On day 2 of this challenge, I must admit I didn’t realize how hard it would be to force myself to sit down at my computer on a Saturday afternoon to write. This blogging challenge may be harder than I thought. Luckily, inspiration for an idea came quickly once I got myself to the computer.
Today, I am interested in exploring the idea of how we classify learning experiences in higher education. Specifically, the idea of blended learning. A few years ago I began to dig deeper into the world of educational technology and was quite enamored by the idea of blended learning. Blended learning fit nicely into my concept of teaching. It didn’t require me to push my thinking beyond the technology. Basically, with blended learning most faculty increase the use of technologies to create learning experiences that replace seat time. This creates greater flexibility for scheduling and provides a nice pathway to the possibilities of online learning. All this while faculty do not loose the face-2-face contact most consider central to their success as an instructor. Blended learning has a lot to offer, but it doesn’t begin to describe the transformation that takes place when an instructor embraces all that the digital age has to offer for learning. Personally, when I removed the structure of seat time and began exploring online environments for learning, I began to transform much more than could be explained by talking about the modality of instruction (e.g. blended learning). The changes I made allowed for much more personalized learning, greater connections between students, an increase in creativity and improved student productivity. I now find myself turning to the term connected learning when I explain my approach to teaching.
I’ll likely be drawn to explore the variety of definitions of connected learning in the next few days, but for now it is back to my typical Saturday afternoon activities.