Sunday, May 21, 2017

Wow!  What a year it has been.  Since the beginning of the year, I have been developing my knowledge around a new content and thinking about ways to deliver it that incorporates technology, allows for student independence and provides built-in collaboration for students.  Through various trials, mistakes and wins, we have worked out a system that is a win-win for students and teacher, and the results of student surveys throughout the year indicate that students are becoming increasingly receptive to this style of learning here at Horning.  

During the beginning of the year, I sent out a survey that asked students about their level of engagement in class, with the content and if they liked how the technology was being used in the class.  During the very first survey, about half of students considered themselves somewhat engaged in the content, most did not like how technology was being used and many felt like they were not interested in the content of world geography.  After changing to a hybrid model where students have ownership over the content, how they present their learning, the chance to talk to others and to have a dialogue with other students and teacher, the increase in engagement has been dramatic.  

In our most recent survey, only ten percent of students disagreed or strongly disagreed that they were not engaged in their learning.  That means about 90 percent of students felt some level of engagement and a similar number enjoyed the hybrid station model.  Students gave feedback that they enjoyed working with others, creating something by applying their knowledge and having opportunities to think outside of the box.  These skills will certainly come in handy and will make our students college and career ready after high school.  

After thinking through all of this information, I decided with our district technology coordinator that it was important to have some baseline data to determine if there was a real difference in the results of hybrid learning.  Turns out, there is a major difference.  Most students in a more traditional classroom felt much more neutral in terms of engagement and in terms of how they felt about their ownership in the classroom.  

As I continue this work next year, I believe that what we are doing will make an impact on student outcomes, and we can only continue to improve and refine what is happening.  

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