Blending technology and classroom learning

Dabb, Taylor


Woolley-Wilson, J. (2012). Blending technology and classroom learning. TedxTalks. Retrieved from

This Ted Talk introduces blended learning in the classroom and the potential benefits of it. The speaker tells the story of an experienced teacher who finds herself with less resources and more students. To solve this problem, the teacher turns to certain softwares that are able to help teach the students what they need right when they need it. This type of learning is ideal because no prior knowledge is required and learning is individualized.

I found this video interesting because it actually showed one of the softwares that teachers can use during blended learning. The speaker also stressed that blended learning does not replace teaching, but it enhances great teaching.

8 Examples of Transforming Lessons through the SAMR Cycle

Kinsella, Jason

(ET) Educational Theory and Practice

Walsh, K. (2015). 8 examples of transforming lessons through the SAMR cycle. EmergingEdTech. Retrieved from

Educational theory can seem abstract. In order to implement innovative ideas in the classroom, it is important to provide educators with concrete examples showing what a theory looks like in practice. This article does just that. It explains what the SAMR model is and isn’t, and provides eight concrete examples showing what an assignment would look like at each stage of the SAMR model: substitution, augmentation, modification and redefinition. The SAMR model examples include writing a short paper, geography and travel, understanding Shakespeare, assessments, art and painting, email etiquette, learning fractions and  physical education–learning to hit a baseball well.

This is a helpful introduction to the concept of blended learning and the SAMR model. It provides content that teachers can take right back to their classrooms tomorrow. The practical focus on implementation will be useful to anyone who is looking to further integrate technology into their classroom.

Dangers of Technology in Education

Sasaki, Lori


Ravitch, D. (2017, December 29). 5 Risks Posed by the Increasing Misuse of Technology in Schools. EdSurge. Retrieved from

In this article, Ravitch addresses potential impacts of misuse of technology in schools. She acknowledges the creativity and inspiration that teachers can have using technology, but places the blame on the tech industry for not doing enough to counter the fears of an increasingly tech-centric, impersonal, cost-driven education.

This article was a good reminder about the powers ($) and hidden agenda behind the proliferation of technology. With the rapid rise in the ubiquitous nature of technology, it is easy to forget dangers such as eroding student privacy and an increasing reliance on computerized assessments. There are definitely companies profiting greatly off of the incorporation of technology into every facet of education, and this article is an important caution flag to consider technology in the context of all that we value in an education.

Blended Learning

Hubert, Jacquelyn


Markoff, M. (2014, May).  Click here– blended learning and the future of education: Monique Markoff at TEDxIthacaCollege. [Video file]. Retrieved from

“In my talk I sharpen the idea of blended learning and offer some insight on potential successes and pitfalls of implementing a true blended model. Blended learning has enormous potential but it is not a panacea for the woes of education. Drawing on my experience in a blended classroom and as an administrator my goal is to contribute to the debate that is currently happening in our school districts, in our schools, and in our media over the incorporation of technology in education.”

Blended learning is students learning from computers 25% of the day along with face-to-face time with teachers and other students. Markoff discusses the rotational model, split model, laboratory model, open classroom model, flipped classroom, and programs like Accelerated reader online quiz, ST math comprehension skills, and academies. Self paced, customized, embedded assessment and reporting. The schools flexibility, commitment, and mindset of the school are considered.

The Blended Librarian in the Learning Commons

Andrighetto, Kourtney

ET- Blended Learning, Learning Commons
IL- 21st-Century Learning

Sinclair, B. (2009). The blended librarian in the learning commons: New skills for the blended library. College & Research Libraries News, 70(9), 504-516.

According to Steven Bell and John Shank, the term “blended librarian” is what 21st-century librarians must aspire to in order to remain relevant, which is taking more initiative to immerse themselves in co-teaching opportunities, unit planning, and thinking as the user, or “design thinking.” The blended librarian must develop technology literacies and learn how to use and teach emerging technologies to enhance instruction and learning. This article also addresses how blended librarians may function within a learning commons library model. This article is an informative resource explaining the role of librarians in the 21st-century learning commons and how technology integration is imperative to the sustainability of libraries.

TED Talks Education

Karen Rogers


TED. (2013, May 11). TED Talks Education. Retrieved July 13, 2016, from

Summary:  This video has a plethora of educators, Bill Gates, psychologists, and students who talk about educational theory, new ways of looking at curriculum and assessment, and how to improve our teaching.  The speakers talk about the importance of relationships, inquiry, perseverance, how to motivate students, and ways to help teachers improve.

Review:  The video is incredibly empowering and inspiring.  It encourages teachers to change their traditional mindset and take some risks in education.  It talks about the problems faced in education and ways to improve them.  It talks about the importance of building up student confidence and passion for knowledge being even more important than talent.  I think it is something all people in education should watch before starting the school year.

Serving the underserved students; low-income and technology

Taylor, Andrea
Zielezinski, M. B. (2016, May 19). What a Decade of Education Research Tells Us About Technology in the Hands of Underserved Students. Retrieved from:

Summary: This article is about how to use the influx of hardware and software in schools to better serve underserved students. The sad truth is that there is an alarming number of low-income, minority, and special education students that are not  graduating from high school. In a study of edtech, it was found that access to internet sources was not enough; technology could not be used for remediation and drills and benefit these students. It is a problem when privileged students use technology for so much more, while underserved students are limited to drills. It is from this issue that five tips are provided.

The first tip is to not use technology for remediation. This means rather than using technology to drill kids into learning the standards for their grade level, schools should use technology to bring the students in. The goal should be to engage students in relevant ways, teaching them communication, collaboration, and critical thinking, not to just have kids memorize facts and equations.

The second tip is to have the students get creative by having them design their own digital content. Examples of this is how students can create their own film documentaries or use social media as a way to teach and learn. The biggest benefit to this is that students will create ongoing portfolios that they can add to for years to come.

The third tip is to use digital tools that incorporate interactivity. The best programs/apps are ones that allow students to come to their own conclusions and understandings, allowing them to see real life situations, and be able to use many forms of media.

The fourth tip is to view the students as experts and have them share their “expertise” with a real audience. This is shown to improve the quality of their work, encouraging creativity and ingenuity. Rather than write a small paper for the teacher, they have the opportunity to create a film for an entire community of people.

The fifth tip is to find the perfect blend of teacher and technology. The two must go hand in hand, and in order for digital learning to be effective the teacher plays an important role.

Review: I really liked this article because it went beyond the claim that low-income students have no access to technology or the internet. It realized that even with access there needs to be further steps taken to help these students thrive and utilize the technology appropriately. Any research done to help underserved students is a must, and I think this article does a great job highlighting five easy to achieve steps.

"Welcome to the Jam": Popular Culture, School Literacy, and the Making of Childhoods

Faulk, M.

In this ethnographic study of a group of African American first graders, Anne Haas Dyson illustrates the textual processes-the deliberate manipulation of popular cultural material–involved in the children’s shared practices as playful children and good friends. These same processes shaped the ways the children made sense of and began to participate in school literacy. The observed children did not approach official literacy activities in their classroom as though they had nothing to do with their own childhoods. They made use of familiar media-influenced practices and symbolic material to take intellectual and social action in the official school world. Dyson offers a fresh perspective on children’s experiences with popular media, emphasizing that they are an integral aspect of contemporary childhoods, not an external threat. Moreover, she presents an alternative view of the pathways and mechanisms through which children enter into school literacy practices, one that illuminates how children build from the very social and symbolic stuff of their own childhoods. (pp. 328-361).

Very fluid and informative article on the multi-modal ways children assimilate new information and learn effectively. The reader receives an honest snapshot in the day of the life.

School literacy, African American 1st graders, multiple literacies, childhood, girls

Collaborative Planning

Reece, Madison


Garderen, D. V., Scheuermann, A., Jackson, C., & Hampton, D. (2009). Supporting the collaboration of special educators and general educators to teach students who struggle with mathematics: An overview of the research. Psychology in the Schools, 46(1), 56-78.

Garderen, Scheuermann, Jackson, and Hampton (2009) argue “Collaboration, in theory, between general educators and special educators is grounded in the idea that each educator has a unique knowledge base and expertise that, taken together, can address any gaps the other may have” (p. 57). The authors realize that each educator has differing perspectives and emphases, and this may be a source of contention when trying to collaborate with other educators.

Collaboration requires a dialogue between staff members to continually improve student performances. Educators should work together to plan their curriculums in order to produce greater understanding among their students. Though Garderen et al. (2009) argue collaboration may be frustrating at the beginning of the collaboration process, the outcomes outweigh the differing perspectives educators may have. Due to an immensely diverse range of learning styles, it’s important for educators to collaborate successfully and efficiently. 

Team Learning and Collaboration Between Online and Blended Learner Groups

Stefani Tovar

Lim, D. H., & Yoon, S. W. (2008). Team learning and collaboration between online and blended learner groups. Performance Improvement Quarterly21(3), 59.

This article examines online and blended learning models to determine which, if any, offers a more collaborative platform of instruction.

While its approach may vary, the study focuses on blended learning, which offers a combination of online, in-person meetings on a campus or other site (i.e. museum, park, etc), as well as opportunities for live instruction with professors. Highlights of the findings showed a significant difference between these two approaches. Among them were higher student performance and collaboration opportunities among the blended learners.  A possible cause of these findings were linked to the effectiveness of the professor and their ability to facilitate meaningful work.  Also the perception of social belonging was significant in both groups, favoring the blended learning approach.

I found this article of personal interest because of the nature of the MLIS program at SJSU.  I think that these findings are supported by my own experiences thus far in the program.  The engagement of the instructor, the motivation of the students and delivery of instruction fluctuate in quality from course to course, affecting the meaningful learning and collaborative opportunities available to students.  I don’t believe the findings are startling, but they help support that regardless of the medium, teacher quality is a central theme.