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BLENDED – Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools

Homepage Forums Brain Based Learning Book Clubs BLENDED – Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools

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      Lisa Baker

      I recently read the book “Blended – Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools” by Michael B. Horn and Heather Staker, I was introduced to wider variety of options for blending technology in the classroom than I expected. I had heard about the flipped classroom and lab classrooms, but “Blended” introduced me such a large variety of options.
      As a Pre-K teacher for Special Education students, I want to accelerate my students’ skills. I want to introduce them to technology and prepare them for kindergarten and beyond. Since my students need additional time and practice in order to develop skills, I believe that this early instruction using technology for learning is critical.
      After reading “Blended” and reviewing my physical space, I decided that the best model for my class would be the “Station Rotation” model. In this model, I utilize the tablets that have been gifted to my classroom to enable my students to have access the internet. I utilize several apps including Touchtronic Letters and Numbers. The tablets are part of our schedule as both a work basket station as well as a choice in our play zone time.
      The advantages of this model is that it will easily fit into our schedule and classroom routine. Due to the age of my students, going to a lab for computer instruction is not practical. Since my students are already conditioned to following a routine, incorporating this self-paced program will not be that much of a stretch. The station rotation model will still allow for me to have face-to-face instruction while providing self-pace practice for my students. I have the equipment. This is a doable addition to our routine.
      In implementing this model, I have faced only a few challenges. One is the connection to the internet. Maintaining a consistent connection to the internet has always been a challenge in my current location. The recent grant to our school hopefully has resolved this situation. Hurricane Irma caused some damage to my classroom as well, but most of the repairs have now been made.
      Reading this book has allowed me to take a purposeful look at my own classroom relationship with technology. In the past I have used technology as a reward and entertainment. Now with the advances of better Internet connection and a nearly 1-to-1 ratio of student to devices, I have been able to explore using technology more purposefully. This book introduced me to different teams and models. I found it to be interesting and useful. Please let me know your thoughts as we all move into this new era of education.

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