BlendKit 2016 Portfolio

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A Bit About Me

HeadshotAs an educator for 16+ years, technology has always been something that I’ve integrated into my classroom, even getting my Master’s Degree in “Integrating Technology into the Curriculum” back when they sent out VHS tapes and I was considered advanced because I knew how to use Microsoft Word. Today, however, I’ve moved far beyond that, earning my Google for Education Certified Trainer status and helping other teachers enhance their classrooms using technology, including blended learning.

Currently, I teach 9th and 12th grade English at Windermere Preparatory School.  I’ve actually been doing a modified version of blended learning for years. My students come to class each day, but about half of their work is online and could be done from anywhere in the world (which is helpful, because many of my students compete globally and travel frequently).

Why I Took BlendKit

Part of the reason why I enrolled in the BlendKit course is because I already do a version of blended learning, and I’m fascinated with the design possibilities of LMSes. We use Canvas by Instructure, and I’m always contemplating how to structure my courses to make them the most accessible and least confusing to students.  Additionally, my school is exploring ways to eventually make more courses blended and wanted some of the teachers and administration who were interested to take the course, partly so that we can use it as a model for training our teachers in the future, and partly so that we could learn best practices and implement them in our courses. Plus, it’s always good for a high school to get a feel for what colleges are doing so that we can better prepare our students.

The Course I Developed

The course I am developing in this portfolio is actually a blended summer school course in US History.  It’s the entire year in four weeks, and students spend 6 hours a day, 3 days a week in class.  The other two days are at home. This ended up being somewhat challenging because that’s a lot of content for a short period of time.  Additionally, since I teach at the high school level, this created other challenges since most of the documents here were designed with college-level courses in mind.  I have adapted some of the materials to make them work for the level I teach.

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