fears were unfounded. My students jumped online without a glitch; this is their medium of choice. I was able to create a successful virtual “safe space” and build online relationships to complement our in-class community. And being a facilitator is much easier than running tons of copies and grading mountains of paperwork. The blended learning model has made my job infinitely easier and more enjoyable.
Second part of chapter two details the top 10 ways in which a blended leaning model has made my job easier…