What is blended learning?
Blended learning combines online learning and face-to-face meetings. In such blended learning courses, the online meetings would take place through a form of course or learning management system such as Moodle, Canvas Instructure, Blackboard or a program that allows for e-learning to take place asynchronously (not dependent on time and place) and live online classes such as WizIQ, Collaborate, Adobe Connect, WebEx, or a virtual learning environment that allow for live online synchronous meetings (time dependent). The two online formats (face-to-face and online) would then be combined with face-to-face instruction in the traditional format with or without technological tools.
Integrating Technology for Blended Learning (IT4BL)
You are invited to learn more about integrating technology for blended learning courses in K-12, higher education, private and business sectors on WizIQ. Join IT4BL course on WizIQ. Your participation will contribute the collective knowledge so we can learn how to improve instruction and learning by using technology in the classroom. Having the role of online students help teachers better identify and sympathize with the learner and cater better to the learner’s needs.
Teachers in elementary and high school have no choice, but to learn to manage the kids in class or they would be swallowed alive and not be able to do very much. Classroom management, motivating learners, connecting with parents, and being aware at all times of students’ development and welfare rules in the K-12 schools. Maybe some teachers find it difficult to cater to students’ needs, but they are expected to be there and focus on the students’ welfare at all times.
Instructors in Higher Education
Instructors at institutions of higher education have a different focus. They are concerned with research, writing articles and publishing books. We call them instructors, professors, and faculty. They no longer referred to as teachers. Is there a reason? Do they not teach? It’s the students who need to be responsible for their own studies and personal and professional development. Instructors of higher education are not challenged but learning at the end of the day. They only focus on content delivery in most cases. There are always exceptions, of course. I would love to research how faculty view their roles in higher education as opposed to teachers in the K-12 system.
Integrating Technology into Blended Learning Courses
I have taught in the K-12 and higher education schools for over 30 years. I preferred the challenges of teaching in high school because my students taught me everything I know about quality teaching, lifelong learning, and what matters most in life. I learned that we cannot always be there for listening and for doing what we are told. Kids are brilliant and school dumbs by requiring them to memorize for the test. I had to find ways to motivate my students through talks, technology, and authentic activities. I wanted to make a difference and I felt that young people could teach me how and they did. I have a great deal of respect for the kids that I had the honor of teaching or interacting with.
I also learned about learning and teaching from interacting with adults in high education, but it was different. I learned about their frustrations with having to go to college and pass exams so they can get higher pay and make a decent living. I didn’t have to motivate or to use technology in the colleges I worked for. In fact, the university students viewed technology as a waste of time. They were not interested in learning, but only in getting a grade.
Technology in Higher Education
I decided to research instructors experiences in implementing technology in Blended Learning courses in higher education because I wanted to know what challenges they faced and whether they felt as lonely as I did in my school. I conducted the study in 2009. I am now wondering whether things have changed in how instructors view blended learning and technology in 2012. Have things changed as a result of the latest talk of MOOCs and online learning programs that are becoming mainstream these days?
Phenomenological Qualitative Study
I am in the process of conducting a replication of my first study in 2009 on instructor experiences with implementing technology using blended learning software in higher education, but this time I’m conducting the interviews completely online on WizIQ. The experience is awesome. Last time I used SKYPE. Participants will need to fill in two forms. One has demographic and background information of the possible candidates and the other is a consent form that needs to signed as in any research study.
WizIQ for Online Interviews
WizIQ has come a long way to catering to my personal and professional needs. It is not only a great for online virtual classes, online conferences, and family gatherings, it is a perfect platform to conduct live online interviews. In fact, I had a job interview for Atlantic University on WizIQ, too. I was able to talk about myself using a presentation and then answered questions. The committee that was interviewing me had their mic and webcams open so we could view one another.
Findings of the Study
I will share the findings of the research study in a blog post on WizIQ, so stay tuned. I’m hoping to complete the online interviews on WizIQ next week and to write the results a week later. Your comments on my first study are welcome as they will help me as I focus on the interview questions. The book is available on Amazon.