Leadership magazine March/April 2017 V46 No. 4 - Page 29

social media , provided by the student , may offer insight to learner needs ( Morris , 2014 ).
One instructional method for ensuring learner interaction in an online environment is authentic , project-based activities . As we know , those types of activities promote active engagement and participation . Technology can bring an added dimension to authentic , project-based activities as students connect to original sources , realworld experts , and learn from frequent interaction and feedback with students and the instructor . A school leader should see the sound design of a project-based activity , plus frequent interaction and feedback from the instructor .
Role of the teacher
One instructional method for ensuring learner interaction in an online environment is
authentic , projectbased activities .
Just as the teacher ’ s active presence plays a critical role in classroom instruction , the same holds true for a blended learning environment . Teachers ’ online presence must be timely and frequent , facilitating discussions , and intervening to prevent , dissuade and stop the inappropriate interaction . Not unlike face-to-face instruction , the instructor ’ s lesson design and delivery play an integral part in creating a learning environment where students can access content , interact , and successfully complete assignments . Linn ’ s ( 1996 ) scaffolded knowledge integration framework outlines specific components for teachers and school leaders to consider for blended learning :
• Course goals are understandable by learners and perceived as achievable .
• Courses make the important and difficult ideas , practice , and culture of the given subject matter visible to learners .
• Students link ideas , compare alternatives , reflect on progress , or critique ideas and have the support to do so ; and
• Courses take advantage of the social nature of learning so that alternatives to ideas can be explored , communities are engaged , and collaboration practices are established .
Technology as a reflective tool
Journaling , personal evaluation , portfolios , blogs , and other forms of reflective response are easily incorporated into blended learning . Online reflection should demonstrate thoughtful , purposeful inclusion in the lesson design . Students must perceive the reflection as meaningful , and understand why they are completing the reflective assignment . To that end , teachers also need
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