Blended Learning Training: Start With a Community of Practitioners?
Teacher Melissa Meyers makes a powerful argument for blended learning in Bob Lenz’s blog post, From the Classroom: What Does Blending Learning Look Like?
Yet, her conclusion does not quite work for me. She sums up her argument with this:
Technology is certainly worth the hype, but it will remain only empty, extravagant claims if teachers aren’t trained to use it effectively and aren’t as enthusiastic — and evolved — as their students already are. It’s time to play catch-up.
I don’t think we can simply “train” our way to greatness.
Yes, teachers need help understanding how to effectively teach in a blended learning model. But I have very low expectations for any kind of formal “training” effort. It seems to me early adopters just need to model the behaviors, share the tools and techniques, and if/when teachers are ready to teach in a new way then the “training program” is an authentic, experimental interaction with the community of practitioners. Most of us learn new things as needed—because they are needed—not by going back to a training class.
Thus, I am with Melissa that success will come with enthusiastic evolution of our practices—but I think that happens in a very different way than a traditional “training” model.
What do you think? Does your school or district offer a formal training program for blending learning or is it more organic? What do you think is most effective? If you incorporate blending learning in your classroom where have you received your “training?”