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6 Must Read Research Studies On Blended Learning

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Blended learning is one of the fastest growing sectors of education. 

But educators do not know if blended learning approach will have positive impact on student learning. Put simply, this is one of the biggest criticism the educator have regarding blended learning.

Blended learning is more than a trend. There is a growing and collective acceptance to the fact that blended learning is indeed going to be the way of the future.

Leaders may agree to this fact but when it comes to implementation of such an approach, what holds them back? Is it the knowledge about the approach or evidence on what is the outcome of blended learning on student learning?

Going by what an article in EdSurge on the same topic reflects and also by what schools that has applied blended learning, one gets a clear idea that different schools have a distinct way of applying blended learning. It therefore makes it imperative for the leaders of the school and colleges to dig deeper into knowing what a good blended learning program is all about and what its contrary is.

With researchers diving deep into studying the impact of blended learning over face to face learning approach, some interesting facets have come to light in this regard. Researchers take up a closer look on the efficacy of this method of learning. The findings of the study do not either glorify blended learning approach nor does it dishonor traditional face-to-face learning process.

The individual study on blended learning program are a must read for education leaders as they offer valuable information to the educators on correct implementation of blended learning and personalized learning models. These studies have found a big impact and seen modest gains in the learning outcomes using the blended learning programs and also learn how blended learning can be used sustainably to best support teachers.

Summary of Six Best Research Work on Blended Learning Programs

1. 2016-17 Blended Learning Pilot Report

This study conducted by the Tennessee Department of education (DOE) summarizes certain vital findings and also recommended an in-depth examination of the factors which could lead to successful implementation. The research highlights visible results of blended learning on areas -an increase in student outcome, differentiation of content for students, change of student buy-in and ownership of their learning during lessons, factors that led to successful implementation of blended learning.

Analysis of data on the mentioned parameters showed small gains in each of the area by applying blended learning programs. Besides, knowing just about the findings of the research, the final section of the report contains valuable recommendations for implementing blended learning. This section is a valuable slice of advice for all the leaders who wish to ramp up blended learning programs in their institution as well as for those who are looking to apply this approach.

Click here to refer to the research study.

#Research 2- Evaluating Improvement in Student Learning with Tutoring Software

Success of blended learning can be achieved by combining different instructional models, teaching practices and digital tool. Thus researchers of RAND Corp-funded by the US Department of Education examined a popular algebra blended learning program called the Cognitive Tutor Algebra 1. On the first year of the study, researchers found no significant results. However, in the second year, they found a significant improvement in students learning, say by 8 percentile points.

Click here to refer to the research study.

#Research 3- Blended Learning Report.

This research study was conducted by SRI International and is from Michael and Susan Dell Foundation. This research was conducted in 13 low income charter schools using the rotation model of Blended learning. Researchers had found consistency among how the schools implemented the model.

This comprehensive report is worth considering because; it reflects valuable insight on areas such as- teacher satisfaction, student productivity and use of data to inform instruction.

Click here to refer to the research study.

#Research 4- Is Supporting Student Success with Time & Technology Effectual?

This research study was released by the National Center on Time & Learning. It is worthwhile to consider this study because, it guides educators as well as districts in highlighting six schools pairing blended learning and extended learning. The case studies mentioned in the report is worth reading for it offers detailed understanding on the technologies used in the schools, the instructional models in place as well as the software which had turned out to be effective in this regard.

Click here to refer to the research study.

#Research 5- Personalized Instruction: New Interest, Old Rhetoric, Limited Results and the Need for a New Direction for Computer Mediated Learning

It is a research released by the National Education Policy Center in the year 2013. The report is balanced as it brings forth cases where personalized learning has turned up to be successful and also cases where it failed. This report also highlights some valuable strategies for effective personalized learning and says a combination of tech-based and person-to-person instruction showing the greatest potential academic benefits.

Click here to refer to the research study.

#Research 6Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies

This research is conducted by SRI International for the US Department of Education in 2010. The analysis in this study looks at various dimensions from 1996 through 2006 and ultimately finds that students in blended learning classes outperformed those in fully online or fully in-person classes. Most of the study examination involves college students or adult professional students, not K12 Learners.

Click here to refer to the research study

We recommend you to have a look at various reports and research studies to understand the best of both digital and in person learning. It is also vital to have a strong vision to implement best of strategies in education and certainly research studies does help in offering valuable information regarding any new concept. We hope, the reports mentioned above will therefore prove to be valuable assets for the institution leaders considering how one can use blended learning programs

posted Apr 30, 2019 by Chito

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Every time is the best time to pick up a good read and indulge in it.


But, if you are an edtech enthusiast, this probably be the best time to stock up your shelves with amazing books and work up on your perspective and knowledge.

Considering the pace at which edtech is being embraced, it is essential for stakeholders to be aware and have sound knowledge of the complete revolution. The past, Present and what all the future awaits.

The list of books below will help edtech enthusiasts like you with all of this.

1. Digital Literacies: Concepts, Policies and Practices by Colin Lankshear (Editor)

This book brings together a group of internationally-reputed authors in the field of digital literacy. Their essays explore a diverse range of the concepts, policies and practices of digital literacy, and discuss how digital literacy is related to similar ideas: information literacy, computer literacy, media literacy, functional literacy and digital competence. It is argued that in light of this diversity and complexity, it is useful to think of digital literacies - the plural as well the singular. The first part of the book presents a rich mix of conceptual and policy perspectives; in the second part contributors explore social practices of digital remixing, blogging, online trading and social networking, and consider some legal issues associated with digital media.

2. 21st Century Skills: Rethinking How Students Learn (Leading Edge) 1st Edition by James Bellanca (Author), Ron Brandt (Author)

This anthology introduces the Framework for the 21st Century Learning from the Partnership for 21st Century Skills as a way to re-envision learning and prepare students for a rapidly evolving global and technological world. Highly respected education leaders and innovators focus on why these skills are necessary, which are most important, and how to best help schools include them in curriculum and instruction. 

3. A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination of a World of Constant Change, Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown

This one looks at how constant change helps to keep students inspired in the potential of the future. The authors look at how the culture associated with technology has become fluid and adaptable. It is also an incredible challenge for educators. It contains numerous stories and interesting tales about those challenges and how technology even provides many of the answers to the problems it creates.

4. One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined by Salman Khan

Educator and entrepreneur Salman Khan (founder of Khan Academy) saw how education failed his relative with no apparent reason. The young girl mentioned at the start of the book is described as “logical, creative, and tenacious” and yet still faced with a slippery dilemma- a dilemma thrust upon her by orthodox, cookie-cutter educational mandates created over 200 years ago. Without the same restrictions, Khan helped that young woman find academic success. You may ask, success at what academic? What is an academic success? Is it just learning to continuously pursue passions and turn those passions into practical impacting meaning? Well, it looks different for everyone, and that is absolutely the point of Khan’s vision. Finding success does and will continue to diversify as does the world. Part of finding that success means access: is the material readily available, is it affordable, is it manageable, is it going to motivate the individual to learn more?

One World Schoolhouse is not the “self-driving car” of the humanities. This model is all about human interaction and the intersection with technology, and how educators become part of this revolution.

5. Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation is Changing Your World by Don Tapscott

Grown Up Digital reveals:

- How the brain of the Net Generation processes information

- Seven ways to attract and engage young talent in the workforce

- Seven guidelines for educators to tap the Net Gen potential

- Parenting 2.0: There's no place like the new home

- Citizen Net: How young people and the Internet are transforming democracy

Today's young people are using technology in ways you could never imagine. Instead of passively watching television, the “Net Geners” are actively participating in the distribution of entertainment and information. The book is a must read to understand the way we can protect ourselves and our students in the digital world.

6. Social Media Wellness: Helping Tweens and Teens Thrive in an Unbalanced Digital World by Ana Homayoun

In this book expect to learn about how social media affects education, a trajectory of social media’s impact throughout its brief — yet potent — history, social media’s cognitive effect on tweens, and much, much more. Homayou even addresses self-care by discussing sleep, stress management, exercise, and safety. Administrators, educators, and parents rejoice: the flagship book on social media wellness has finally arrived!

7. Out of Our Minds: Learning To Be Creative by Sir Ken Robinson

Ken Robinson argues that organizations everywhere are trying to fix a problem that originates in schools and universities: "It is often said that education and training are the keys to the future. They are, but a key can be turned in two directions. Turn it one way and you lock resources away, even from those they belong to. Turn it the other way and you release resources and give people back to themselves. To realize our true creative potential-in our organizations, in our schools and in our communities we need to think differently about ourselves and to act differently towards each other. We must learn to be creative." Ken Robinson The updated 3rd edition features a new introduction, modernized case studies, updated demographics and revised sections around technological developments and recent changes to the education system.

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Knowing how to responsibly navigate the threats of the online world is as critical as the life skills taught in home economics — and educators must learn, too.

As the ed tech coordinator and mobile integration specialist of Eanes Independent School District in Austin, Texas, cybersecurity is very much top of mind for Brianna Hodges. While topics including cyber safety and student privacy have always played roles in the district, the technology students now use regularly in the 1:1 district has changed.

That’s why Hodges believe it’s crucial students are taught to think more about how they’re engaging with technology in their lives. And she knows that requires more than just giving children a quick lesson once a year.

“We understand that the conversation needs to be part of the curriculum,” she told Education Dive. “There isn’t an off-the-shelf curriculum that we can use.”

Cyber-security a must in curriculum in increasingly digital classrooms

Before you click 'yes' or flip the switch

Most students in the U.S. now have access to computers in their homes — up to 94% of children ages 3 to 18 as of 2015 do, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, which also notes 61% of this population has online access as well. This makes knowing how to safely navigate the internet even more crucial.

Hodges said even adults can make mistakes when they quickly jump onto their devices, download an app, and agree to the terms and conditions without going through the fine print and knowing what they’ve consented to follow.

That’s exactly what she hopes to encourage teachers to think about, as well as what she expects they’ll teach their students when Eanes ISD launches its new cybersecurity program during the 2019-20 school year. Some of the lessons are already at play, such as what middle school kids are taught during a robotics class at West Ridge Middle School, where Jason Spodick encourages them to think about privacy and drone laws, Hodges said.

Bringing a quadcopter into the classroom, Spodick presses his students to consider camera drones in particular. While they may be fun to play within a backyard, a neighbour may have a different opinion if one flies across the fence and peers into their home.

“[These lessons] have been really powerful,” Hodges said.

Home economics updated

Making cybersecurity lessons stick — like the way middle school students are learning about privacy and drones — is crucial, said Kelvin Coleman, the newly-tapped executive director of the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), based in Washington, D.C. The organization runs a website called Stay Safe Online that's loaded with suggestions, such as a downloadable Digital New Year’s Resolution Tip Sheet.

To Coleman, the days when people could leave technology know-how in the hands of so-called experts are in the past. Instead, he said, knowing how to stay secure online is as necessary as knowing how to make a phone call, tie a shoe or boil water.

“We need to be looking at cybersecurity like how people once looked at home [economics],” Coleman told Education Dive. “It’s one of these essential skills that you need to get through today’s life.”

Coleman, who took the helm at the NCSA in December 2018, is adamant that high school is too late for students to get their first lesson on how to keep their smartphones, laptops and other connected devices safe. Instead, he encourages administrators and curriculum designers to start looking at how to weave these lessons into elementary school classes, as “that’s where a lot of kids are starting that technology journey,” he said.

To start, Coleman admits that while young children may not understand malware, they certainly can comprehend the idea of getting sick. Just as students learn how to wash their hands to keep from spreading germs, they can certainly grasp that they need to keep their technology clean so as not to spread viruses to other devices.

For older students — and administrators, too — pushing to create a strong password is always a good starting point. While many students may have smartphones and laptops that open with biometric triggers such as fingerprints, there’s almost always a need for written passwords to unlock apps. If someone has a harder password to crack, a “bad actor is likely to move on to an easier one,” he said.

Finally, Coleman encourages people to adopt the phrase, "When in doubt, throw it out." Practising what he preaches, Coleman recently got an email with a link from colleagues that looked a bit odd to him. He made a quick call to his staff, and they assured him the email was normal.

"That took all of 10 seconds to ask, 'Is this really something I can trust?'" he said.

Savvy students

In some cases, University of Dayton Associate Provost and CIO Thomas Skill notes, it may be difficult to get through to students — particularly those born after 1995, which is certainly anyone who would be attending a K-12 school today. These students colloquially referred to as Generation Z, are considered "digital natives," having never known a time when they couldn’t connect to the internet.

This fluency with the connected world gives them a high comfort level with the technology, but there are areas where they are still naive, said Skill, also a professor in the university's communications department. They may have strong gaming and social media skills, but that doesn’t mean that they understand the risks that populate the online world.

"I would say kids today are kind of an interesting contradiction that, in one sense, they’re very savvy about some things, and yet very naive about others," Skill told Education Dive. "They’re not savvy about risks."

At the University of Dayton, Skill launched a marketing campaign in 2016 dubbed "A Year of Safe Computing." People developed newsletters and blogs, wrapping them with humour and cartoons to transform cybersecurity from something to fear into a conversation. That approach is easily translatable into lessons for K-12 students, certainly, those in their high school years — and perhaps something elementary and middle schools must do as well.

“We need to be teaching them how to be sufficiently cautious, being too horrific so they can’t be online, by building a computer savviness,” he said. “I think we have a responsibility to augment all these experiences they have.”