Tuesday, December 12, 2017

6 Elements for Effective Blended Learning

Blended Learning is defined as a regular education program in which students learn in part online and have some control over the time, place, path and/or pace of their learning. I have found that effective implementations start with those elements but include other pieces to develop agency and personalized learning in both teachers and students. Here is my list of the 6 elements that contribute to highly effected blended learning models.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Goosechase Educational Scavenger Hunts

Goosechase is a freemium app that originally came out with a target audience geared more to corporate training groups. Goosechase EDU is now available with features that make it more usable for teachers and students. I have used this app for professional learning but recommended it to Melissa Ivicic, a 4th grade ELAR teacher to increase student engagement around one of her TEKS objectives.
4.11D Use multiple text features (e.g., guide words, topic and concluding sentences) to gain an overview of the contents of text and to locate information. Readiness Standard
One of the things she said was a challenge is getting kids to use more complex text features such as cutaways, timelines and diagrams. I created a scavenger hunt that would award more points to teams who used these text features and fewer points to commonly used features such as pictures and headings. The video below will give you an overview of the program and how the students and Mrs. Ivicic used it in her classroom:

I have never seen kids get so excited about using a cutaway to learn information! 

The free version is a bit limiting and the paid version for single teachers is 49.00 per year which is a stretch for budget minded educators who spend so much money already on classroom supplies. One of the challenges is that students had to login with an email on the free account. I'm hoping that the paid account will allow students to join a game without logging into an account.

I recommend trying this with the free account to see how you and your kids like it. The kids in Mrs. Ivicic's classroom loved it and I'm certain she will be using this app more this year!