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Week 10: Blended Learning

Blended learning is an exciting topic in the world of education. This week we are going to dive into this topic head first. Here is a you tube video to help get you into the world.

Task 1: Your first task for the week is it to do some research on what blended learning is. What does it involve? Who does it involve? What do you personally think is an issue or drawback with blended learning? How would you help to resolve this issue?

I would like you to find an article about blended learning that you find interesting and useful. Write a few sentences on why it stands out to you and include the link so we can all read it as well.

Here is an article that I found about schools that are successfully using blended learning.

Task 2: Find a manipulative that is both virtual and not. The virtual manipulative would be used by students not in an actual classroom and the “not” would be used with students in the classroom. Create a lesson plan around the manipulative to be used with both groups of students. Explain how you would use this manipulative in the classroom versus with the students online.

Task 3: In this task you will explore and find an outlet online to create a class, much like the P2PU site we use in this class. (I typed in Google, ‘create online classes free’ and things like that to find some outlets. Here are some examples to help get you in the right direction., . I hope that helps.) Start a class for the members of this class and post your lesson plan you created for task 2. Explain briefly why you chose the outlet you chose. Everyone should look at everyone else’s lesson plan and comment on them.

Have fun!!!

Task Discussion

  • Green Machine   April 24, 2013, 1:41 a.m.


    Task 1

    Blended learning, ideally, seems like to be an effective strategy for addressing the various intellectual our needs of our scholars. It seems to involve a multitude of various technological resources, hands-on manipulative, centers/stations, small group instruction, and differentiation. One issue that I have with blended learning is the gap of technological resources in certain schools and the households on the scholars. Technology is a vital component to blended learning and I don’t see if being successful in any of the schools I have worked at because they did not have enough technological resources to provide the online instruction that the scholars would receive. I also fear that majority of the scholars may lack the initial technological skills or resources at home in order to satisfy the technological aspect of blended learning. The issue could be resolved by locating investors or donators on Teacher Choose or reaching out to companies or schools who have upgraded their technological resources, who are looking to get rid of their “out dated” resources.




    This article grabbed my attention because it mentioned the tremendous success their school has shown with blended learning; even though 46% of the scholars receive free or reduced line, a poverty indicator. Those were one of my main concerns due to the population of scholars that I am familiar with educating. The article gave me a great overview as to what blended learning should and could look like; along with its positives, negatives, and areas of improvement.


    Task 2

    The manipulative that I would have scholars use are algebra blocks. The virtual manipulative may be found here:


    The scholars would use the tiles to represent variables and constants, learn how to represent and solve algebra problems. Solve equations, substitute in variable expressions, and expand and factor. Flip tiles, remove zero pairs, copy and arrange, and make your way toward a better understanding of algebra.


    Inside of the classroom, the scholars would use the algebra tiles to review the skills of solving equations using algebra tiles. This would lead into using the tiles to solve more complex equations, expanding and factoring equations, solving equations by substitution, and how to use algebra tiles efficiently physically and virtually. Scholars in the physical class would use to the tiles to write algebraic equations and then go through the steps of the solving the equation by hand and with the manipulative.


    Inside of the virtual classroom, the scholars would use the virtual version of the manipulative to solve the given equations on the screen. They would receive their instruction about their assignment via web video or whatever resources their school may provide. Scholars in the virtual class would share their thoughts on how they used the virtual manipulative to solve each equation. They would then be directed to to complete exercises that will extend and deepen their knowledge of solving algebraic equations.

  • Katherine Hanisco   March 24, 2013, 11:48 p.m.

    Task 1: I really liked the definition of blended learning from this article: Hybrid education uses online technology to not just supplement, but transform and improve the learning process. In my reading, there seem to be a couple different ways of implementing blending learning. One way is where all students are in class for some component but also utilize technology to “transform and improve the learning process.” This is something that could be implemented in a traditional classroom where all students are in the classroom during the day. Another form of blended learning is where some students are in class and others only participate online. Based on the description in the assignment, I am using the second definition for these tasks.

    That article gave me a good overview of what blended learning entails, but the article I wanted to share for this task is Reflecting on a Year of Blended Learning. The author talks about lessons learned from a year of blended learning in New York City schools. One of the things he talks about is the changing (and potentially lessening) role of the teacher in blended learning classrooms, and I liked that he touched on this because it is something that would be of concern to me as an educator. His conclusion is that students benefit from computer instruction combined with quality teachers, which is something that makes a lot of sense to me after all the work we have done so far this semester.

    He also touches on issues related to content and quality of the lessons as well as the importance of including interactive learning elements. This rings very true for me from my own experience. I have had several online courses at Arcadia, and some have been incredibly well designed, carefully thought out, and provided me with tremendous learning opportunities, while others do not reflect the same thoughtfulness and care in the design. This is something that I think is so important to focus on when designing any kind of online element. The goal is not to provide busywork, but rather, going back to the quote I used at the start, “transform and improve the learning process,” and that will only happen when we as educators take the time to carefully plan lessons.

    Tasks 2 and 3: I chose to focus my lesson on the Tower of Hanoi, which is a mathematical puzzle that has applications in recursion, logic, and graph theory. I’ve been a fan of this game since I was a little girl, and I think it’s a wonderful puzzle to incorporate into lessons because it’s simple enough that younger students can understand, but there are some sophisticated math concepts that older students can really dig into.

    I put together a class site on edmodo. I chose this platform because I used it for the first time last semester as a student, and I was curious to see what options were available as an instructor. I’m not sure it’s the best site for online classrooms because certain activities aren’t easily implemented, but it has some strengths and would work nicely in certain circumstances.

    To join, go to and sign up for an account. You can join the class using this code: 9n7kas. Let me know if there are any issues with getting into the class site since this is my first time setting something like this up.

  • Gina Mulranen   March 25, 2013, 12:22 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Katherine Hanisco   March 24, 2013, 11:48 p.m.

    Hi Katherine!

    When I tried signing up for Edmodo, it asked for a group code and I put in 9n7ka and it did not work. Is there a different group code?

    Thank you!


  • Katherine Hanisco   March 25, 2013, 12:40 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Gina Mulranen   March 25, 2013, 12:22 p.m.

    Oops, looks like I accidentally left off a digit on the code. Try 9n7kas and let me know if that works for you.

  • Gina Mulranen   March 25, 2013, 1:29 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Katherine Hanisco   March 25, 2013, 12:40 p.m.

    It worked! Thank you!

  • MgnLeas   April 1, 2013, 5:01 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Katherine Hanisco   March 24, 2013, 11:48 p.m.

    Great lesson. I had one issue with Edmodo. I was enolled for another class and had to create a new username in order to join your class. I am not sure if I just could not figure out how to have two active classes as a student or if this is necessary.

  • Lisa Ritt   March 24, 2013, 10:02 p.m.

    Task 2 & 3:

    ok- I chose as well for this one.

    Below is the info you will need to access the course I set up which has the lesson plan for

    Probability including the info for the virtual and non-virtual manipulatives is:

    You will need to sign up at to create your free account as a student (you maybe be able to access as a teacher as well but just to be safe, I'd try it as a student.

    Search by my :

    -user name as a instructor is "LisaRitt" or

    -my full name is Lisa Rittler if you are looking up instructor name.

    -My affiliation is Arcadia University. so you will have to list your affiliation as Arcadia University in order to see the course listed as available to you.

    Please comment on my blog and let me know how you made out finding my task/lesson plan for Probability using manipulatives.

    Thanks guys!

  • Gina Mulranen   March 25, 2013, 12:37 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Lisa Ritt   March 24, 2013, 10:02 p.m.

    I had already set up a coursesites account for Sue's lesson and I could not figure out how to get back to the main page to select another course to enroll in. I called the help desk and they gave me a link to use after you log in to take you back to the main page. They said that this is a problem they have encountered before, so I thought I would share the link with everyone just in case you all ran into the same trouble I did!


  • Gina Mulranen   March 25, 2013, 1:15 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Lisa Ritt   March 24, 2013, 10:02 p.m.

    Hi Lisa!

    I cannot figure out how to post a comment for the task you assigned in the coursesites. Is there a separate discussion board or blog that you want us to post our comments in?

    Thank you!


  • Lisa Ritt   March 26, 2013, 11:43 a.m.
    In Reply To:   Gina Mulranen   March 25, 2013, 12:37 p.m.

    HI Gina and everyone,

    I have checked into this also. Thank you for doing some homework here. It seems unfortunately if you are signed up as an instructor, it does not let you navigate for courses to sign up for like when you are a student on I actually created about 3 different accounts before I figured this out. You have to be signed up as a student and I couldnt figure out how to sign in as BOTH.

    Also-my discussion board was not opened on my course but now it is. Please feel free to comment when you have time this week everyone! Sorry for the obstacles here. I 'm working on being more savvy! I heard a teacher last week say to her students...
    its the STRUGGLE that makes the PROGRESS. Don't fear the struggle.

    I have to keep reminding myself of that in our course here :)

    Thanks all!



  • MgnLeas   April 1, 2013, 5:20 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Lisa Ritt   March 24, 2013, 10:02 p.m.

    Looks good. I left my comments on the board in the "classroom". :)

  • Maria Droujkova   March 24, 2013, 6:20 p.m.

    Parts 2 and 3

    I am returning to a virtual manipulative we developed with my colleague Linda Stojanovska, who is also a member of this course (following). Linda programmed the GeoGebra part, and then we discussed the lesson part. You can find the lesson here:

    Select a student number from the drop-down menu to fill in answers to the questions on the right.

    The manipulative is about making a simple paper box:

    Simple Paper Box

    The lesson has a series of open questions, such as, "What can you change in the box design?" At a face-to-face meeting, I would pose these questions as students cut and glue physical paper for boxes, AND drag the sliders to change virtual boxes. The slider animates changes in ways the paper can't, but the paper makes the experience embodied, tactile and physical for deeper learning. For example, touching the edges helps to internalize their shapes better than just seeing., the outlet I chose, was designed specifically to make blended lesson plans for GeoGebra. It is a prototype that did not gain popularity. However, the creator of the site continues to work with GeoGebra Central people, so I expect great things to come out of that prototype. I chose it because I like the side-by-side interface, where the series of manipulatives sit right next to the corresponding questions. 

  • Gina Mulranen   March 25, 2013, 2:33 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Maria Droujkova   March 24, 2013, 6:20 p.m.

    Wow! I did not know that GeoGebra had the option to include questions along with activity. This is fantastic for an online learning environment. I think this lesson in its four stages is set up very well so the students can investigate what volume is and how the dimensions of the object affect the volume before learning the formula. I do think that using a quadratic function to find the largest volume of a box would be appropriate for students in Algebra 1 or higher.

    I do have a question on how the GeoGebra works. Where are the answers submitted when the students type them into the boxes? Do the students have to sign in so the teacher knows who submitted answers and whose answers are who? I would be interested in getting a report of the students answers so I can assess the class' overall understanding of the topic.

  • SueSullivan   March 30, 2013, 11:47 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Maria Droujkova   March 24, 2013, 6:20 p.m.

    I am able to view and use this manipulative, but, after that, I have problems with both Java and my browser (Chrome).  My sons have been using this machine to play StarCraft and MineCraft, and it seems to be too much of a coincidence (my oldest admitted to causing my problems during Wednesday's chat).  

    I love the box problem; it's practical yet so challenging.  Athough I've solved it algebraically, I've never graphed it at the same time.  Being able to visualize the parabola and the box at the same time helped me bring all of my thoughts about it into focus, which I will certainly pass on to my future students.  Thanks much!

  • Gina Mulranen   March 24, 2013, 5:55 p.m.

    Task 2 and 3:
    The website that I chose to use for my classroom was I decided to use this portal since it provided different assignments like forums or multiple choice answers, which means I could post tests and quizzes as well for assessment purposes. I also liked to overall look of the website as well.

    The lesson I posted in this online class is on solving equations and using balance scales as a manipulative. I used Hands On Equations for my on-site manipulative and a virtual balance scales website for my virtual students. The lesson plan I posted on this website has variations for both on-site and virtual students for each component of the lesson.

    Here is a link to my classroom:
    You need to register to log into the class. I will be emailing an invitation to everyone’s arcadia email accounts to invite you to join the class. Please let me know if you have any trouble logging in or seeing my lesson. I am still learning how this site works! I would also appreciate any comments on my lesson. Thank you!

  • MgnLeas   April 1, 2013, 5:23 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Gina Mulranen   March 24, 2013, 5:55 p.m.

    I used yourr link and registered. It said I would email you to let you know I want to join, then I would be allowed in.

  • Gina Mulranen   April 3, 2013, 5:02 p.m.
    In Reply To:   MgnLeas   April 1, 2013, 5:23 p.m.

    I never got an email asking to confirm your registration. Sorry for the inconvenience! You can just post your feedback here in P2P.

  • Lisa Ritt   April 3, 2013, 7:03 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Gina Mulranen   April 3, 2013, 5:02 p.m.
    Hi Gina, I'm sorry... I thought I was waiting for something from you on this? So sorry...I'm on it! -Lisa "Talk does not Cook Rice" -Chinese Proverb My contact info: email: cel ph# (215) 740-6036 Our OceanCity, NJ condos are available all year!
  • Maria Droujkova   March 24, 2013, 5:29 p.m.

    Task 1

    I decided to delve into a research article on using blended learning for a particular math topic. 


    "Supporting students mathematical thinking in the learning of two-variable functions through blended learning" by Hamidreza Kashefi, Zaleha Ismail, Yudariah Mohammad Yusof, Roselainy Abdul Rahman (click on the "PDF" icon to open the article)
    The authors separate "generic organizers" (computer programs and other "things") and "organizing agents" (people) who play teacher roles. That's what blends in "blended learning."
    Tasks were of two types:
    - Insight (conceptual, visual and symbolic)
    - Prompt and question (for fundamentals)
    Strategies had to do with three areas: communication (such as q&a in chat), teamwork (such as doing homework together) and problem-solving using computer tools.
    One of the main difficulty (and source of errors) in two-variable functions is treating them as one-variable functions, say, forgetting to analyze the domain by both variables. The authors found that interactive tools had the most impact on reducing this sort of issues, compared to purely face-to-face classes. 
    One of the most impressive findings, in my mind, is how students can sketch 3d surfaces directly from working with animations and models "of the whole thing" - without the need to do many pesky cross-sections by hand (a very labor-intensive task). Students develop 3d intuitions directly by using computer graphing tools, as in example below:
    But the authors caution that such computer tools don't address prior conceptual difficulties students have. So, a student who missed prerequisites may be stuck, even if advanced tools are available.
    Based on the article, I conclude that blended learning can be very strong in math areas that require new conceptual thinking, especially if there are visual and spatial challenges (such as in multi-variable functions). The face-to-face work can address the lack of prior knowledge, as needed, and the virtual part can provide powerful modeling and visualization tools for insights.


  • MgnLeas   March 25, 2013, 4:51 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Maria Droujkova   March 24, 2013, 5:29 p.m.

    As someone who is very visual, I wish I could have taken Calculus 2 and 3 in a blended learning environment. I would have benefited greatly from being able to see the graphs instead of trying my best to sketch them. Having the teacher there as you say to help with the lack of prior knowledge, would be nice. Theacher in this case would be more of a mentor. Their role would be to help aid in the learning process.

  • Lisa Ritt   March 24, 2013, 3:31 p.m.

    Blended Learning:

    Task 1:                                                           

                A classroom setting that combines multiple models of learning a lesson typically including online and in class based activities to more effectively and efficiently provide students lessons. This website’s definition was a pretty good one: click here

                I loved on the YouTube video you provided what they said can happen in blended learning…where a student is “Unleashing their Learning Velocity!”…Very powerful statement. As an educator, isn’t this exactly what we are hoping to accomplish? Using blended learning scenarios gets teachers teaching more effectively and students learning in a more engaging and self-driven thought provoking way. It creates students’ feeling like they have more control over the activities they are doing in order to learn the lesson at hand. Creativity and collaborative models can flow a bit more naturally than when you’re solely in a teacher/lecture whole group setting, thus allowing students to get more direct attention in small groups as well

                I’d say the main issue that can come up with blended learning is the many transitions for students it will involve. Like any transition in school, there must be clear structure with rules and procedures and timelines in place for the lesson to go smoothly. The teacher must be well prepared to instruct and continue to mentor through the transitions. You ust think about things that may go wrong in transitions and create procedures that will minimize any possible obstacles. Another issue that may arise is that some kids may not work well together. This is an opportunity to help students learn that in life, there are plenty of times when you work with people you don’t know or feel comfortable with yet, but you need to find ways to respect each other and work towards solutions together.

     click here for article I found interesting.

    The article is written by Marc Bernstein, who is a retired  NY superintendent and education consultant. He states “that the current there is a generation of high school students who aren’t succeeding with our current paradigm.” He speaks of capitalizing on students natural abilities to learn technology and create new learning because of it because its truly necessary. I whole hardily agree! We have this amazing tool in technology and what a waste of time and teaching if we don’t at least TRY to reach students that maybe we aren’t getting through to with more traditional approaches with online lessons and something that is more engaging to them!


  • MgnLeas   March 25, 2013, 4:37 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Lisa Ritt   March 24, 2013, 3:31 p.m.

    Transitions are hard for anyone! You make a good point about the teacher needed to be well prepared to instruct and mentor. When it comes to the online portion of blended learning, I think the teacher becomes more of a mentor than a direct instructor. This is something that the teacher would need to be aware of when creating the lesson plans for the blended class. There may be issues thata rise during the online instruction that do not occur in the actual classroom. I feel like those are bugs that can only be worked out once the blended learning environment has been established and started.

  • Gina Mulranen   March 24, 2013, 2:39 p.m.

    Task 1:
    The article that I found on blended learning was posted the ASAE website (the center for associative leadership). I thought this article was interesting in how it defined blended learning and how it gave tips and examples of how to incorporate this type of learning. I am going to answer the 5 W’s based on what I learned from the article I read.
    Who? In this article, the author talks about how to use blended learning with adults. I think this could be a harder feat than introducing blended learning to a younger audience. Students today have already been more into a technology age and can therefore adapt better to an online learning environment. Most adults, however, had a very traditional approach to teaching when they were in school. There was not internet and calculators were as large as your desk! The article suggests that an issue with adults learning technology is that they want to be shown how to do it first. This is the issue that my article brought up, which I addressed in the second part of this task.
    What? The article I read defined blended learning as “a method of educating at a distance that uses technology (high-tech, such as television and the Internet or low-tech, such as voice mail or conference calls) combined with traditional (or, stand-up) education or training.” I thought this definition was interesting since the article focuses on training adults in the workplace and not kids in the classroom. It gives a new view on the definition of blended learning.
    Where and When? Students can access blended learning lessons anywhere and at anytime since it is based online.
    Why? Using technology helps educators to create another learning experience to help reach more students outside of the on-site classroom.

    An issue that my article brought up about blended learning is that adults who are used to learning a new skill by traditional means may have more trouble learning in an online environment. However, the article also gives some examples on how to set up a lesson that can address the same aspects of an on-site classroom. In order to teach the new skill, the lesson should include a video demonstration on actual documents or whiteboards so the students can learn from the instructor actual doing it. An assignment should then be given in order to allow the students to practice and assess their understanding and skill level. The article also talks about the importance of a follow up activity using online forums or email discussions in order to get the participants to exchange ideas and ask questions, just as students would do in class. This sequence of activities using technology mimics the same instruction and learning opportunities as an on-site environment.

  • MgnLeas   March 25, 2013, 4:25 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Gina Mulranen   March 24, 2013, 2:39 p.m.

    You make a good point about the transition to blended learning being harder for adults than for younger kids. The follow up activity is a great idea. this would give the students some sense of completion. If they could have input from other students or the teacher it would be helpful. I also like the idea of a discussion board or a forum of some sort to allow the students to have ongoing conversation about the topics being learned.

  • SueSullivan   March 23, 2013, 4:34 p.m.

    TASKS 2 & 3:

    My Lesson Plan for my virtual and non-virtual manipulative (Tangrams) is posted on the discussion board at

    At the top right of the page, there is a 'sign up' button; please sign up as a student.  Important:  you must enter 'Arcadia University' in the Institution/District/Company box.
    When you log in, you can search for classes using the Arcadia University filter; my course is called ED565B Week 10 - Tangrams.

    Please go to the discussion board, read my thread, and leave a reply.  Please let me know if you have any problems - thanks!

  • MgnLeas   March 25, 2013, 4:14 p.m.
    In Reply To:   SueSullivan   March 23, 2013, 4:34 p.m.

    Sue I like the site you used for this task. It was easy for me to sign up and find your course. I did leave you a comment on your actual lesson plan there. I too like that we can change to background and theme. I did not come across this site when I was searching. I really like it and you are right BlackBoard has a good name. I think this site is easier to use than the one Arcadia uses.

  • SueSullivan   March 20, 2013, 2:41 p.m.


    TASK 1:

    The article that I chose for this task is found at: (read the White Paper).

    The article defines blended learning as "any time a student learns at least in part at a supervised brick-and-mortar location away from home and at least in part through online delivery with some element of student control over time, place, path, and/or pace."

    The article discusses several aspects of blended learning, such as different instructional models, relevant statistics, as well as benefits and challenges of implementing blended learning.

    I'm always concerned about the issue of the digital divide and the cost of technology; that's still my main concern regarding classroom tech.  However, this article prompted me to consider another potential drawback, which might be a bit futuristic and paranoid.  Here goes:  How can educators maintain an optimal balance of tech and FTF, when tech is often viewed by legislators as a cost-cutting cure-all that can reduce/eliminate the expense of hiring FTF teachers?

    Lastly, while looking for my article, I came across this site, which is a great introduction and overview of blended learning:


  • MgnLeas   March 25, 2013, 3:35 p.m.
    In Reply To:   SueSullivan   March 20, 2013, 2:41 p.m.

    You mention the cost of technology in schools. Here is an article about how introducing tablets may actually save schools money in the long run. The biggest factor would be not having to buy new textbooks yearly.

    As far as the FTF time, that is the great thing about blended learning. The FTF is an integral part of the blended learning model. The teachers are still needed to help students and keep the pace going and make sure they are on topic and not on facebook or whatever. It would be nonsense to have a school full of students with laptops and no teachers to teach. The laptop or tablet is the aide not the teacher.