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Blended Learning Technologies

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Blended Learning Technologies


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“Blended learning combines the engaging benefits of traditional instructor led training with the advantages brought by a variety of technologies to create an optimum program.” (Encyclopedia of Educational Technology, 2009)


 (J Gonsiewski)


"The most common definition of blended learning is a combination of face-to-face instruction combined with computer-mediated instruction to facilitate interactive and reflective higher-order learning" (Graham, 2006). (M Gonsiewski)





Blogging is free, as easy as sending an e-mail, and offers a direct link between interested parties in the community and the principle members of the organization they want to know about. Businesses are increasingly turning to this method of communication to learn more about their customers’ concerns and opinions; in turn, the customers are a lot happier with the businesses. Many CEOs and business leaders blog regularly and candidly, putting a touch of humanity to what we’re conditioned to think is a cold, selfish position of power. If you want evidence that high-profile CEOs are – or at least can be – regular guys and gals who really do value the opinions of the little guy, take a look at Mark Cuban’s blog. His customers appreciate it (Tabor, 2007).


In a way, successful public education depends on the business/customer relationship. The dynamics aren’t exactly the same as in the economic/private sectors, but the lines of communication need to be. Teachers are already starting to populate the blogosphere using their real names and locations so they can provide resources – and open lines of communication – for parents and students. There are too many exemplary teacher blogs to begin to list (Tabor, 2007).


Principals and school board members, however, have even more reason to encourage communication with the community. They develop and implement policy, define the direction and purpose of the school, etc. They lead the institution, and an institution of any sort can’t be led effectively without knowing what its constituents think. If their thoughts are to be productive, they need you to disseminate to them freely both information and evidence. You see the way this works – you give the public as much information as you can so they can add value to a public service (Tabor, 2007).








Chatrooms for education. How to use them to communicate and learn. http://www.edtech.vt.edu/edtech/id/ocs/chat.html (McCleese)


Grisby, Amy. Let's Chat: Chatrooms in the Elementary School. Educational Technology and Society 4 (3) 2001.  Retrieved December 7, 2009 from http://www.ifets.info/journals/4_3/grigsby.pdf  This article takes a look at an individuals experience with using chat rooms as part of the instruction for computers in an elementary school setting. It also points out the suggested curriculum guidelines as established by NETS in regards to student communication. In this article, you will also find strategies that were used in the classroom to expose students to the potential of using chat rooms. (Bennett)






Skype is an internet telephone service that allows users to make voice calls over the internet to anywhere in the world. It turns your computer into a telephone system (Vogel, 2009).


Skype is 100% free - if you talk to others who are logged into their Skype account.... All you need is a microphone and speakers (or headset) on your computer to talk to the other 450 million people around the globe who use Skype. If your friends and family don't have an account, they too can sign up absolutely free (Vogel, 2009).


Skype provides a simple and user-friendly means for 2-5 people to communicate in real time over the Internet using either audio and/ or text. The beta version of Skype was tested, released in 2003 by the developers of the successful Kazaa audio file-sharing software. The product initializes a direct connection between the users’ IP addresses. It allows users free online calls locally and internationally, although the developers suggest this may change in future releases. The process of downloading and configuring Skype was relatively straightforward using the installation wizard, which in one case seamlessly configured the software to a testers’ firewall. Establishing voice communication was a simple matter of selecting the other user’s name from a previously created list, and clicking on the call icon. Unlike other audio-conferencing products, there is no need to invite users into a private chat room: communication is direct between users. It can also be enhanced using the text feature. On the inexpensive headsets used in our tests, audio clarity was very clear – in fact comparable to standard telephone technology. The software is intuitively easy to use, and a help file plus answers to frequently asked questions are available online (Schwartz, de Schutter, Fahrni, & Rudolph, 2004).


Another feature recently added in Skype is screen share.  This feature allows one person to share their screen with others.  This has endless possibilities for student use--one could Skype a classmate and have them peer edit the paper while they chat, teacher/professor could give instant feedback to a student or students can share notes with an absent classmate and walk them what was missed. (Reiber)


 A drawback of the program is its restriction to no more than five simultaneous users (Note: up to four users were possible during our test of the beta version). Establishing an address list requires the user to know the Skype IDs of each person in order to add them to the list. Skype operates on Windows 2000 and XP platforms. Its audio transmissions are routed using peer-to-peer (P2P) technology, by which each end-user’s PC is utilized for traffic routing, processing, and additional bandwidth. By contrast, other IP audio programs may utilize one or more central servers to perform these functions. Skype’s decentralized approach (messages passed directly from one user to another) helps to encrypt communications. The compression algorithm for voice communications can be configured to operate on a 28k baud modem (Schwartz, de Schutter, Fahrni, & Rudolph, 2004).


Using skype for e-learning http://www.elearninglearning.com/skype/webex/and  http://w ww.educause.edu/blog/catherine/UsingSkypeforTeachingandLearni/164050 (McCleese)








  1. This paper discusses how Census At School data is analyzed using Tinkerplots.  Hall, Jennifer. "www.stat.auckland.ac.nz/~iase/publications/rt08/T6P4_Hall.pdf." stat.auckland.ac.nz. 6 Oct. 2009 <www.stat.auckland.ac.nz/~iase/publications/rt08/T6P4_Hall.pdf>. http://www.stat.auckland.ac.nz/~iase/publications/rt08/T6P4_Hall.pdf  (Trimble)
  2. The Tinkerplot website features great demonstrative videos:  http://www.keypress.com/x5715.xml  (Trimble)



Turning Point/Promethean

Turning Point and Promethean are student response systems that has been proven to increase student performance by engaging them in active learning, perform formative assessments and increase student learning through immediate feedback.  Website  (Bennett)  The new version of these student response systems operate from USB and no longer rely on infraray--which caused the students to point the clickers at the sensor--with some frustration.  Not only do these systems give students immediate feedback but gives the teacher immediate feedback in the form of data.  Thus the teacher can guage the effectiveness of instruction.  These systems are a win-win for students and teachers. (Reiber)



Science Probes 


Masterman, D. & Goodman. B. (n.d.).  Using Computer and Calculator-Based Interface in Biology.  In Access Excellence.  Retrieved October 14, 2009 from http://www.accessexcellence.org/LC/TE/PW/http://www.accessexcellence.org/LC/TE/PW/


This site addresses the question of why you should incorporate probeware into the classroom.  It has lists of experiments that can be used with Computer based and Calculator based probe experiments. There is also an area on the site where educators can discuss ideas and also share lessons. (Wahoff) 


Brown. M. (April 15, 2005).  Real-Time Science.  In Tech & Learning. Retrieved October 14, 2009 from http://www.techlearning.com/article/13902


This site showcases data collection tools and curriculum guides.  Included is a table that lists the strengths, limitations and the bottom line of each of the products.  (Wahoff)


Unknown. (n.d.).  What is Probware Anyways?  In Kentucky Academy of Technology Education.  Retrieved October 14, 2009 from http://coekate.murraystate.edu/kate/in_your_classroom/2/


This site gives an overview of Probeware.  It also has a list of  classroom resources including:  Biology, Chemistry, Eartch and Environment and Physics lessons.   


Technology Effects and Effectiveness

Technology Effect and Effectiveness Introduction

Blended Learning Technologies

Classroom Based Learning Technologies

Cost-Cutting Technologies

Distance Learning Technologies

Mobile Learning Technologies

Technology Effects and Effectiveness Conclusion


Contributors Fall Semester 2009

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