What is Blended Learning and how does it benefit me?Blended learning is the combination of face-to-face learning with online learning in the same classroom. This goes beyond simply using technology and digital devices. Online learning is more than just accessing the internet. It means learning that is taking place either outside the four walls of the classroom or outside of the time period of the class.
There are enormous benefits to blended learning as a 21st century model for instruction. Research studies have consistently shown blended learning to be more effective than either face-to-face learning or online learning, because it can blend the benefits of both.
What are the Blended Learning communities?To help schools bring Blended Learning to their classroom, AEA PD Online has developed communities of practice to connect educators together. These communities, in math, science, social studies, and language arts, feature teachers willing to work together to collaboratively share in building and implementing e-curriculum. Rather than have teachers trailblaze in this new teaching format alone, the communities bring those teachers together to engage in conversation, sharing, and more.
How do I become a part of the Blended Learning communities?First, start by filling out our interest form!
Our communities meet in a virtual meeting place, called the Agora. The Agora is the ancient Greek term for the centralized meeting place where members of a community gathered to listen to one another, and share thoughts and ideas. Our Agora is the same. To become a part of the Agora, you can go to http://agora.aeapdonline.org. Note, our Agora sits on our statewide Moodle server. If you have not been to our statewide Moodle server, you will need to first create a free account.
Within our Agora, you will have access to ongoing discussions of community members, a calendar of upcoming events, shared ideas and resources, and much more.
We also have statewide content that is available, even if you are not an active part of the Blended Learning communities. This content resides on a special Moodle server set aside for statewide licensing. This server is called AEA K12 Online.
Teachers interested in accessing the curriculum can request access by:
1. Going to http://moodle.aeak12online.org
2. Clicking on Request for Teacher Access located under Main Menu in the left-side panel
3. Completing the form.
How can I contribute to the community?
- You will engage in continuous professional dialogue aimed at collectively shaping 21st century learning in Iowa.
- You will be connected and supported by a community of innovative practitioners.
Each member of the communities has the opportunity to contribute to the development of a shared e-curriculum. Currently the communities are working to enhance four key high school courses; Algebra 1, English 9, Physical Science and a unit on Global Citizenship. It is our hope that with additional members and commitment to quality, we can expand our e-curriculum development efforts to include additional courses and units to be shared across the state.
Interested teachers can choose their level of involvement, but it is our strong belief that the greatest good comes from a shared commitment both to your own professional growth and a commitment to helping the community build a quality digital curriculum. Our thought is if we are all trying to meet the demands of Iowa/Common Core and there is more and more pressure to offer additional digital learning experiences for our students, it would behoove us to work together to accomplish these two increasingly important requirements. Our motto is “Better Together” and we believe strongly that we will benefit greatly by sharing in the hard work necessary to accomplish our mutual goals of meeting the potential of Iowa/Common Core and meeting the needs of students in a highly connected and competitive learning environment.