Rliberni's Blog – Radical language

November 29, 2010

How Do We Motivate Students to Collaborate with Peers Worldwide?

#Edchat 11-16–2010 – 18:00 CET 12 PM EST

Our guest summary this week has been written by Shelly Terrell (@shellterrell). She needs no introduction and we are thrilled that she has taken time to do this for #edchat. Please add your comments at the bottom of the blog and check out Shelly’s bio below!! Thanks Shelly this is really great!!

Collaboration isn’t assessed on standardized tests, yet this is one of the most important skills our students should learn. The world our students have inherited is plagued with the same problems we faced when we were in school. We have yet to find solutions to world hunger, international conflict, poverty, and environmental problems. I believe that the reason we have tackled these problems for years is because we aren’t taught how to collaborate with peers worldwide. If we did, imagine the worldwide teams that could collaborate successfully in solving these issues and more.  Schools have the responsibility to prepare students for their world, therefore, it is important that schools find ways to help students problem solve with their peers worldwide. Through the technology we have today, schools be able to have students participate in international projects. During this week’s Edchat we discussed the best places to find schools to connect with and we shared various projects we knew about. We also shared examples of schools that have gotten their students to collaborate with their peers worldwide.

Here are some of the main themes from the discussion: 

  • International collaboration begins with teachers connecting with other teachers worldwide
  • International collaboration should be supported in school curriculums
  • International collaboration helps students learn about other cultures
  • International communication is a part of making international collaboration successful

Here is a selection of some of the comments: 

 With such a vibrant discussion, it’s almost impossible to do it justice in a summary, but I’ve picked out some of the comments that caught my eye.

baldy7: it’s time to stop learning about other cultures and time to start learning with other cultures.
cybraryman1: #edchat is a great example of global connection that leads to collaborative projects
olafelch: I think the whole process of collaboration is much easier when it starts with direct contact between 2 teachers.
rgriffithjr: Global collaboration is a necessity in workforce, schools should certainly train & introduce students to it
ColinTGraham: Student blogs, and more importantly the comments on them, seem to be a rapidly growing way of global collaboration
dmantz7: Benefit I see of international collaboration is access to primary resources about various cultures & lifestyles.
ShellTerrell: When students collaborate with schools worldwide it helps shed stereotypes & promotes an international dialogue
hadleyjf: Making a global connection adds energy to the day-to-day studies
Tina_Barr: Collaboration can help re-engage dropouts by seeing what makes other programs successful.
rkiker: If we are not making global education the norm, then what world are we preparing students for? “I don’t live there.”
davidwees: You cannot understand your own culture completely without understanding it’s relationships to other cultures.  
chrisemdin: For a truly global classroom, we must embrace the use of tech tools- #googledocs, #youtube, #skype #ustream
@lemino: Curiosity is the key to all learning. If international collaborations lights it – then that’s a cool means!

I would ask that the following question is added to the poll next week:
How do we get current teacher training programs to include online professional development as part of the training?

To follow the complete discussion see here 

For the stats on #edchat participation see here 

As ever, there were some great links shared:

cybraryman1: Langwitches Blog http://bit.ly/3HgcD is a great example of educator connecting globally #edchat

TeacherSabrina:  Great comment from Gary_Eisenberg: Waiting for Superman???? Don’t make me laugh! There’s no need http://huff.to/bvOcYi #edchat #edreform

eshwaranv:  A small collaborative blog between teachers: http://bit.ly/b8hkbz #edchat

cybraryman1:  My first global collaboration was participating in an Email Around the World project in 1999-2000http://bit.ly/adSn3u #edchat

ShellTerrell:  @tkraz Try these resources (esp Epals community or tweet it) http://bit.ly/9h0WTo #edchat

MissCheska:  @cybraryman1 Very true! #scido is a great example of this, http://bit.ly/9IMjwr — sci teachers collaborating and sharing ideas

olafelch:  This new Skype service looks like it could be really useful: http://bit.ly/djrKyz #edchat

iearnusa:  Our Huffpost call to connect all US schools w/partners abroad: http://huff.to/8XAoy9 #Edchat 100 orgs have signed on. #iew 

iearnusa:  We’ve been waiting 22 years for this #edchat topic! 😉 #iearn http://bit.ly/bKCUy5

DrSarahEaton:  Slides: Global Trends in Language Learning uploaded to http://www.slideshare.net/event/the-global-education-conference #globaled10 #edchat

MissCheska:  @tkraz IMHO Depends on what course it is. If for an English class, I would check Nings like English Companion http://bit.ly/cR4BV3 #edchat

JessieNYC:   Cyber Racism & The Future of Free Speech http://bit.ly/bRizcV #edchat#BlackEdu #UrbanGirls

weisburghm:  I’m curious how many teachers encourage students to use LiveMocha http://www.livemocha.com/

AuthorsonCall:  Exciting presentation on Global Ed by INK authors. Don’t miss it 4:00pm EST; Link for room:http://bit.ly/9xwX9R #edchat #education

cybraryman1:  My Email Around the World bulletin board was the most read board in my school http://yfrog.com/j3e4asj

nancyrubin:  Virtual Field Trips as Engaged Learning http://ow.ly/3aI1h #edchat

findingdulcinea:  The Global Coalition Project is a group of interconnected classrooms from around the world:http://bit.ly/adzbL7 #edchat #glolab

cybraryman1:  My Collaboration page: http://cybraryman.com/collaboration.html #edchat

lemino:  Remember the global project about pearl harbor? #edchat http://is.gd/he2f5 What’s stopping you from creating those?

findingdulcinea:  The holy grail of cross-cultural student discussions: http://chattheplanet.com/index.php?page=chat&cat=115 #edchat 

@cschools:   What to make an impact on kids’ lives? Teach an apprenticeship with @cschoolshttp://bit.ly/aT77AI #volunteer #edreform #edchat

ColinTGraham:  @Schoology The Design for Change contest is a great example of globalization of student powerhttp://www.designforchangecontest.com/ #edchat

reuw:  @ShellTerrell On becoming a Globally connected Teacher – See Langwiches blog –http://bit.ly/bBfLBd #edchat

iearnusa:  For youngest kids, global art collaboration is great way to start: http://bit.ly/c9BPdr #edchat #iearn(one of 100 examples we’ve…

jeffkessler:  Digital Keys for Unlocking the Humanities? Riches – NYTimes http://nyti.ms/aZQPD9 – Digital tools in liberal arts education

cybraryman1:  My Glogs page: http://bit.ly/cBhDiG #edchat

ShellTerrell:  Several resources & examples of students collaborating internationally & how to connect w othershttp://bit.ly/aWfRoS #edchat

education_com:  Survey by @NatGeoSociety: 37% of Americans can find Iraq on map. Make kids global citizens:http://bit.ly/9kNG6e #edchat

cmoor4 An example for your perusal: http://thefischbowl.blogspot.com/2009/11/heritage-school-of-kabala.html

buffyjhamilton:  Journeys: Of Innovation and Roadblocks: http://is.gd/he6bO #tlchat #edchat

findingdulcinea:  This 3rd grade class in Maine connected w/3rd grade classes in all 50 states last year.http://bit.ly/9oaG3Q #edchat #sschat

miken_bu:  this site calls for Canadians to be intolerant, can’t say I disagree! http://bit.ly/cQ9MUD #edchat

cybraryman1:  Gr8 example of international collaboration going on now: Global Ed Conference http://tinyurl.com/25be2rf 

g4husky:  My elementary classroom is globally connected, appreciating similarities, celebrating differences. http://bit.ly/cATeZM

cybraryman1:  My Skype page: http://bit.ly/aQNA10 #edchat

ShapingYouth:  @Parentella @cybraryman1 need 2read #edchat feeds; this Skype resource pg is fab!http://bit.ly/aQNA10 ? global @SkypeClassroom concept #edu

qui_oui:  Report claims solution to teacher ed is to turn training “upside down”–again. http://bit.ly/dtwUSo#HigherEd #EdChat #HistoryRepeats

TwitClass:  In 4hrs plz join @ShellTerrell in a Free Webinar: Global Projects http://bit.ly/aQOEup 

Shelly Sanchez Terrell is the author of the Teacher Reboot Camp blog  and The 30 Goals Challenge free e-book. She is one of the founders of #Edchat and moderates regularly. She is also the VP of Educator Outreach for Parentella and the Social Community Manager for The Consultants-E. She has worked with students of all ages for over a decade and now teaches English in Germany. Find her on Twitter, @shellterrell

New to Edchat?

If you have never participated in an #Edchat discussion, these take place twice a day every Tuesday on Twitter. Over 400 educators participate in this discussion by just adding #edchat to their tweets. For tips on participating in the discussion, please check out these posts!

More Edchat


If you’re new to hashtag discussions, then just show up on Twitter on any Tuesday and add just a few tweets on the topic with the hashtag #edchat. 

What do you think? Leave a comment!

November 17, 2010

Beyond A Blog – The purpose of blogs in education

#Edchat 11-9–2010 – 18:00 CET 12 PM EST

Thank you to Rob Griffith (@rgriffithjr) for this week’s summary. The edchat session on blogging was amazing – as you can see from the post and it was not easy to keep up! Rob has captured the energy in this summary. So many links were posted that there is no excuse for not including blogging in your work! Thank you Rob for providing us with a great summary. See Rob’s bio at the end of the post.

Main Points:

  • Blogging Engagement – Challenging others and ourselves to express views/ideas.

Blogs are a tremendous tool for getting students, teachers, and parents involved in educational discussion and inquiry.  They provide a simple straightforward platform that promotes involvement and higher level thinking.  Students that may be shy in the classroom often open up in the blogging environment

  • Blogging Enabling – Creating an opportunity to speak their voice

Blogs allow the author to speak their mind without fear of reprisal. For those who disagree with the opinion and position they can simply stop reading.  The author is granted ownership through the writing of a blog and generally is compelled to produce a post that demonstrates quality work and preparation.

  • Blogging Effectiveness – Comprehending the outcomes why/how to Blog  

Blogs have the ability to be utilized for multiple purposes.  From introductory thinking, to complicated research, a blog has both usefulness and purpose. Blogs can immerse the reader with ideas, interact with an audience, and inspire people to change.  Take a look at the comments from #edchat about Blogging in Education

Here is a selection of some of the comments:

@malcolmbellamy -I have seen excellent examples of increased confidence and reasons for writing using blogs #edchat

@bhsprincipal  -At the h.s. level, we need more student voice to move the agenda, student blogs are a great vehicle for this. #edchat

@karacornejo – Children need to write for real purposes in genres that are relevant to today’s world. #edchat

@andycinek -Saying no to student blogs is basically saying no to reflection, writing, and critical analysis #edchat

@k_shelton -Blogging provides students with an authentic audience (classmates) that can interact with their writings, unlike a paper journal #edchat

@Tina_Barr – It is the job of and educators to inform, not censor. #edchat

@schoolsEDU – Example: students can blog their learning process(es) and track progress. #edchat

@ericjuli – In blogless classrooms, there sometimes isn’t any purposeful structure for student-student relationships #edchat

@debwhite – Blogs are a way of communicating, reflecting, making thinking visible, showing change over time, documenting learning. This is ed.

@vlnenglish – blogs are a great reflective tool for students and teachers

@WorldWideLearn – Students are heard outside the classroom RT @davidwees What arguments can we produce to justify blogging? #edchat

@baldy7  – #edchat the single greatest transformative experience in my professional career was beginning to blog and reply to blogs

@drtimony   – Blogging is important b/c it is what people are doing now. It is a viable option for expression. Ts should see that. #edchat

@karacornejo   – Not only do I hv students comment on others blogs but I have their parents comment also, nvr would have happened w/ journal writing #edchat

@mathartist  – Blogging is reporting and on the highest level of digital Bloom’s. Reporting is accountability & ownership #edchat

@carneysandoe – #edchat Communication between parents and school is enhanced by this tool.

@davidwees  – Often schools build time into their schedules for collaboration, professional development, how about blogging? #edchat

@malcolmbellamy – the blog is not a one-way thing there is a real conversation with comments! #edchat

@rliberni  – A blog is a real way of engaging stds in something real and tangible #edchat

@yolinksearch – Blogging encourages students to stay up-to-date and critically analyze current events that are important to them #edchat

To follow the complete discussion see here 

For the stats on #edchat participation see here 

 As ever some great links were shared – so many this week!

HigherEdMorning:  A student’s stranded on a desert island … http://bit.ly/cyhQMN

nancyrubin:  Blogging and Bloom’s Taxonomy http://t.co/hJfcxXf  via @nancyrubin #edchat

FrankCatalano:  Crowdsourcing the 5th-grade classroom: results so far of Slate’s effort http://bit.ly/dxFX5Z

nancyrubin:  Tech Lessons – Blog Ideas http://t.co/ZAdZjx7  via @nancyrubin #edchat

cybraryman1: My collection of Administrators blogs: http://bit.ly/2jA0jN

bhsprincipal:  Social networking (blogging) Improves Literacy (via @gcouros) http://bit.ly/cxQiLB  #edchat
2043777699024896 edudemic 11/9/2010 12:04 PM TV vs. Social Media: Who Swears More? http://t.co/WiOPl8m #edchat

mrami2:  Check out how my student Shawn has embraced blogging in the classroom: http://bit.ly/93ArjM

nancyrubin:  eJournal Ideas for Teachers http://t.co/sCfcKw1  via @nancyrubin #edchat

maggiev: Top 20 Websites No Teacher Should Start the 2010-2011 Year Without http://bit.ly/9augy8 #edchat #edtech

DeputyMitchell:  Is commenting on blogs a dying art? Read @HGJohn’s view: http://bit.ly/9tN601  #edchat

aaronmueller:  Here are many examples of my own video blogs for online students http://bit.ly/8X8zb1

joe_bower: Silent Reading, Star Wars and Technology http://bit.ly/arCNH1  #abed #edchat

andycinek:  @elanaleoni it has happened in philly http://exm.nr/cz5RZh

bhsprincipal:  @socratech We have one. No policy for it http://on.fb.me/9gMpyE

mrami2:  My students share their views on Blogging in the Classroom: http://bit.ly/a9P1fQ

DreamBox_Learn: DreamBox Learning Blog: Tuesday Teacher Tip – Books That Teach Math. Share your favorite! http://bit.ly/d12vOI  #edchat #mathchat

bhsprincipal: “Social networking (blogging) Improves Literacy (via @gcouros) http://bit.ly/cxQiLB

ImagineLearning:  New Post: Helping your English learners take advantage of the Internet: How can you help your Engli… http://bit.ly/cEVNwd

manelrives: willrich45: Rereading: “The Object of Education is Learning, Not Teaching” http://bit.ly/WFOkv  Must read. #edreform #edchat

gcouros: PLS Follow and say hi! to new h.s. Principal blogger from MA is @etracywhs http://bit.ly/cRhRd9  #cpchat #edchat

Tina_Barr: Adobe Flash risk exposing students’ personal data: http://bit.ly/cxIktd  possible risk #edchat

aaronmueller: @ian23505 Here is our first beginnings of a professional facebook presence http://on.fb.me/c104d7

ShellTerrell:  Blogs help students explore their passions! Such as this kid blogger, http://bit.ly/cjJpUc  #edchat

andycinek: When schools say no to blogging they are controling the voice of a population #edchat #1984 http://bit.ly/biAGPB

ian23505:  @aaronmueller thanks for sharing. Here is mine: http://on.fb.me/9Ewjtn

 bhsprincipal:  @socratech I have a link from my blog http://bit.ly/9anyBP  which is linked from our website http://bit.ly/cNgktB

cybraryman1: My Educational Blogs page: http://bit.ly/8mcqcC  I can see a Class Blogs page coming (I have a few) #edchat

nancyrubin:  21st Century Literacies http://t.co/37Of4tV  via @nancyrubin #edchat

carneysandoe:  look at one teacher who’s using blogging as a creative way of showcasing pupils’ work: http://bit.ly/dtqJ65

Tina_Barr:  Good Q RT @JaneVanHof: Should kids learn typing skills or the art of cursive? http://bit.ly/baf0o5

nancyrubin:  Video – The 21st Century Learner http://t.co/CXcTYlT  via @nancyrubin

andycinek:  #ntcamp blogger series post by @kbakerIEE http://bit.ly/b75rVX  #edchat #ntchat

TLkirsten:  Creating a Bloggin Scope and Sequence by Kim Cofino http://bit.ly/aBnFRG

carneysandoe:  RT @rliberni: At what age should we start with blogs? -> Just shared this http://bit.ly/dtqJ65  they are 8. #edchat

TLkirsten: “Creating a Bloggin Scope and Sequence” by Kim Cofino http://bit.ly/aBnFRG

pearsonls:  3 helpful websites for finding interesting teaching techniques. http://ow.ly/36VUi  #edchat #onlinelearning ^SW

cmoor4:  we use R blog 4 all sorts of gr8 assignments, but mostly 2 create an audience & purpose 4 (cont…) http://trunc.it/cgpyk

nelbaquintana:  My 7 year old students have already started blogging! http://ini2-icab-lp.blogspot.com

fliegs:  @michellek107 Totally. Read this http://bit.ly/awh8fF

cybraryman1:  @vmc_teachers See left hand column on my Ed Blogs pg for (blog etiquette, blogs for students, blog rubric..): http://bit.ly/8mcqcC

blanchetblog:  Ithink they should be public, but make sure kids know not to post private info #edchat link to student blog: http://mvutru.blogspot.com/

michellek107:  Aviva’s (@Grade1) take on why tech makes a difference in kids’ writing. http://bit.ly/awh8fF

zecool:  For those of you who understand French, @gauviroo ‘s K-8 school has been actively blogging since 2005 http://cahm.elg.ca/ #edchat #Clair2011

ergosteve: 18 Technologies Changing #Onderwys Forever: Ignoreer dit by jou verantwoording http://bit.ly/dhDHZh  #passiondriven #edchat

rliberni:  My piece on blogging and English language skills http://bit.ly/9m02us  #edchat

budtheteacher:  Considering connective writing might be helpful. http://digitalis.nwp.org/collection/whats-new-or-whats-good-writing-connecti  #edchat

vmc_teachers:  @ShellTerrell @karacornejo What is the advantages of http://Kidblog.org over other platforms ? #edchat #EdRes

ktenkely:  Any of you #edchat peeps want to put in your 2cents for #twitacad, starting a new school would love input! http://bit.ly/cYXS7O

ShellTerrell: Connecting Through Blogs! Many resources http://bit.ly/9beD59  #edchat #blogging #edtech

vmc_teachers: @schoolsEDU Which blogs? I recently discovd http://www.posterous.com  – allows many contribs. WordPress also great. #edchat

leahmacvie:  With a campus-wide effort for blogging, now comes the need for guidelines/directions. See ours: : http://bit.ly/dm081b #edchat

TheHeadsOffice:  DeputyMitchell: Is commenting on blogs a dying art? Read @HGJohn’s view: http://bit.ly/9tN601 #edchat >Presenting on it #tmbristol Weds

TheNerdyTeacher:   @MrsBMG @Mrskmpeters @ShannonMiller’s #edcampkc Session on K-12 Blogging http://bit.ly/daQQ7o  – #edchat #blogging

amichetti:  Love this piece frm DMLcentral re: impt connection btwn #Community & #Writing in digital age http://j.mp/aZ2kS8  cc  @intrepidteacher #edchat

CarneySandoe: 33 Ways to use blogs in your classroom and in the educational setting: http://bit.ly/aYwWdQ

RobertBorgersen:  Blogging with immediate feedback: Google Wave and Google Docs: http://bit.ly/9hgrkg  and http://bit.ly/cy6wVK #edchat #education

tomwhitby:  BTW you are all invited to my Blog “My Island View” . Your comments are most welcomed. http://bit.ly/86CKmb  #Edchat

ianaddison:  I wonder if our US friends would like to look too? Pick a class on the right and leave a comment http://www.stjohnsblogs.co.uk  #edchat

YancyUnger:  #edchat Blogging can be about autonomy, mastery, and purpose. That is the motivation. http://bit.ly/aFiTdn


@rgriffithjr – I am an educator from Western New York.  I love using technology to improve efficiency and effectiveness of my classroom instruction.  

New to Edchat?

If you have never participated in an #Edchat discussion, these take place twice a day every Tuesday on Twitter. Over 1,000 educators participate in this discussion by just adding #edchat to their tweets. For tips on participating in the discussion, please check out these posts!

More Edchat


If you’re new to hashtag discussions, then just show up on Twitter on any Tuesday and add just a few tweets on the topic with the hashtag #edchat. 

What do you think? Leave a comment!

November 16, 2010

Grammar is dead – Long live grammar!

Grammar seems to have featured a lot recently in discussions on language teaching:

  • Is it important?
  • Should we teach it?
  • Is it better to let it be absorbed?
  • Does it put students off learning?

At first I was quite shocked to see these discussions, as for me as both teacher and learner, grammar had been at the heart of language learning. I was probably the last generation to be taught English grammar formally at primary school and I loved it – it’s what got me hooked on language! I studied English as part of my university degree and grammar lectures were compulsory – at this level I found some of the grammar quite difficult and it was only when I began teaching that I was able to make sense of a lot of it. My training as an English language teacher was also focused on grammar and how to approach the skills, functions and notions of language within a fairly grammatical framework.

Having seen the discussions, looked at more recent course books and read various blogs and commentaries I began to feel that perhaps there had been a revolution which I had missed in language teaching and that my approaches were seriously flawed! The absence of grammar signalled something rather chaotic to me and this is what I began to see in many of the course books – a melee of structures thrown together, not enough (to my mind) practice before moving on to the next thing, a lack of concept checking and an all round failure to be really cohesive. There was, however, a riot of colour and sound, support across a myriad of supplementary books and CDs but alas it made me feel very dizzy!

During this period of doubting I watched and questioned my students very carefully on the matter of grammar. From 16 to 60 they all wanted to include grammar in their lessons. It grounded them in something familiar. Terms like imperatives, present perfect, gerund and participle were familiar to many of them and a good working jargon. Those who had not studied grammar quite so formally in their own language nevertheless expected it and felt that it was part and parcel of their language learning. In fact I think, from my straw poll, that students expect their teachers to be well-versed in grammar and might suspect those who are not.

Grammar lessons

So where does this leave things? During a recent #eltchat many teachers didn’t like the idea of grammar lessons but what exactly are grammar lessons? What is the role of the grammar book in language learning? I hope, it is a reference book and not a bible! For me grammar is a magical toolbox, the ‘hammer’ and ‘chisel’ a teacher (and student) can use to put language together. Once students know how the tools work they can take them out again and again to fix their latest language inventions. Whether they know the terminology for the present simple tense or not they will know to use the structure when they need to talk about habits, or states or facts. If they have a pressing need to tell a story they can take out their set of narrative tenses and combine this with the packet of shiny adverbs of frequency that sit next to the prepositions of place. You get the idea. The terminology is a shorthand which, for those who know it, can save time, but the actual grammar tools can be used by everybody.

So, grammar lessons (banish the thought!) would be no more than naming tools without demonstrating their use. A hammer has no meaning unless it is used to bang in a nail!

Grammar progression

Present simple to present continuous, to past simple, to present perfect simple ….. 

Do we need to start with the tacks before we move on to masonry nails? If you are fixing a chair what good is having a masonry nail? Is the past perfect really more difficult than the present perfect? Is the concept of completed actions in the past more difficult to grasp than that of actions which straddle past, present and future? After all there are ways of  expressing all these concepts in every language.

The idea of a step by step progression is an old one. Underlying it is the belief that there is a homogenous elementary, intermediate or advanced type of student and somehow they all find themselves in the same class! Language is not like that, things come from right, left and centre. Learners are not like that, they come with baggage – linguistic, experiential, emotional and personal! So why not start with the learner and their current requirements – now there is a novel idea! Even in a large class there can be some way of finding a consensus. What is it that this group is going to have to go out there and do first? A grammar toolbox needs to be full of shiny, useful tools not a collection of rusty old keepsakes!

I like grammar. I think it is important. I don’t think it’s the be-all and end-all of language learning, but please don’t throw the baby out with the bath water!!

See these posts on grammar

Prepositions – pearls of great price

English verbs that confuse!

Countable and uncountable nouns

and on books

Choosing dictionaries and grammar books

November 9, 2010

Blending of face to face learning with online learning

#Edchat 11-2–2010 – 18:00 CET 12 PM EST

Thank you to Scott Akerson @mra47 for this week’s summary. Blended learning is a popular topic on #edchat. A great edchatter and dedicated educator, Scott had managed to get to the heart of the topic and produced a wonderful summary for us.  See Scott’s bio at the end of the post. Thank you Scott!

With all the technology advancements that have come about in the last 2, 5, 10 years, how can education use start to blend face to face and online learning?  The business world incorporates video conferencing why shouldn’t schools?  Not 100% of the school day online, (not yet), but why not a mix?  Mixing online and face to face classes can have both benefits and drawbacks.  Students can participate in classes at times and in ways they normally couldn’t.  (i.e sickness, lack of course offering)  Many barriers will come about in the debate.  It will scare teachers initially. Lesson plans will need to change, there will be some surrender of control of the classroom.  Are schools and parents ready for teachers not to be source of information, but merely the coach and mentor for the students as they find the information?  Is there enough professional development to make all invested parties comfortable with this model?  What about access to the internet?  the #edchat this week discusses these and other issues in an awesome session.
  Here are some of the main themes from the discussion: 
  • Blended learning can expand the course offerings of smaller schools.
  • Blended learning can help with some “away from school” issues like absenteeism, snow days, etc.
  • Blended learning will force change in teaching methodology
  • Does blended learning have to mean “at home”?  Why not offer more options at schools?
  • What about access to the internet?
 Here is a selection of some of the comments: 
 With such a vibrant discussion, it’s almost impossible to do it justice in a summary, but I’ve picked out some of the comments that caught my eye.

@madzia13 The movement towards 21st-century learning in education is actually inevitable, it is just the way society and businesses are moving. #edchat

 @davidwees The biggest issue I’ve seen with it so far is that the gov’t is using it as a way of removing class size limits. #edchat

 @shellterrell Blended options ensure that learning takes place beyond the classroom walls #Edchat

 @RGriffithJR If we are trying to develop students who are always learning, blending becomes even more important #edchat

@ tomwhitby Online teaching may be lessexpnsive form of education

 @ srdouggreeen Students who “fail” can keep going online until they make the grade. #edchat

@cybraryman Learning should take place not only in the classroom but on a global level. We have the tools so we should employ them #edchat

 @ericjuli Successful blended learning requires a shift away from content as learning goal towards content as vehicle for learning skills. #edchat

 @21stprincipal How can a school leader advocate global learning while insisting on traditional classrooms and learning? #edchat

 @ericjuli Am all for blended model-but lots of clarity around purpose, outcomes, resources, feedback etc to be established #edchat

 @gellesastar Blended learning is not about online learning per se. It’s about using technology to facilitate the blended learning. #edchat

 @rgallwitz More clicks less bricks! #edchat

 @azjd RT @tomwhitby: Not requiring students 2 B in school everyday from 7ish 2 3ish will nevr B accepted by R schedule-dependent culture. #Edchat

@tomwhitby worksheets online are still worksheets

 @RGriffithJR The biggest attitude that needs to be changed is the attitude of disillusionment! No model will B a perfect fit for all,all the time #edchat

 @21stprincipal: School leaders also need to learn how to use online learning tools. #edchat – agree! get them into the environment!

 @weisburghm as we move more online, doesn’t the teacher become more of a coach, mentor, and facilitator than sage? #edchat

 @cbell619: Most adults are bad at collaborating online; we need to explicitly develop this skill & can/should do this online w/kids #edchat

 @ShellTerrell If every school had a team to solve access issue in their school then access wouldn’t be a problem #edchat

 RT @comPOSITIONblog: @rgallwitz @web20classroom #edchat Money. If students are poverty-stricken, chances are food is more important than internet literacy

 @bruno_cesar82: With blended teaching there are more roles in a class than just teacher – student #edchat

I would ask that the following question is added to the poll next week:

 How can educators get parents on board with the shift in methodology of teaching?   
To follow the complete discussion see here 
For the stats on #edchat participation see here 
As ever, there were some great links shared:

davencvps67 :  blended learning continues to emerge in the K-20 space and needs to be embraced http://bit.ly/cIzFA7

amichetti:  I doubt many educators read published research from US Dept of Ed, but this report on online learning is worth it http://j.mp/cMrmjD

rgallwitz:  YouTube – Learning Without Limits – A TRECA Academy ( http://bit.ly/cA96LT ) Blended School

BarbaraOBrien:  Students Still Reluctant to Try E-Textbooks #edchat #lrnchat @Chronicle of Higher Education http://t.co/YcYKUsz

amichetti:  Also worth reading: http://j.mp/aU7384  #edchat #research #blendedlearning

amichetti:  Meta-Analysis: Is Blended Learning Most Effective? — THE Journal http://bit.ly/beZMmE  #edchat #article #blendedlearning #research

leahmacvie:  @teacherdebra: We are trying this here at my school. http://bit.ly/bb6Nkl

cybraryman1:  My Blended Learning page: http://bit.ly/altQDl  #edchat

davencvps67:   blended learning continues to emerge in the K-20 space http://bit.ly/cIzFA7

aenclade:   @tomwhitby read this in the latimes: Getting an education in learning over the Internet http://tinyurl.com/35oduag

vmc_teachers:  They are great ways also to expend the curriculum, using free online courses, such as @MIT ‘s Open Courseware http://bit.ly/aK7SFQ

vmc_teachers:  And so many fantastic online resources are offered by and for the #homeschooling community http://bit.ly/dxfXuV

teacherdebra: There was an article yesterday about a schl in Ohio that is trying it out–no more snow days. #edchat http://bit.ly/biXE1x

msstewart:  Dropping in quickly- I’m teaching a blended learning US #history class http://bit.ly/bD6VEf

smitha834:  Flip-thinking is one shift I’m making to move toward blended learning. http://ow.ly/33fu8

edinaenglish:  My blog about becoming a blended teacher. Last year, I taught three sections. Now I’m full-time blended. http://bit.ly/dtmD8L

rgallwitz:  YouTube – Networked Student ( http://bit.ly/czlF4e ) Example of what I’m looking for!

vmc_teachers:  Do you know the @global_nomads ? Great way to meet students from around the world using video-conferencing http://bit.ly/bNjig7

datruss:  nlearning: See http://bit.ly/91ZUMi  #BLC10 keynotes by Mitch Resnick, Michael Wesch and Rahaf Harfoush

neilstephenson:  Exemplars of Google Docs in the classroom: for editing/research/collaboration http://bit.ly/cEtZZd

thecleversheep:  Today’s podcast: If you have a PLN, you’re ‘Wired for Scenius Behaviour’. http://thecleversheep.libsyn.com

davidwees:  @anotherschwab @cbell619 @comPOSITIONblog Way off topic, but here a pioneer at UBC in the unlecture : http://is.gd/gCHF5

jonbergmann:  @vmc_teachers the “flipped” clsrm is a gr8 entry point for new blended learning tchrs #edchat http://learning4mastery.com/news.html

rpetersmauri:  15 Best Blogging Practices http://bit.ly/bDTx4D

Scott Akerson has taught MS social studies and other various subjects for 11 years.  All this technology explosion has reenergized him to a new level of love for teaching.  He tweets at @mra47.  He loves to brag on his students’ work at
www.aslsmra.blogspot.com.  You can read some of his thoughts at

New to Edchat?

If you have never participated in an #Edchat discussion, these take place twice a day every Tuesday on Twitter. Over 400 educators participate in this discussion by just adding #edchat to their tweets. For tips on participating in the discussion, please check out these posts!

More Edchat


If you’re new to hashtag discussions, then just show up on Twitter on any Tuesday and add just a few tweets on the topic with the hashtag #edchat. 

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