We sat down with Weston Kieschnick, award-winning educator, best-selling author, TEDx speaker, and coach, to talk about best practices in blended learning and how to talk with educators about successfully implementing educational technology in the classroom. Watch the podcast and read a few of the highlights.
Benefits of blended learning for students and educators
Benefits of blended learning for students:
"Our children have to be able to live and work and utilize the devices that are at their disposal in a way that is productive. Our schools need to be places where students can get their hands on technology so they are able to use these tools to actually produce and interact and engage in meaningful ways."
Benefits of blended learning for teachers:
"The big benefit for teachers in the edtech space is that we can use the digital tools available for us to elevate instructional strategies, to make them more effective and efficient than they’ve ever been before."
"We know that when you combine great instructional strategies with digital tools, the effect is exponential in terms of the growth we can create for students."
Balancing the message of innovation and validation for teachers
"So often, we get so excited about the message of innovation that the message becomes, 'Innovate! Innovate! Innovate!' What happens is that many teachers don’t feel that in this space of innovation they have a place at the table.
The challenge for administrators is to ask, 'How do we still push the message of innovation while offering a message of validation for our veteran teachers?' Because there have been a lot of great things happening in education with our students for a very long time and we need to make sure those great things come with us [into the future]."
"When administrators balance that message of innovation and validation, the doors of communication open up."
Accelerating teaching with educational technology
"We have to have a robust thinking methodology around educational technology, guided by intentional questions.
For example, what are our rigorous and relative learning outcomes? And what highly rigorous instructional strategy am I going to use to meet that rigorous and relative learning outcome?
Once I understand these questions, then I ask, 'How am I going to use this edtech tool to support these strategies and improve their effectiveness and efficiency so we can meet these rigorous and relevant outcomes?' Then we can plan for success."
"When blended learning happens well, your digital learning is like an invisible thread in and out of the lesson. It’s truly a blend."
Learn more about how Imagine Learning programs can elevate your classroom instruction at www.imaginelearning.com.