6 Types of Blended Learning

Blended Learning is not so much an innovation as it is a natural by-product of the digital domain creeping into physical boundaries. As digital and social media become more and more prevalent in the life of learners, it was only a matter of time before learning became “blended” by necessity.

That said, there’s a bit more to Blended and “Hybrid” Learning than throwing in a little digital learning.

6 Types of Blended Learning

  1. Face-to-face Driver
  2. Rotation
  3. Flex
  4. Online Lab
  5. Self-Blend
  6. Online Driver

The following infographic takes a different approach to the concept, labeling it “Disruptive,” and even offering an interesting matrix. One interesting prediction? By 2014, 50% of all post-secondary learners will take a class online.


The Difference Between Technology Use And Technology Integration

difference-using-technology-integrating-technologyThe Difference Between Technology Use And Technology Integration

by TeachThought Staff

Using technology for learning makes sense. Technology creates access, transparency, and opportunity. Any smartphone or tablet is media incarnate–video, animation, eBooks, essays, blog posts, messages, music, games. The modalities of light, color, and sound all arranged just so to communicate a message or create an experience.

But there is a difference, claims this graphic from teachbytes, between using technology and integrating it deeply into the learning experiences of students. This is, of course, what models like the SAMR model are based on–that idea of mere use to automate, to redefining what’s possible.

This is not a new idea, but what makes this graphic useful is the indicators offered that clarify Dos and Don’ts–kind of like an educator’s Goofus and Gallant.

Goofus gives iPad to students so that they can Google topics for a “research paper.”

Gallant helps students design their own open-ended and collaborative learning experiences, and uses apps like Behance or Storehouse to share them with the world. 

The chart continues this pattern, but misses the opportunity to make Highlights allusion for nuance:

Technology usage is random, arbitrary, and often an afterthought. 

Technology usage is planned and purposeful.

In all seriousness, it’s easy to say to “be purposeful.” It’s another to know what that looks like–which is where all of the indicators as a whole can be useful to you as an educator.

To the comments with anything you’d add. Or to make Highlights references no one else will notice.

The Difference Between Technology Use And Technology Integration


50 Free Animation Tools And Resources For Digital Learners

A purple monster with wild curls spiraling out of control explains the economics of oil production in the Sudan to students in Los Angeles, Sydney, Berlin, Jerusalem, and Riyadh.

That is education and animation working together to teach students everywhere, everything they ever wanted to know. Educators need only utilize the tools available, most of them for free.

Some of the animation links catalogued here will give educators very basic tools and histories of animation while others have the animation already created and set in motion, it’s just a matter of sharing it with students.

Educators need to decide which tool is best for them. If you want to create your own animation from scratch, then you want to go to sites such as Animwork. If you want to select from animation that’s already set up for you then perhaps Explainia makes more sense.

One of the easiest ways to animate, however, isn’t with your own camera and modeling clay, it’s with your links to sites that hand you everything within their own forums.

Use the first part of this list for creating original animation or using animation tools to create lessons. Use the second part to select animated lessons that are already completed and set to share.

1. Animation for Education

In this support system for educators, iCreate to Educate helps teachers and schools from primary through higher education become better learners by making animation more accessible throughout Europe. It offers some great resources and valuable animation software and resources. It also has a free stop-motion animation tool called SAM.

2. Animwork

A European partnership created this guide to help teachers learn more about using animation to teach. With some basics in place such as how to create a good story and what tools to use, Animwork puts everything into perspective for any teacher who wants to create his or her own animation.

3. GoAnimate for Schools

Easy and quick, GoAnimate for Schools is a one-stop shop for creating custom animation that’s well-made and easy to use. Globally accessible to any educator, it’s also secure and educators get a major discount. Schools can sign up about 200 students at a time.

4. GoAnimate

If the purpose of using the animation tool is solely for teaching and sharing educator-created animation, take another route to GoAnimate for business. This tool has a free sign-in where educators can use basic tools to create animation with whatever message they need to get across to their students.

5. Devolver

Quick animation with some bizarre characters and sleek backgrounds that help make a point or send students into the beginning or end of a lesson makes Devolver a great tool for the educator who moves fast. Students can also use it to email professors their interpretation of a theory or lesson.

6. Voki

Adding an interesting twist to communication and lecturing, Voki allows educators to create avatars that speak for them. Record or type in messages and send or embed the clips on a site. Voki even offers educator logins with free extras.

7. PowToon

A free business presentation tool, PowToon helps users create animated presentations with quality graphics. It even has a home dedicated to educators at any level. PowToon touts itself as being as easy to use as Powerpoint and educators seem to think it is.

8. Make It Share It

For those who prefer to draw, there’s Make It Share It. Create your own drawings from stick figures to sketches to full cartoons and animate them all online. This might be an online tool to share with students who like to draw or to create a project.

9. Wideo

But, if drawing seems to just get in the way, go to Wideo. Some modern graphics with interesting selections and fonts give users the ability to make unique videos for business and education. Nicely done tutorials provide users with confidence and basic skills to begin quickly.

10. Mixeek

This free software allows users to design web animations based on Javascript, CSS3, and HTML5. One of the best parts of this tool is that users can make their animation interactive. Mixeek also makes it easier for beginners to start the whole process with simple tutorials.

11. Myths and Legends

Hailing from the United Kingdom, this site is best used as a tool for students to create their own myths and legends. For instance, students might want to turn a factual news story into a myth or legend using the Myths and Legends tools.

12. Zimmer Twins

Make a movie or watch a movie with animation tools set neatly in place at Zimmer Twins. Create scenes from scratch or choose from scenes that are already set up. Educators can take advantage of Zimmer Twins at School by creating accounts for up to 40 students including blogs for added communication.

13. Loogix

For simple movements and creative elements of photographs or short film, use Loogix. It’s very basic and not as innovative or interactive but it gets the job done if the goal is to add a fun twist to images.

14. Blabberize

A hilariously fun site, Blabberize turns any image into a talking image complete with your recorded message. Now, whatever point any educator’s trying to make is a lot more effective when a talking cat, dog, or lama says it.

15. Aniboom

If there’s a need for something more tailored and none of the tools you’ve looked at so far meet your needs, try Aniboom. There you’ll find access to actual animators. Just post your project then assign an artist to it. You can check on the progress during the process.

16. Creaza

Another online animation tool has both a free limited version and a version that you can get a quote on for pricing. With a large variety of backgrounds and characters, using the premium version might be worth it. Creaza’s selling points are the video editor, an audio editor, a cartoon editor and a mind map builder.

17. Doink

An app for ipads, iphones, and ipods, Doink offers really creative tools that allow users to customize artwork and to create a library of drawings and animations. With a composition editor, animation appears professional and adds more versatility than a lot of other programs out there.

Ready to Go Animation

The following links will help educators find animation that’s already set in motion. It’s tried and true so educators simply search for their subject or their purpose and grab videos to help their students grasp concepts or even learn difficult material that otherwise may have eluded them.

18. TED Ed

Here educators will find brilliant animation with unique twists on a basic concept add new dimensions to learning with TED Ed. The clips are usually short, approximately 5 minutes, but they squeeze important information into that time frame and do it rather effectively.

19. Brain Pop

Another site with quick clips, Brain Pop simplifies difficult lessons in all the basic subjects including engineering and technology. Like TED Ed, it adds material constantly so there’s always more to choose from; however, there is a fee to access the material.

20. BBC History

Walk through the architectural planning of the Colosseum, watch the reconstruction of the Iron Age Chariot, and learn about the Battle of Somme in World War I among many other animated insights. It can all be found at the BBC Interactive Content Animations.

21. ABC

An Australian site full of insightful and entertaining documentaries, ABC also has cool animated videos about Greek gods, Naval officers, and science plus lots of interactive video and gaming.

22. Explania

From learning how to save the oceans to how to calculate your body mass index, the animations seem endless on Explania. Just register and gain access to creative animations that explain almost anything.

23. Google Apps

Google Apps for Education is filled with animated apps that shed light on otherwise out of reach concepts and difficult problems that sometimes even the best educator can’t perfect into a lesson readable by all students. GeoGebra and Desmos have sketchpads and graphing calculators and that’s just the beginning.

24. Enlightenment

RSA brings power to intellectual debates with animation. Use their videos as a springboard for further debate or to introduce 21st century topics to any subject that thrives on arguments.

25. Brainpickings

Full of informational animations that give the learner visuals that transfer difficult concepts into understandable snippets, Brainpickings narrows the gap between confusion and understanding.

26. Literature

Openculture compiled a list of animations relating to various literature such as Emily Dickinson’s poetry and Shakespeare. Explain the wonders of Plato and Kafka as well as Hemingway with these short clips.

27. Electric Literature

Find folktales, comedies, minidramas, and more, all animated with fascinating graphics and sound on Electric Literature. Bring story telling to students with these videos that offer unique perspectives.

28. WatchKnowLearn.org

With tons of videos to choose from, some aren’t animated but you can sift through them to find the animated ones. WatchKnowLearn.org is broken into subject areas and acts as a database for rated videos that teach students. The ratings have stars and a review, which is really helpful because it saves time when choosing which one to use.

29. Canada Film

At the site for the National Film Board of Canada, educators will discover free streaming documentaries and animated films. Short animated films about poets, poetry, music, and other themes add interest and are a great resource for any educator.

30. National Geographic

While housing all types of great resource videos, National Geographic also has valuable interactive animations for teaching about the world around us and the world itself. Click through the steps of Greenhouse Effect and learn exactly how it works.

31. BioInteractive

Sleek, professional, colorful, and detailed animations at BioInteractive help educators communicate their curriculum with students. Educators choose from topics such as anatomy, brain, cancer, cardiovascular, organism behavior, and a lot more.

32. The Archeology Channel

Using Google maps, The Archeology Channel has created an interactive map that gives educators a visual guide of its animated videos of historical figures and finds according to the country or region. For instance, if educators click on Italy, they’ll find a video about Matilda of Canossa.

33. How Stuff Works

Full of videos, the animated ones make understanding any subject or process much easier at How Stuff Works. Under the category Culture, you might click on the animated video How Murphy’s Law Works.

34. Cell Biology Animation

John Kyrk created intricate animations explaining cell biology. Beginning with amino acids and protein and delving into DNA structure, the animation available on his site provides learners with complete visuals into the workings of cell biology.

35. Plant & Soil Sciences eLibrary

Access well-made animations of flower structures, plant breeding, gel scoring, gene cloning, genetic mapping, herbicide metabolism and so on. Plant & Soil Sciences eLibrary allows educators to access and use animated videos for free after they login.

36. Exploratorium

Split into categories such as Astronomy or Cognitive Science/Psychology, educators can find animated videos depending on the subject within the subject inside Exploratorium.

37. iTunes U

Find any and everything at iTunes U, just search or select a category and move through animation after animation. Sign up as an educator and add something even more useful to the equation by creating your own unique lessons or even videos.

38. MIT

Massachusetts Institute of Technology offers open courses with some great animation available. Check out some of the courses available at MIT and send students that way if they need extra guidance or even if they need a good challenge.

39. PBS Online

Inside PBS.org, educators have access to animations of such topics as growth, well-being, and jobs in what it calls the new economy or the story of Theodore Roosevelt’s building the Panama Canal.

40. YouTube

Another helpful place to find animations, YouTube delivers any and every animation on almost any topic or subject imaginable. However, educators might have to sift through some unprofessional videos while searching.

41. Science Stage

Not just focused on science, Science Stage is worth visiting for almost any subject except literature. Anyone who wants to learn more about a chosen field will find all the videos fascinating, not just the animations.

42. NOVA

An animation of the “Island of Stability” for physics or animation of the growth spurts of a T. Rex give learners clear insight into the unseen worlds of learning on NOVA, a subsection of PBS.

43. NBC Learn

From sustainability of water to the science of the summer Olympics, NBC Learn makes education simple and understandable. The animations work alongside professional videos explaining various topics.

44. History

History actually partnered with Aniboom and created a contest where people use Aniboom to create a historical, animated video. On top of that, History online has awesome interactive games, maps, and timelines including Ellis Island: Then and Now and hilarious animation of Greek Gods.

45. LearnersTV

If educators need animated video of science subjects such as biology, chemistry, and physics, then LearnersTV boasts animated videos detailing these subjects. It also catalogues video on such subjects as engineering and economics but those videos aren’t animated.

46. Maps of War

At Maps of War, the history of religion, the Imperial history of the Middle East, democracy, terrorism, the World Wars, and more map out the past and sometimes the future, depending on how you look at it.

47. Khan Academy

Well-respected and known as the place to go for all learners, Khan Academy masters teaching and animation with videos that lead a student to the unanswered questions.

48. See Math

See Math animations explain simple and complex math with animations that make learning precise and understandable. Educators can sign up and show the videos to students or have students sign up and learn.

49. Math is Fun

Animated cubes, triangular prisms, hexakis icosahedrons, gyroelongated square bicupola, or hebesphenomegacorona among other three-dimensional animated shapes fill the web pages of Math is Fun, offering learners various ways to manipulate and view the movements.

50. Vimeo

If educators search Vimeo, they’ll find some nicely done animation of shorts about anything from sci-fi to love stories as well as beautifully done animation of challenging and enlightening concepts to spark creativity and innovation with any learner who needs a boost of imagination.

50 Free Animation Tools And Resources For Digital Learners.

50 Reasons It’s Time For Smartphones In Every Classroom

There are many ways to use a smartphone in the classroom, but it continues to be a touchy subject.

Privacy, equity, bandwidth, lesson design, classroom management, theft, bullying, and scores of other legitimate concerns continue to cloud education’s thinking about how to meaningfully integrate technology in the learning process.

To be clear–learning can happen in the absence of technology. Integrated poorly, technology can subdue, distract, stifle, and obscure the kind of personal interactions between learner, content, peer, and performance that lead to learning results.

But increasingly we live in a world where technology is deeply embedded into everything we do. Thinking about it simply in terms of “digital literacy” puts you about 5 years behind the curve. It’s really much more than that–less about being connected, and more about being mobile.

There will be growing pains, and I’m sure educators that have brought in BYOD programs into their school can come up with 50 reasons it won’t work. But most of those 50 are a product of the continued poor fit that exists between schools and communities–the system and the humans it serves.

Soon, the argument won’t be about smartphones, but rather steeper technology–contact lenses that record, and bendable, wearable mobile hardware that offers AI-produced haptic feedback to guide how students research, skim through information, or connect through media (all media will be social).

Which will make an iPhone or Nexus 5 look like an abacus.

This an argument less about smartphones, and more about meaningfully embracing what’s possible in 2015 and beyond–a stance that could see education finally take a position of leadership in the use of technology to support how we make sense of the world around us.

50 Reasons It’s Time For Smartphones In Every Classroom

1. Students could Google anything–just like you do

2. Used, they’re incredibly affordable

3. They can therefore reduce rather than increase equity and access

4. Self-directed learning will be a core tenet of future learning. This means technology, and the most mobile, affordable, and accessible kind of technology is a used smartphone

5. Another core tenet of future learning? Mobility. Which requires mobile technology.

6. Texting in class is a classroom management problem–or even a matter of instructional design. It is not a technology problem

7. Related gadgets like wearable technology are already here. Smartphones are already dated technology, but they can serve as a bridge to the near future

8. Workflow in classrooms is now based primarily on physical media, which often means shoehorning in technology. It’s time for the reverse

9. Students can create their own workflows

10. The hardware isn’t overwhelming. Technology isn’t the point of learning, and should not overwhelm awareness, curiosity, interaction, or critical analysis in favor of mass publishing and communication.

11. It’s easy to turn them off, put them in airplane mode, etc

12. Push and location-specific notifications have tremendous potential for personalizing learning

13. Security issues go both ways–personally I’d prefer my teenager to have a smartphone on her at all times

14. Geo-tagging, game-based learning, and apps with adaptive learning algorithms that differentiate for you–or for the student, rather. Have you seen The Sandbox?!

15. Tumblr–easy grab-and-go blogging

16. Students can create their own IT department or tech support teams

17. Yes, there is a have vs have-nots with iPhone 5s versus dated Android phones. This is not a reason to ban them from the classroom

18. NFC technologies are getting smarter and more integrated into our lives, including beaming almost anything digital from here to there–to share, broadcast, publish, display anything in real-time

19. Wi-Fi Direct makes peer-to-peer sharing of data instantaneous

20. They support project-based learning, game-based learning, sync teaching, and dozens of other related learning trends

21. Evernote–cloud-based everything

22. QR Codes help accommodate mobile learning

23. 3G is nearly ubiquitous and 4G is getting more common. (And even a disconnected smartphone is 100xs more useful than a calculator.)

24. Podcasts (a technology underused in the classroom) can be recorded, shared, broadcast, saved, or socialized anywhere

25. They can be used as clickers to give teachers real-time data from quick assessments

26. Backchannel conversations

27. Augmented reality allows for the overlay of physical environments with real-time data

28. Voice-recognition and voice-activated apps are getting smarter–and could be a boon for struggling writers

29. This would decenter the teacher

30. This would liberate the teacher

31. This would utlimately empower the teacher

32. Every student has a voice

33. Students can have choice in terms of apps, platforms, social channels, assessment style, and so on. Smartphones can support this

34. Smartphones can supplement laptops, tablets, and other learning technology

35. Smartphones can function as a productivity hub for challenge-based learning–reminders, to-do lists, calendar updates, social messaging, emails, etc

36. And they’re already in the pockets of most students

37. Digital citizenship is a perfect segue to teaching human citizenship

38. Digital literacy is as important as non-digital literacy

38. Every student using a smartphone would naturally democratize what is otherwise an academic oligarchy

39. YouTube is the most popular and diverse media channel on the planet. It may be time to let them use it how they want, when they want

40. Students continuing to learn without access to the hardware and software they’re accustomed to using on a daily basis only further alienates and discredits schools rather than “cleaning them of distraction”

41. Easy, persistent access to their previous thinking–i.e., digital portfolios

42. White noise apps

43. Don’t you stream music while you work? I do. Doesn’t have to be Eminem–could be Mozart, Gregorian Chants, or white noise

44. Headphones, earbuds, and other related peripherals are becoming increasingly common-and useful (see #42)

45. Yes, it very well may be that we are becoming addicted to technology as a culture. Banning them in schools while pretending that your classroom is the last bastion for humanity is lunacy

46. Kindle, iBooks, and other reading apps

47. Access to virtual libraries, museums, networks

48. reddit, while quiry, is a community that models critical thinking, the nuance of content, and a celebration of learning

49. Ease of data collection for teachers

50. It’d immediately disrupt everything from district filters and school policies to the role of students in the learning process, and the transparency of student work and performance in the classroom

50 Reasons It’s Time For Smartphones In Every Classroom.