Over the summer holidays, we were fortunate enough to send 6 teachers to the Global Online Academy (GOA) Blended Learning Institute. In our time on the beautiful Island Wood campus, we had an opportunity to think about blended learning and what it could look like here at ISB. While the classroom teachers were focused on bringing in elements of blended learning into their IB DP Higher Level classes, I was looking at an overall picture: what makes an effective blended learning environment and what can we do to bring that into our new learning management system?

Based on the work of the GOA crew and their Catalyst Cards, I walked away with three things that all teachers can strive to put into their online learning environment:

  • a student-driven focus on learning
  • authentic, meaningful interactions
  • intentional cultivation of relationships

Regardless of your subject or of your content, these are elements that teachers can weave into what and how they teach. In fact, these are usually elements that are already in existence in a face-to-face environment! The questions for us now are, what are the tools that we can leverage and what are the skills that we need to explicitly teach in order to effectively introduce these elements into our classes on Dragons’ Exchange?