Blended learning for a whole unit. Docs, slides, and videos

My 6th graders are currently working on a marketing campaign that aligns with the hashtag on social media for the Minnesota Department of Tourism: #onlyinMN. Students each picked a place or event which they thought was awesome. They’ve researched and now created 3 products as part of the campaign: a pop-up ad (in the style of a brochure), a TV commercial, and a tweet. They are now on to preparing their presentations in which they are pretending the class is the board of directors for their place/event and they have to persuade them to purchase their campaign for the upcoming season.

I’ve done this whole unit with just 2 google docs that have step-by-step directions and linked videos, templates, docs, and rubrics. By doing this, each of my students has been able to work at their own pace. I have an end-date that is the same for everyone, but teaching this in a blended way has allowed for many awesome things:

  • Fast students to go ahead of their peers
  • Slow students to get help from me when they need it
  • Students who were sick to work from home and not feel as stressed out when they return
  • Me to have individual one-on-one time with every student to help them make their work great
  • Students to revise when they need to, instead of feeling ahead of behind the class
  • Students

I was very proud of them throughout this unit because students also learned and were so successful with many tech tools and tricks. I really attribute this to the blended learning model. Instead of modeling the tech tool or trick to the whole class at the same time, students could watch a video model when needed.

If teaching to the whole class at once then these negative things can occur:

  • Students will not get a chance to re-watch if they don’t understand
  • Students who already know the skill are forced to waste time
  • Students who aren’t ready for that skill don’t necessarily understand
  • Students may not need that skill for a while and will not have a chance to immediately apply their learning

If using blended learning, then these positive things can occur:

  • Students can re-watch again and again and again to master the skill
  • Students who already know the skill can skip that part of the lesson, or simply review quickly
  • Students can watch and learn the skill when they actually need it
  • Students can immediately apply their learning since they are watching when they need it

The tech skills that my students learned throughout the unit were as follows. I was so proud of them! (And keep in mind these are 6th graders who aren’t 1:1!)

  • Creating citations with Easy Bib google docs add-on
  • How to change the page size of a Google presentation
  • How to manipulate photos in a slide
  • The research tab
  • Sharing levels on google products
  • How to create a hyperlink
  • Publishing Google products to the web
  • Creating shortened links
  • Creating a commercial using Animoto

If you’re interested in seeing the students’ pop-up ads, they are linked here and here. I will be tweeting out their commercials and tweets from our classroom Twitter account, @HogensHeroes, soon.


Author: karinhogen

I teach middle school language arts and run an Edtech company, DocentEDU, on the side. Every day is an adventure in my classroom with technology!

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