As a former educator and instructional technologist, I’m always on the lookout for new technology. The opportunities to amplify our craft as teachers and the learning for students are seemingly endless.
For example, students working in stations (also called centers) is an effective instructional strategy. It’s often used in elementary classrooms and but can even be found in some upper grades. This approach allows teachers to provide activities at each station according to a particular skill or academic level. It’s especially useful for differentiation and formative assessments. However, learning opportunities can sometimes be limited to the resources available in the room e.g. textbooks, maps, etc. Enter blended learning.
Amplifying Teaching with Technology
When a teacher has access to new technology in their classroom, it opens the doors to a whole new world of exciting possibilities. In the case of stations, also known as blended learning when technology is infused, technology amplifies a teacher’s ability to create more engaging and personalized activities at each center. This is because of the dynamic resources available online. There’s YouTube videos, podcasts, primary source documents, text-to-speech, 3D maps, augmented and virtual reality, real-time data from formative assessments. Additionally the fact that language can be translated for ELL students and reading content can be differentiated according to Lexile level. That’s not to mention the hundreds of tools for students have for creating new evidence of learning.
Blended Learning: The Station Rotation Model
The modern approach to stations/centers fits under the umbrella of blended learning. It is commonly known as the Station Rotation Model. This model is often a good place to start when integrating new technology in the classroom because many educators are already familiar with rotating students through stations. The main difference here is that at least one of the stations has an online learning component to it. If you would like to learn how educators are using Otus to implement this strategy, I’ve created an Adobe Spark page with a practical example and additional resources to get you started!