Choosing Software for Blended Learning

This week in my Coursera course they outlined four types of software that need to be distinguished for blended learning:

1) Four types of software
Whole course: replace an existing course.  Software does most of teaching/learning.  Teacher is purely to drop in and check progress.  Examples: Apex Learning, K-12, Edgenunity.  Easier to use, but less personalised.

Supplemental: support core course.  Teacher still designs and delivers main learning experiences.  Examples: ST Match and Dreambox Learning (is adaptive).  Khan Academy (called ‘the gateway drug into blended learning’) – free resource for mastery.  English language arts: Achieve 3000 (current event topics and rewrites at different lexile levels); Accelerated Reader (quizzes on books that they read based on lexile level; creates virtual book shelf).  Gobstopper, lightsale – ebooks for schools; providing opportunity for teachers to embed quizzes or notes.

Teacher tools: help administration in a school to be more efficient.  E.g. Edmodo used to communicate with students and parents (‘Facebook for teachers’); ‘Class Dojo’ merit and demerit points for classroom behaviour.  Exit Ticket, Socrative, Poll Everywhere.  Also LMS (Moodle etc…)

Learning apps: length, frequency of use very different; depended on unit and child.  App: Poetry – search and display on mobile phones.

2) Process of choosing software

–       What do you already have?  Existing subscriptions?  Start here.

–       Choose based on criteria:
a) actionable data
b) adaptive
c) efficient with the student’s time
d) engaging
e) research
f) cloud based option (work anywhere, using any device)

3) Additional resources

Online ‘map’ of software initiatives (a nice resource!):
http://www.newschools.org/entrepreneurs/edtechmap

Basic ingredients for Blended Learning success (article):
https://www.edsurge.com/n/2013-09-17-basic-ingredients-for-blended-learning-success

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