Learning2gether Episode 438
The opening webinar for a free, open, and online course on How to Create and Use a Blended Learning Classroom was opened by its creator Vance Stevens in a webinar on Thursday, 20 February, at 12 noon UTC.
English Language Specialist Vance Stevens and RELO Bangkok Alice Murray officially opened and introduced the course with this event recorded in Zoom. The course was originally planned to start on February 17, but the opening webinar was delayed to the 20th to allow enrollment numbers to eventually reach 30. As the course was scheduled for 3 weeks, the end date of the course was pushed back to March 11. You can read some of the back story here:
The slides for the webinar are online and available here:
The course takes place in Schoology with a more detailed and coherent backend developed in PBworks, here:
https://tinyurl.com/blended2020 (to give the mnemonic link established for the course, whose hash tag is also #blended2020, as you can see when you search on Twitter here:
It is planned to schedule several more synchronous webinars and office hours at times negotiable with participants, but attendance at the webinars is optional. What is more important is asynchronous participation in the Schoology discussions. But there are no certificates offered for the course, and participants are welcome to drop in and participate in whatever capacity they feel will benefit them at any time over the next three weeks.
I (Vance) explained that the idea for the course is to practice community-as-curriculum along MOOC precepts and take advantage of this opportunity to work in consultation with an English Language Specialist (me) who developed the course following two decades experience in cultivating blended and online learning in f2f classrooms and in distributed communities of practice — and perhaps more importantly, to network with and learn from peers.
Throughout the course, I will model methods for creating blending learning environments which, if they resonate with you, you can apply in your own teaching context.
If you are interested in participating, please visit this page:
and follow the instructions there for enrolling in the Schoology course and participating in the webinars, if you are able to do so.
Please feel free to distribute this announcement to anyone you feel would be interested. Enrollment is open and the EL Specialist is available from Thu Feb 20 to Wed March 11, 2020.
For more information
The course takes place in Schoology at this address
But you can only reach that address if log in to your account at Schoology (free) and then access the course through your control panel. To do this you must first enroll in the course, using the access code PPZF-676N-BGXQW
Step by step instructions for doing that, with screen shots, are given here:
Live online webinars and consultation opportunities which I call office hours were scheduled every other day throughout the course, all of them at 1400 UTC, which was the time agreed upon by attendees at the first webinar, and absent any feedback to the contrary from anyone else in the course.
Schoology has a category of materials that can be included in courses called ‘assignments‘ but I prefer to call these missions, an idea I got from Shelly Sanchez Terrell some time ago. Accordingly, the mission for the first week of the course was essentially to orient in the course and then produce a “digital poster” by which I meant just about anything you could put online that would get participants playing with the tools and showcasing their skills. By the end of the first week, three out of 40 enrolled participants had produced links to their missions, duly recorded in a Hero’s List, here:
There were two office hours two and four days after the first webinar. Both were recorded in Zoom, uploaded to YouTube, and added to the course recordings archive at
Sat 22 Feb at 1400 UTC – 2100 Bangkok time – First Office Hour
The course on How to Create and Use a Blended Learning Classroom held its first “office hour” on Feb 22, 2020. Not sure if anyone would be there, I (Vance) started on time and dived into the back story of how the course came about. Magali from Ecuador appeared soon after and we talked about how the course can cater to her need to learn more about digital storytelling, which happens to be the topic for Week 2 of the course:
Mon 24 Feb 1400 UTC – 2100 in Bangkok – Second course office hour
At the opening webinar we decided that 1400 UTC would be a good time for our synchronous events in the coming week. Participants can also request other times in case 1400 UTC is not suitable.
You can read more about how this is intended to work here:
As explained at the link above, this course has a webinar or office hour every other day for three weeks. We’re still in our first week with 40 people registered in the course, a dozen or so interacting in Schoology, but only a handful turning up for synchronous events.
This time it was Ti’s turn to drop by and show us the Screencast-o-matic she had produced, and we discussed how she can come to grips with her blended learning classroom by setting up her own portal linked to from the one her school provides. From this feedback I’ve decided to bring that forward in the course and talk about that AND digital storytelling in week 2. More specifically I built a unit on Twitter into the Week 2 materials, since Ti was using this actively in her existing courses. My focus in this new addition would be on the potential of tagging in Twitter as a means of aggregating everyone’s content under tags unique to the course or event within a course.