Start by deciding what aspect of learner achievement you are most looking to improve, then present your best way to improve instructionally, combined with the technology. Choose schools, principals and educators who are ready for this work and are invested in its success, you will only be treading water if you do not have support of people with your same vision for success. Manage the work tightly, but also give your educators plenty of space for innovation. Keep it simple and small, you cannot change the world in a day, trying to do too much too fast will only result in frustration. Aim to implement one aspect at a time.
Collaboration, Collaboration, Collaboration
Who needs blended learning friends? You do. The most powerful resource you have is other educators; you are not in this alone. Team up with educators who are the same grade level, or subject area. You can team up with educators throughout your own school as well as educators from other schools. Together you can share ideas about what works and what doesn’t, or even just vent about the many challenges you all face in implementing a blended learning program. You could very well find yourself with a large community of friends across the country, friends who will share with you their own tips and tricks every step of the way.
It is easy to become stagnant in the way we think and do things, hard to open our minds to new ways of thinking and doing things. If possible, visit other schools implementing blended learning. Seeing how other organizations have implemented their program, may help you see things from a different angle, and give you some great ideas to take back to your own classroom.
Learn all the Time From Your Educators
To keep up with how the process is going in your own school, just ask the educators doing the work. Try setting up a blog for just the educators and administrators working on implementing the blended learning program. This will give the educators a safe forum to vent frustrations, as well as share their triumphs and failures in the classroom.
Learn From Your Mistakes
There will surely be many mistakes made along the way, these failures will teach you more than your successes. What works in one classroom on one day may not work in that same classroom the next day, or my not work in another classroom at all. Keep what works, get rid of what doesn’t.
Phase in the Work
Technology is constantly shifting and changing, new products and services and updates come out on a seemingly daily basis. However, getting the technology infrastructure upgraded in many schools can be extremely challenging with older buildings and limited funding. Phasing in this work allows you to work out technology problems, support school culture and educator professional development without affecting the entire staff.
Getting a blended learning program started can be a daunting and seemingly impossible task. However, with careful planning, persistence and patience, you can reach your goals of a seamless blended learning program.