Tag Archives: Blended Learning

A Passion That Never Dies

This post is written by member Chawanna Bethany Chambers.

I’m nearly ten years removed from the freshly minted, aspiring teacher that I was in December 2007 after graduating Magna Cum Laude from Texas Lutheran University’s teaching program. I had major plans to change the face of education and bring fun back to learning for children. Education was serious business in my eyes, and I wouldn’t be complacent in what seemed to be a growing focus on exam accuracy and a stagnating view of child development. Didn’t kids need to know more than how to fill in the bubble without stray marks?

While I hadn’t yet narrowed down what my professional focus would be in the field, I knew that to gain credibility with my peers, parents, students, and community, I needed to produce some results and demonstrate my abilities. To lay the groundwork for what would become my educational legacy, I served faithfully in a variety of teaching positions. I was a Head Start prekindergarten teacher, an 8th- and 9th-grade public school English teacher, a department chair, a 7th-grade US history and 8th-grade humanities international school teacher, a grade 6–12 online English teacher, a curriculum developer, an instructional coach, a university adjunct instructor, and more. In 2010 I was selected as one of NCTE’s Early Career Educator of Color Leadership Award recipients.

I kept that flame ignited through the years and worked diligently to gather a depth and breadth of knowledge of the field so that I would be as prepared as possible to one day found my own educational nonprofit and public charter school. In November 2016, I took the next step and established Single Seed Enrichment School, Inc., which serves as a nonprofit organization that provides free tutoring services to children in my hometown of San Antonio, Texas. In addition to hoping to expand our influence in 2017, I will apply for an open enrollment charter in the state of Texas and start a preK–12 public charter school that uses competency-based education and blended learning to expose San Antonio children to international and service learning in August 2019.

In the meantime, I curate a blog in which I provide parents and educators with various resources and musings on topics in education. I hope to be a valued source of information for anyone interested in supporting children’s educational experiences. Currently, I’m excited to be engaging in research on K–12 online learning, as this avenue of education can provide greater access to quality instruction for children around the world. I’m also looking forward to speaking at conferences and providing even more professional development to fellow educators who want to learn more about competency-based education, blended learning, student voice, or dynamic teaching.

I value the work of teachers around the world, especially those who do their best to support every child in public school classrooms. If I’ve learned anything over the years, it’s that our greatest successes often come when we have a solid support system in place. Our families need support. Our students need support. Our teachers need support. I am not the same novice educator that I once was, and my passion has grown along with my skills. As I’ve honed my craft, my desire for change has intensified. I’m eternally thankful for the like-minded individuals who’ve encouraged my growth along the way.  The time has come for me to return those favors to the world around me.

Dr. Chawanna Bethany Chambers is a national award-winning and board-certified preK–20 educator committed to the enhancement of American public school education. She serves in a variety of capacities that contribute to education advocacy and family empowerment. 

Making Hybrids Work

This post is written by members Jason Snart and Joanna Paull, who published Making Hybrids Work: An Institutional Framework for Blending Online and Face-to-Face Instruction in Higher Education through NCTE. 

Layout 1In an ever-changing higher education landscape, one that seems to become increasingly more fluid and “disrupted” by the day, colleges are faced with the challenge of innovating to meet student needs and to meet institutional objectives. It is in this context that hybrid (aka blended) learning–a delivery mode that combines online and face-to-face instruction–can provide a promising framework for meaningful curricular innovation. However, as hybrid learning continues to gain visibility across higher education, and as its blend of both online and face-to-face learning becomes more attractive for more teachers, institutional stakeholders will need to collaborate to design a broad framework for hybrid curriculum development.

Making Hybrids Work provides a much needed resource for any institution looking to create a vigorous hybrid curriculum. We argue that to make hybrid teaching and learning truly effective and sustainable, institutions must develop a shared vision for their hybrid curriculum—a vision that includes administrators, learner support, faculty, staff, and students.

The book explores the roles of institution-wide planning, professional development training, and support as it builds and grows. After all, it is only with a shared institutional vision and a solid foundation of training that hybrids can flourish as a truly robust component of an institution’s curricular existence.

jasonsnartJason Snart, NCTE member since 2011, is a professor of English at College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, IL. He teaches a range of composition, literature, and creative writing courses across a variety of delivery modes including face-to-face, online, and hybrid. Find him on Twitter: @ProfessorSnart

 

joannapaullfriends
Joanna Paull, Natalie Dorfeld and Kimberly Miller

Joanna Paull, NCTE member since 2001, is a professor of English at Lakeland Community College in Kirtland, OH. She teaches the composition sequence as well as the film courses and instructs in the face-to-face, hybrid and online environments.