Getting Started with Blended Learning
This January I began using D2L's learning management system with my Grade 2 class.
I have used a combination of GoogleDrive and TeacherWeb in the past, but was curious about how eLearning could foster greater student engagement and provide a platform for collaboration. By modifying the navigation bar and homepage design, I was able to create an easy to follow space linking content and discussions.
Introductory activities have included watching videos from Learn360 about polar bears and migratory birds with follow-up discussion questions about how animals survive in the winter. Students also explored a resource from the Ontario Education Resource Bank that describes animal adaptations in greater depth and enables students to apply their knowledge by examining an interactive map with Canadian animals and asking them to select the matching adaption.
To support our current math inquiries about time, students also explored an OERB activity about "Buster Beaver's Busy Day" and later discussed favourite time periods in their own day in our math forum.
Students have very much enjoyed the ability to navigate through these activities at their own pace. They have provided meaningful and engaging learning opportunities to reinforce concepts and apply new thinking.
I have also shared our collectively developed Google Presentation about our liquids and solids investigations. By embedding the presentation directly into the homepage, students can access pictures and descriptions of our experiments at home or school.
This past week a few students requested their 'own spaces' on D2L to share information and ideas with the class. Looking forward to seeing where this will go ...
Check out this great blog from Edutopia on how blended learning can increase student engagement: