I #AskBenW And he suggested

connectkindly

The awesome Ben Wilkoff has done it again! Just tweet #AskBenW a question, and he’ll provide resources and suggestions.

This summer I’m taking a course on “Blended Learning.” Many of the participants are very new with digital classroom tools, so I thought I’d just ask an expert.  Ben is the Director of Personalized Professional Learning at Denver Public Schools, specializing in Blended Learning.

My Question: How do you get started with Blended Learning as a traditional classroom teacher?

Ben’s Excellent Response:

Gist: To become a blended classroom teacher, first become a blended learner.

Do:
1. Listen to podcasts, read blogs.
2. Start posting publicly online: resources, lesson plans

Why:
These will tweak your mindset and turn your brain to think like a blended learner so you can teach as one. By publicly sharing your resources and lesson plans, parents, family, and others can learn from you.

Thanks!

Thank you Ben for a wonderful response. As I reflect on my own journey to blended learning, I started in just such a way. I started listening to CDs and podcasts on education. I began participating in online webinars which evolved into Live Class 2.0 — Every Saturday at 9:00 am Pacific– learn a new tool or strategy. I started publishing my lesson plans online in Blogger. I read blogs and started blogging at Edublogs. I published lessons on a wiki [What Else]. I started connecting with other teachers to collaborate with student projects. And I joined Twitter. I have been a connected educator since 2009, and through these small steps have brought my students blended learning so they use the tools of today in preparation for possibilities of tomorrow.

How about you?  What’s your journey to become a Connected Educator and Blended Learner?

Not sure what to do?  Follow Ben’s advice — here are resources:


Ben’s Suggested Resources

Podcasts
EdSurge & iTunes
Horizontal Transfer & iTunes
Classroom Questions & iTunes
Techlandia & iTunes

Blogs
Pernille Ripp
John Spencer

Assessments

Fluberoo from Eric Curts

My Favorites:
Interactive Webinars
Live Class 2.0 Every Saturday at 9:00 am Pacific, learn a new tool
Archives of Live Class 2.0

Reviewed Tools
Teachers First   Reviewed Tools at the Edge   OK2AK Professional Development Online
Richard Byrne

Lots of Stuff: CybraryMan

Learn Google Apps
learn.google.com
Alice Keeler

Apps User Group from Eric Curts
Kasey Bell

Blogs
TeachThought
Edutopia
Larry Ferlazzo

Kasey Bell: Shake Up Learning

Online Spaces For You
Instead of handouts, provide a link to the handout website. Place your lesson plans online.

Free Ways to Publish Online
Google Documents or Slides can be published.Google Apps Personal  Google Apps for Education
Wiki: WikiSpaces
Weebly
Blendspace
Tackk

Blog Platforms
Blogger [free with Google Account]
WordPress [free]

Edublogs [ freemium]
Kidblogs [$29/year] Google Drive Integration / Signup

My recommendation to move from traditional to blended learning?

1 Start with Ben’s advice.

2 Start a blog — a newsletter for your classroom with links to resources, lessons, and classroom photos. Just blog twice a month to start.

3 And join Twitter — start building a PLN

What small step will you take to become a blended learner?  A connected educator?

And thanks again, Ben, for taking the time to carefully map a plan for small steps to become a blended learner.


Quote and Image

Sheri Edwards

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