Calling Change Agent Hensley

journeyMy learning journey these past five weeks have been frustrating, confusing, enlightening, and exciting.  Due to some personal issues, I wasn’t able to fully engage in the course the way that I would have liked to which brought about the frustration.  I did however enjoy visiting my classmates sites and seeing all of the wonderful work and ideas that were unfolding.  At times I felt confused during the learning process because of being granted some personal freedom on assignments. When you are used to specific follow the guideline instructions, change can be intimidating.  I now realize how this format allows me to become a better learner.  My excitement comes from everything I have learned these past five weeks. I am so fortunate to work in a district and with leaders who encourage personalized learning.  I am eager to be that agent of change in my school.  I am looking forward to implementing blended learning in my classroom.  I am also excited about the aspect of blended learning becoming the norm for the whole school.

My learning journey that has allowed me to become an agent of change was a gradual process.  It first began with developing an argument for change that I wanted to implement.  The purpose of Positively Disruptive was to explain the impact disruptive innovation will have on my organization.  My next endeavor was to analyze the literature that would support my argument. What Does the Literature Say? provides support for implementing blended learning in my classroom.  Composing a proposal for my administrators was the next step in the process.  My proposal allowed me to share why I want to implement blended learning and the benefits and potential drawbacks. A plan of action was needed to document the first phase to implement blended learning. The outline highlights the steps that need to be taken for the implementation process.  Finally, I created a video to promote blended learning and bolster my argument.

This whole journey has created a passion for learning more about disruptive innovation and educational technology.  I have created a summer reading bucket list of articles and books that I plan to explore during my summer break.

Summer Reading Bucket

  • 21st Century Skills: Rethinking How Students Learn
  • Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms
  • Flip Your Classroom: Reach Every Student in Every Class Every Day
  • ITSE articles (lots of catching up to do)

 

 

My Digital Story

So why did I feel the need to make a video promoting Blended Learning?  I am passionate about the benefits blended learning will bring to education.

As the school year comes to an end, I often reflect on my accomplishments and improvements needed.  This year has been an exceptionally difficult school year.  Between the responsibilities of teaching three classes, extreme behavior problems, and the number of students who were academically behind, I was totally overwhelmed. This year I really felt like I was not meeting the personal learning needs of all of my students.  I believe it has definitely had an impact on their growth this year.  I truly believe that if I was using a blended learning model in my classroom, my students would have been more successful.

A change to the educational system, in particular my classroom, needs to take place or we will continue to have students who are academically behind and students who aren’t being challenged enough.  I know that implementing blended learning will allow me to help each student reach their full potential and accomplish their goals.

Screen Shot 2016-05-15 at 5.28.34 PM
Work in Progress

 

To bolster support for my plan, I created an I-Movie promo highlighting blended learning.  I started by writing a script to share my beliefs about blended learning.  Of course I wrote several drafts before completing the final script.  I knew I wanted images to help convey my message so I searched Pixabay and Google Images (copyright and attribution free) to find the right images.  With the help of my wonderful husband, the audio was added and put all together.

My Digital Story

A Change is Going to Come

In order for schools and educators to provide more personalized instruction for learners, changes to the traditional approach of teaching have to be made.  My proposal is to incorporate blended learning in my classroom.  Fortunately, my district supports the use of blended learning to personalize student learning and to allow students more control of their learning.  Our district has an online learning digital learning platform (known as the HUB) where students log on to their personal page to gain access instructional material, coursework, digital textbooks, and adaptive learning software.  Unfortunately, my school along with many other schools in the district does not participate in blended learning.  In order to change this mindset, I have developed an outline for a plan to incorporate blended learning in my classroom. While the plan is not fully developed yet, this is a starting point for implementation.

 

Phase I

May 2016:

  • Complete an inventory of available technology for classroom use for the 2016-2017 school year

June 2016:

  • Take professional development offered by the district for using the HUB(Digital Learning Platform)
  • Take refresher professional development for using I-Station and Dreambox (adaptive learning software for ELA and Math)
  • Create and/or acquire content aligned to state standards and begin to upload to the HUB
  • Begin to develop classroom schedule for the 2016-2017 school year (include station rotation times and after school time for students with no internet access or technology to view flipped classroom lessons)
  • Begin to update student data binders- data binders will now need to include state standards for students to track learning and mastery

Early August 2016:

  • Set up classroom to accommodate blended learning model
  • Set up and ensure that classroom computers are working
  • Plan instruction and management systems for stations
  • Make adjustments to classroom schedule if needed
  • Determine the schedule for grade-level shared computer cart (for additional computers)
    • divide the computers amongst the grade level or each have a day for the cart

Late August 2016-September 2016:

  • Create log-in cards for students
  • Introduce, model, and practice expectations for station rotations
  • Teach students how to access the HUB and find their instructional content, including            I-Station and Dreambox
  • Introduce data binders and teach students how to use them for accountability and monitoring progress
  • Help students to create personal goals and timelines
  • Host parent orientation during Open House to introduce parents to blended learning (station rotation and flipped classroom) and the expectations
  • Begin blended learning instruction (mid to end of September)

October 2016- December 2016:

  • Analyze data to plan and modify instruction
  • Create and acquire content aligned to state standards and upload to HUB
  • Meet with students to discuss data, personal goals and progress
  • Continue to reinforce expectations for station rotations

December 2016:

  • Analyze student performance data
  • Review first semester implementation and make any necessary adjustments for the second semester

January 2017-May 2017:

  • Analyze data to plan and modify instruction
  • Create and acquire content aligned to state standards and upload to HUB
  • Meet with students to discuss data, personal goals and progress
  • Continue to reinforce expectations for station rotations

May 2017:

  • Analyze student performance data for the year
  • Review first year implementation with administration and make recommendations for the next school year

 

 

The Proposal: Blended Learning

 

In an ideal world, education would be structured around the individual learner.  Each learner would receive personalized curriculum based on their interests and needs.  Students would be able to progress through the concepts at their own pace until mastery.  In reality, the educational system is not structured for the individual, but rather a one size fits all model.  So how can we as educators provide individualized instruction in a class of 20-30 students?  In order for schools and educators to provide more personalized instruction for learners, changes to the traditional approach of teaching have to be made.  At the elementary level, the most utilized approach is through blended learning.  Blended learning is part online learning and part face-to-face learning in a brick and mortar location (Christensen, Horn, & Staker, 2013).

In order to more effectively meet the needs of my students, I am proposing a plan of implementing blended learning in my classroom for my English Language Arts (ELA) instruction.  Since we already implement learning stations in our ELA block, the station rotation model will be best suited.  The station rotation model involves rotating through different learning modalities, with at least one being online (Christensen, Horn, & Staker, 2013).  The students will rotate among literacy learning stations, which include small group direct instruction and personalized learning via computer or I-Pads.  The students will receive personalized literacy instruction through I-station, which we currently use.

I am also proposing a blended learning model for Math as well.  For the math block, I plan on implementing the flipped classroom model.  In a flipped classroom, students learn the concepts outside of class via online lessons.  Classroom time is used to practice and implement what they learned (Christensen, Horn, & Staker, 2013).  Research has indicated that students who participate in the flipped classroom model demonstrate increased learning gains in comparison to traditional teaching models (Solochek, 2015).  Instead of traditional homework, my students will watch instructional videos online and take a short online quiz in preparation for class time.  Class time will be devoted to hands on practice and deeper learning of concepts.  Students will be able to work in cooperative groups to expand upon their learning. My students will be able to receive support not only from me, but from their peers as well. Some may wonder what happens when students do not complete the lessons outside of class or do not have access to digital devices. How are they supposed to participate in the in class practice? Some ideas include providing time before or after school to view the lesson, lending out devices, or recording lectures on DVDs or flash drives (Gonzalez, 2014).

Naysayers may believe that blended learning environments will not be beneficial with elementary students, but the research shows otherwise.  Spring City Elementary School in Pennsylvania was failing to make Adequate Yearly Progress when the district decided to implement blended learning.  Their first year of implementation did not show progress, but they persevered.  The following year test scores surged 24 points in Math, 20 points in Reading, and 27 points in Science (Boccella, 2015).  Through the use of the Rotation model of blended learning, the teachers were able to provide more individualized attention and the students were able have access to personalized learning.  Rocketship Education, located in the San Francisco Bay Area, has also shown success at the elementary level using blended learning.  Students are performing significantly above average on the California Standards Test.  Their schools are also ranked in the top 5 percent among schools with similar student populations (Paulson, 2014).

Implementing a blending learning model will help to provide the educational model that our 21st Century learners need.  Since we are a Vanguard Magnet School, implementing blending learning models will provide my students with individualized lessons, increase collaboration amongst peers, encourage student accountability, and allow me to provide small group or individualized attention.  Being able to spend more time working with small groups or individual students who may need more attention, will benefit our Gifted and Talented students as well as our students who are not identified as Gifted and Talented.

Blended learning will allow me to move from a traditional model of standardized teaching in exchange for a student centered classroom.  It will allow my classroom to be an environment where my students can not only feel successful, but be successful. The ultimate goal is for blended learning to be the catalyst of change not only for my classroom, but the school as well.

 

 

References

Bocella, K. (2015, February 9). In Spring City, Pa., hybrid learning sends test scores soaring. The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved from http:// www.centerdigitaled.com/k-12/291336771.html

Christensen, C., Horn, M.B., & Staker, H.  (May 2013). Is k-12 blended learning disruptive? An introduction to theory of hybrids [White Paper]. Retrieved from http://www.christenseninstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Is-K-12-blended-learning-disruptive.pdf

Gonzalez, J. (March 2014). Modifying the flipped classroom: The in-class version.  Edutopia. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/flipped-classroom-in-class-version-jennifer-gonzalez

Paulson, A. (2014, April 20). Blended learning revolution: Tech meets tradition in the classroom. The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved from http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Education/2014/0420/Blended-learning-revolution-Tech-meets-tradition-in-the-classroom

Solochek, S. (February 2015). In flipped classrooms, teachers lecture online, use class for practice. Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved from http://www.tampabay.com/news/education/k12/in-flipped-classrooms-teachers-lecture-online-use-class-for-practice/2218710

 

What Does the Literature Say?

In an ideal world, education would be structured around the individual learner.  Each learner would receive personalized curriculum based on their interests and needs.  Students would be able progress through the concepts at their own pace until mastery.  In reality, the educational system is not structured for the individual, but rather a one size fits all model.  So how can educators provide individualized instruction in a class of 20-30 students?  Blended learning provides a way to allow personalized instruction.  Blended learning is part online learning and part face-to-face learning in a brick and mortar location (Clayton Christensen Institute, 2015).

According to the NCM Horizon Report (2015), research indicates that blended learning is an effective mode of providing individualized instruction. Students are able to receive personalized learning through online instruction in the classroom.  Teachers are able to provide support for students through small group or individualized instruction (Horizon, 2015).  Schools where blended learning has been implemented are reaping the benefits.  Not only are teachers able to provide one-on-one guidance, but are able to monitor student learning and be more innovative.  Teachers are also reporting the positive impact blended learning has on students.  Students are taking control of their learning and becoming more active participants (Horizon Report, 2014).

Naysayers may believe that blended learning environments are only beneficial for middle and high school, but the research shows otherwise.  Spring City Elementary School in Pennsylvania was failing to make Adequate Yearly Progress when the district decided to implement blended learning.  Their first year of implementation did not show progress, but they persevered.  The following year test scores surged 24 points in Math, 20 points in Reading, and 27 points in Science (Boccella, 2015).  Through the use of the Rotation model of blended learning, the teachers were able to provide more individualized attention and the students were able have access to personalized learning.  Rocketship Education, located in the San Francisco Bay Area, has also shown success at the elementary level using blended learning.  Students are performing significantly above average on the California Standards Test.  Their schools are also ranked in the top 5 percent among schools with similar student populations (Paulson, 2014).

Blending learning allows for variation in different ways.  Videos allow students to access remedial lessons.  QR codes can be used to direct students to content that can be learned or applied. Quizzes can be given through online applications to provide immediate feedback (Thompson, 2015).  Students can deepen their learning or explore related topics independently or in cooperative groups through the use of digital tools.  Teachers can utilize flipped classrooms as part of blended learning also.  Students learn the concepts outside of class via online lessons.  Classroom time is used to practice and implement what they learned.  Active learning is being incorporated into the classrooms.  Students receive support not only from the teacher, but from their peers as well.  Research has indicated that students who participate in the flipped classroom model demonstrate increased learning gains in comparison to traditional teaching models (Solochek, 2015).  Some may wonder what happens when students do not complete the lessons outside of class or do not have access to digital devices. How are they supposed to participate in the in class practice? Some ideas include provided time before or after school to view the lesson, lend out devices, or recording lectures on DVDs or flash drives (Gonzalez, 2014).

In order for schools and educators to provide more personalized instruction for learners, changes to the traditional approach of teaching have to be made.  At the elementary level, the most utilized approach is through blended learning. Implementing blending learning models will provide my students with individualized lessons, encourage collaboration amongst peers, and encourage student accountability.  I will be able to spend more time working with small groups or individual students who may need more attention.  Implementing a blending learning model will help me to provide the educational model that our 21st Century learners need.

 

References

Bocella, K. (2015, February 9). In Spring City, Pa., hybrid learning sends test scores soaring. The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved from http:// www.centerdigitaled.com/k-12/291336771.html

 

Christensen, C., Horn, M.B., & Staker, H.  (May 2013). Is k-12 blended learning disruptive? An introduction to theory of hybrids [White Paper]. Retrieved from http://www.christenseninstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Is-K-12-blended-learning-disruptive.pdf

 

Gonzalez, J. (March 2014). Modifying the flipped classroom: The in-class version.  Edutopia. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/flipped-classroom-in-class-version-jennifer-gonzalez

 

Johnson, L., Adams Becker, S., Estrada, V., & Freeman, A. (2015). NMC Horizon Report: 2015 K-12 Edition. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium.

 

Johnson, L., Adams Becker, S., Estrada, V., & Freeman, A. (2014). NMC Horizon Report: 2014 K-12 Edition. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium.

 

Paulson, A. (2014, April 20). Blended learning revolution: Tech meets tradition in the classroom. The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved from http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Education/2014/0420/Blended-learning-revolution-Tech-meets-tradition-in-the-classroom

 

Solochek, S. (February 2015). In flipped classrooms, teachers lecture online, use class for practice. Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved from http://www.tampabay.com/news/education/k12/in-flipped-classrooms-teachers-lecture-online-use-class-for-practice/2218710

 

Thompson, G. (September 2015). 13 Keys to successful blended learning. The Journal: Transforming Education Through Technology. Retrieved from https://thejournal.com/Articles/2015/09/01/13-Keys-to-Successful-Blended-Learning.aspx?Page=1

 

 

Positively Disruptive

thinking-outside-the-box-33399_960_720Disruptive innovation is a term coined by Harvard Professor Clayton Christensen. It is a process by which an innovation takes root at the bottom of the market and moves up the market challenging the established competitors.  Disruptive innovation involves the evolution of a product or service over time.  Disruptive innovations are simpler, cheaper, more convenient, accessible, and affordable in comparison to what is available in the existing market.  Originating in markets overlooked by businesses, disruptive innovations appeal to those less-demanding customers or creating markets where none existed (Christensen, Raynor, & McDonald, 2015).  Some examples of disruptive innovations include discount retailers, personal computers, cell phones, Skype and Pandora. Disruptive innovation enabled these products and services to become more accessible, affordable, and available to a larger population.

In contrast, sustaining innovation is the process of improving what already exists in the market.  Businesses are not concerned with reaching the underserved or ignored market of consumers.  Sustaining innovation focuses on making good products and services better their existing customers (Christensen et al., 2015).  For example, some believed that Uber was a disruptive innovation when in fact it was a sustaining innovation.  Uber did not meet the definition of disruptive innovation.  They originated in San Francisco, an area well-served by the available taxi service.  Their consumers also were already consumers of hired rides (Christensen et al., 2015).

While disruptive innovation impacts the business market and causes change, it can also have an impact on the field of education.  Most schools today are based on the antiquated factory model.  Factory model schools were designed to standardize teaching and testing.  Since children do not learn the same way or at the same pace, we know this is not an effective way for children to learn (Horn & Staker, 2015).  In order for school’s to meet each child’s educational needs, there needs to be a shift from standardized teaching and learning to student centered learning.  Student centered learning is a combination of personalized and competency based learning.  Personalized learning is customized to each student where they can receive one-on-one instruction when needed, but can still participate in group projects and activities.  Competency based learning requires students to demonstrate mastery of the subject matter before being able to move on.  Students are allowed to work at their own pace and have time to master the concept instead of being forced to move on before they are ready (Horn & Staker, 2015).  So how can the educational system do a better job of meeting the needs of students?  One way of meeting their needs is through disruptive innovation known as blended learning.  Blended learning consists of learning in part through online learning, supervised brick-and-mortar location, and an integrated learning experience.  Students have some control over the time, place, path, and/or pace of their learning (Horn & Staker, 2015).  There are four main models of blended learning: Rotation, Flex, A La Carte, and Enriched Virtual.  The Rotation model (Station, Lab, Flipped, Individual) allow students to rotate among learning modalities, with at least one online.  Through the Flex model the students receive their online instruction according to their individual needs, but also have access to face-to-face formats.  The A La Carte model allows students take online courses that may not be offered at their schools.  The Enriched Virtual model requires students to have face-to-face sessions with the teacher, but can complete the rest of their learning remotely online.  The Station Rotation, Lab Rotation, and Flipped classroom are considered hybrids, which are a form of sustaining innovation.  While the Individual Rotation, Flex, A La Carte, and Enriched models are considered disruptive innovations (Horn & Staker, 2015).

Blended learning, whether it is sustaining or disruptive innovation, allows students to experience a more student-centered learning opportunity.  If we want our students to feel successful and to be able to compete in the global market, we must make sure we are providing the best individualized education possible.  Disruptive innovations in education can provide a service to that underserved market: students.

 

 

 

References

Christensen, C.M., Raynor, M.E., & McDonald, R. (2015, December). What is disruptive innovation? Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2015/12/what-is-disruptive-innovation

Horn, M.B., & Staker, H. (2015). Blended: Using disruptive innovation to improve schools. San Francisco, California: Jossey-Bass.

Lost, but Encouraged

Over the past five weeks I have learned a lot about myself in regards to creating my e-portfolio.  This has been an interesting journey for me.  I have experienced a range of emotions with the top two being lost and encouraged.  As I have perused other blogs, websites, and e-portfolios I have discovered that I still have work to do to improve my website.  The encouraging aspect is that I understand that my site is a work in progress and that as I grow, my site will reflect that growth.  I am excited about all that I have learned and what I will continue to learn. I am looking forward to sharing with and learning from others, as well as networking with others who share my passion for learning and teaching.

Currently, my site consists of the work that I have created as a digital learner.  I have created different pages and blog posts to showcase my work as a learner. My Learning Manifesto page provides a video that addresses my philosophy of teaching and emerging issues related to digital learning.  My Self Reflection page provides a past, present, and future reflection of my knowledge and skills in digital learning. My post on Collaboration and Engagement highlights my journey as part of a professional learning community.  I share the learning communities I have discovered as well the benefits of being involved with professional learning communities. My Digital Assessment Tool page is an example of a Kahoot I created as a formative assessment on two and three-dimensional shapes for my scholars.

I am looking forward to continuing to add more content to my page and share with others as I take this lifelong journey of learning.