Frustrated with not having enough time to teach everything she needs to and carry on meaningful discussions in class, educator Catlin Tucker has found a solution.
She uses blended learning technique with an online tool called Collaborize Classroom, allotting time in class to teach the content, then assigning thoughtful questions online to spur discussions that students can dig deep into.
On her blog, the Honors English teacher details all the benefits from using online time at home with instructional time in class.
The online discussions have made my in-class discussions more inclusive, engaging, and dynamic. Because students have been given a question to discuss online, they have had the time to articulate a response, bounce ideas around with their peers, ask questions, make connections, etc. Then when we revisit these discussions in the classroom, students have a plethora of ideas to share. They are no longer scared to speak out because they have a confidence born from their online discussions and the validation of their peers. They have already presented ideas and read other perspectives on a topic. Many students directly reference their peers’ ideas during in class discussions. They discuss comments that impressed and surprised them as well as those postings which caused them to reconsider their own view points.
Here's the most important part: weaving in those online discussions into the next day's class. She's able to create colorful pie charts on the site, and bring that information back to class to discuss how students weighed in on different ideas and choices.