Friday, May 16, 2014

Blended Learning is Not Easy

So we are piloting a couple new programs that I am pretty excited about but I think there are some differences in my view of the programs and everyone else's. I want to clarify my vision in hopes that everyone understands what I am seeing when I create my current courses.

One of our new programs being designed is being created in hopes of reaching more students. Matter of fact we are going to be able to reach about 40% more students which in and of itself is amazing. How are we doing this? Well partially online delivery of course material. Some of our course materials will be facilitated online and students will have the opportunity to perform some of their work at home and will attend that class only a couple of days per week. They are able to work in a self-paced environment where students will not only learn the material but they will learn to work without supervision which in turn will make students more employment ready, college ready if they choose and most importantly it will make them more mature and prepared for the real world. What is great about this facilitation method is we are still using 1 curriculum which should make its implementation a little bit easier.

Now the new Rotation method is a method I have piloted in various spurts all throughout this year. Testing how it would work and how effective it would be. This method while on the surface does not seem like a lot of work however what I am finding is that it is extremely difficult to implement. My vision for my program is above and beyond the standard and prepares students for work and money management in the 21st century. First and foremost I am required to implement the National Standards and Curriculum in my course. While this course is very well put together there are no real life experiences for students to relate to and understand. So that is why I am also implementing Dave Ramsey's new course as well. In July Dave Ramsey will introduce a new Financial Peace University Series. I will spend a good portion of my summer watching the 12-18 hours of video FPU offers and piecing it together with the current curriculum so that it aligns properly. Finally I have decided to create a group that will create a curriculum for soft skills. Soft skills are the employability, and interpersonal skills people need to make it in the real world. Many people think things like communication skills come naturally but fact is that in this world of technology and social interaction students find it difficult to engage in face-to-face social interaction. This new Program will be implemented as part of their rotation as well and will be pieced into the current curriculum so that it aligns with current standards. So as you can see I have my work cut out for me.

I am not saying I have more work than anyone else nor am I complaining about the amount of work that I have to do. Matter of fact I find this one of my greatest challenges and I am excited about the opportunity. I am very passionate and excited about the new school year. How many teachers can say that as the current school year hasn't even come to a close yet? My vision is to build a course so interactive, comprehensive, and inclusive that students will feel fully engaged. You can't force a student to learn, but you sure can create a nurturing and engaging environment that challenges them to be the best they can.

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