Blended Learning in K-12/Types of Blended Learning

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Blended Learning in K-12
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As stated previously, K-12 may be the last to utilize Blended Learning but it has certainly gone beyond the 'trickle down effect.' There is a growing trend to use technology in K-12 classrooms and more grants and financial opportunities are making Blended learning a reality. Because there are multiple tools available for use when incorporating Blended Learning in the K-12 classroom by a teacher, it is important to highlight what is available to create a blended learning environment. According to "Building Effective Blended Learning Programs" by Harvey Singh, "Blended Learning Programs may include several forms of learning tools, such as real-time virtual/collaboration software, self-paced Web-based courses, electronic performance support systems (EPSS) embedded within the job-task environment, and knowledge management systems. Blended learning mixes various event based activities, including face-to-face classrooms, live e-learning, and self-paced learning" (Singh, 2003).

"From a course design perspective, a blended course can lie anywhere between the continuum anchored at opposite ends by fully face-to-face and fully online learning environments." (Rovai and Jordan, 2004) This chapter presents explanations of the various types of tools available to create a blended learning environment in the classroom. The following categories will be used to organize major types:

  1. The use of Multimedia and Virtual Internet Resources in the classroom. Examples include the use of videos, virtual field trips, and interactive websites.
  2. The use of Classroom Websites in the classroom. Included is a growing list of examples of useful blended learning websites.
  3. The use of Course Management Systems. Examples include the use of Moodle, WebCT and Blackboard.
  4. The use of Synchronous and Asychronous Discussions in the classroom. Examples of resources available include Yahoo Groups, TappedIn, Blogs, and Elluminate.