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Training the Hybrid Educator

Wednesday, November 2, 2 p.m. EDT
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 Training the Hybrid Educator(11/02/2011) 
10:11
edweekbryan: 
Good morning folks, and welcome to today's chat, Training the Hybrid Educator, sponsored by GlobalScholar. I've just opened the chat for questions, so please, start submitting yours below. We'll be back at 2 p.m. EDT today with our two guests, and we hope to see you all then.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 10:11 edweekbryan
1:49
edweekbryan: 
Hello again, ladies and gents. We'll be getting underway with our chat, Training the Hybrid educator, in just a few minutes. In the meantime, keep sending in your questions!
Wednesday November 2, 2011 1:49 edweekbryan
1:58
edweekbryan: 
Folks, once again, thank you for joining us for our live chat, Training the Hybrid Educator. Katie Ash, a staff writer for Education Week and Digital Directions, will be your moderator today.

Take it away, Katie!
Wednesday November 2, 2011 1:58 edweekbryan
1:59
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Great, thanks Bryan.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 1:59 Moderator: Katie Ash
1:59
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
And thanks to everyone here who is joining us for this discussion. I'd like to start by having our two guests introduce themselves!
Wednesday November 2, 2011 1:59 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:00
Tracy Sheehan: 
Hi! Tracy Sheehan, Manager of Instructional Develop from the Virtual High School (VHS). Former face-to-face Biology teacher grades 9-12. Currently working for VHS – writing online course for students and professional development courses for teachers. Interested in enhancing education with technology and Web 2.0 tools.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:00 Tracy Sheehan
2:00
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Great! Welcome, Tracy.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:00 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:00
Erik Toman: 
Good Afternoon/Morning Guests. My name is Erik Toman and I am a fifth year teacher at Chicago Virtual Charter School, managed by K12 Inc. I have taught/tutored students anywhere from 6th grade to 12th. Currently I am the Middle School Mathematics teacher and serve as the Lead Teacher amongst our staff. I’m excited to be here and share my knowledge about Hybrid Edcuation.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:00 Erik Toman
2:01
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Excellent! Thank you both for being here with us today.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:01 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:01
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
I'd like to jump right into the discussion since we have a lot of questions to get through.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:01 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:01
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
I think Denise has a good starting point for us.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:01 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:01
[Comment From DeniseDenise: ] 
What are essential characteristics of a successful Hybrid Educator?
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:01 Denise
2:02
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Erik and Tracy - what makes a hybrid educator effective and successful?
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:02 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:02
Tracy Sheehan: 
@Denise interest in technology, self-starter – not many of us are paid to do this, fearless, willing to accept setbacks and keep trying
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:02 Tracy Sheehan
2:02
Erik Toman: 
The educator needs to be technology savvy.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:02 Erik Toman
2:02
Erik Toman: 
Many teachers that I work with say that it takes two years to learn the ins and outs of just the virtual component, since most teachers know how to teach face to face.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:02 Erik Toman
2:03
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Great. It seems that an interest in technology is a big plus.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:03 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:03
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
That's interesting, Erik. It sort of touches on this question from Michelle:
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:03 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:03
[Comment From MichelleMichelle: ] 
Do teachers need training that's different from traditional methods to teach in an online or hybrid environment?
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:03 Michelle
2:03
Erik Toman: 
The educator also needs to have that transition of working from home and being comfortable of working at home.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:03 Erik Toman
2:03
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
What kind of training do online and hybrid educators need, and how does it differ from learning to teach face-to-face?
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:03 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:04
Tracy Sheehan: 
@ Michelle There are skills that will translate from the f2f environment to the online environment but skills such as facilitating an online discussion, designing online discussion questions and providing effective feedback in an online format are skills that need to be learned.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:04 Tracy Sheehan
2:04
Erik Toman: 
Michelle..for sure. It takes a great deal of Professional Development in learning how to be a virtual teacher and the tools and systems that are used.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:04 Erik Toman
2:05
Tracy Sheehan: 
@Michelle - Learning how to organize appropriate instructional media and resources as you design online activities, assignments, and effective assessment techniques appropriate for an online course.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:05 Tracy Sheehan
2:05
Erik Toman: 
Luckily the school that I work for has a managing company that is experienced in virtual ed and they hold monthly trainings on the best practices of virtual ed.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:05 Erik Toman
2:05
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
I've heard from other folks in the virtual ed. community that a lot of the techniques overlap from the f2f environment to the online environment, but learning how to use the tools and how to create that same kind of environment takes time.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:05 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:06
Erik Toman: 
I would agree with you Katie.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:06 Erik Toman
2:06
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
And like Erik mentioned, it seems that most of that PD is being done by virtual schools themselves, which leads me to a question from Kristoffer.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:06 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:06
[Comment From Kristoffer KohlKristoffer Kohl: ] 
To what extent are teacher preparation programs equipping future educators with the skills required to successfully engage students in virtually?
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:06 Kristoffer Kohl
2:06
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Are you seeing this kind of training being done in teacher ed.? Or is it something that is being done later on?
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:06 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:08
Tracy Sheehan: 
That is a great question. We are seeing many young teachers in our online PD classes, and we have several colleges include our PD in their catalog
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:08 Tracy Sheehan
2:08
Erik Toman: 
@Kristoffer, it's hard for me to answer that question as I was trained as a f2f educator. Most programs now have a one to two class requirement to learn about how to incorporate virtual ed. For those that haven't taken a course or ed program in the last two years it requires the seeking of professional development on this topic.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:08 Erik Toman
2:09
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Excellent - there does seem to be a shift that's occurring in some colleges of education to include more training on virtual ed., but from what I've seen, it doesn't seem to be the norm across the board and lots of teachers need and want more training beyond what they're getting in their preservice education.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:09 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:10
[Comment From LauraLaura: ] 
So if you didn't get the training in college ed courses, where do you go to get the training needed to master the tools and skills for online teaching...for example in designing online activities, assignments, and assessments? Are there independent educational programs or courses? And how do you evaluate them?
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:10 Laura
2:10
Erik Toman: 
That is correct Katie. Many teachers, especially middle and high school, see that the students they teach are screenagers and require the incorporation of media into their lessons.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:10 Erik Toman
2:11
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Erik - you mentioned that you are part of an online education company that provides trainings for you - that's one way to get trained.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:11 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:11
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Tracy - can you explain more about how the PD at VHS works? You mentioned partnering with some colleges of ed.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:11 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:12
Tracy Sheehan: 
VHS offers a course series - our Best Practice course which cover all areas of web enhanced, blended and online teaching
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:12 Tracy Sheehan
2:12
Erik Toman: 
Laura, you need to think of an online course is the same as a f2f course, you just can see your kids. Most of the planning for a lesson is the same and is executed the same way. The only difference is really you are navigating through a computer instead of a classroom.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:12 Erik Toman
2:13
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Interesting. It definitely seems like there is a lot of overlap in teaching methods for both f2f and online.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:13 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:13
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
One of the things I've noticed about hybrid education in particular is that every single hybrid or blended program out there is a little bit different.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:13 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:14
Tracy Sheehan: 
The courses are each 3 grad credit and 6 weeks in length. The courses are platform agnostic and really looks at pedagogy and skills to teach online and letting you decide the tools
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:14 Tracy Sheehan
2:14
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
I'm interesting in what you think of this question:
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:14 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:14
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
is there a ratio of online vs. face to face instructional time that is considered best? Does this change between younger and older students?
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:14 Guest
2:14
Erik Toman: 
K12, which is a leader in online education, spends numerous hours in supporting their teachers. Most of our sister schools are 100% virtual and with the help of knowing what works and what doesn't they are able to help the schools that have the hybrid component.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:14 Erik Toman
2:15
Tracy Sheehan: 
I think the ratio is what the teacher thinks is best.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:15 Tracy Sheehan
2:15
Erik Toman: 
That is correct Katie. With K12, we have three different types of hybrid models.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:15 Erik Toman
2:15
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Erik- does the ratio of time you spent online vs. face to face change when you're working with 6th graders vs. 12th graders?
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:15 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:15
Erik Toman: 
It does.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:15 Erik Toman
2:16
Erik Toman: 
For the middle school students they are at home 92% of the week, as I am only at home 60% of the week. For high school they same time is spent at home for the students but the teachers are able to spend more time assisting and working with the students.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:16 Erik Toman
2:16
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Interesting.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:16 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:17
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Here's another question about some differences between online and face to face education.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:17 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:17
[Comment From Kristoffer KohlKristoffer Kohl: ] 
How do your instructional practices differ in virtual environments? Less focused on classroom management and more focused on delivering content in engaging ways?
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:17 Kristoffer Kohl
2:17
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Tracy, as someone who taught in a face to face classroom, what do you think of this question?
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:17 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:18
Tracy Sheehan: 
Class management is always important - f2f or online....
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:18 Tracy Sheehan
2:18
Erik Toman: 
Kristoffer, actually you need more classroom management in the virtual world because many students tend to drift off or can easily toggle between screens or start chatting with their peers. Content is equally as important because the big question is making sure the students master the content.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:18 Erik Toman
2:19
Tracy Sheehan: 
I find that what is different is that in the online environment, the students tend to direct the flow more through content creation, discussions.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:19 Tracy Sheehan
2:19
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Very interesting, Tracy. We got a comment/question that touched on that earlier - let me see if I can pull it up.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:19 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:19
[Comment From Peter KoehlerPeter Koehler: ] 
How does hybrid learning facilitate the educational shift for students to become creators instead of consumers of information?
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:19 Peter Koehler
2:20
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Does that ring true for you, Erik and Tracy?
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:20 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:20
Tracy Sheehan: 
You always know what your students are doing f2f and have better "control"
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:20 Tracy Sheehan
2:20
Erik Toman: 
Peter, that is a great question. Our Advanced Learner Teacher drives this method every week in her classes. Getting the students to take ownership of their education.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:20 Erik Toman
2:20
Tracy Sheehan: 
I think the online component empowers the students and allows them to direct the learning
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:20 Tracy Sheehan
2:21
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
That seems to be a running theme when it comes to technology in education - putting the power of the learning in the students' hands.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:21 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:21
Tracy Sheehan: 
Student decide (within reason) when to learn, how to learn it, how to bring it together....
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:21 Tracy Sheehan
2:21
Erik Toman: 
I agree with Tracy, but it is very beneficial if the student is self motivated. Those that aren't tend to fall in the category of being consumers of information.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:21 Erik Toman
2:22
Tracy Sheehan: 
And that is where strong facilitation skills come in
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:22 Tracy Sheehan
2:22
Tracy Sheehan: 
bringing in the consumers and engaging them
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:22 Tracy Sheehan
2:23
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
That self-motivation piece is really interesting. It seems like that is an assumed characteristic about online learners, but then there is a lot of online learning for at-risk or reluctant learners, too. Here's a question that addresses that topic:
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:23 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:23
[Comment From Kim Wilson-HiteKim Wilson-Hite: ] 
Erik- How does this model help at-risk populations? Have you seen/tracked such success?
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:23 Kim Wilson-Hite
2:23
Tracy Sheehan: 
I don't necessarily agree that students have to be self-motivated but it helps...
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:23 Tracy Sheehan
2:23
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
I think you can jump in here, too, Tracy. I know VHS does quite a bit with credit recovery.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:23 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:24
Erik Toman: 
Kim that is a great question as Chicago is known for having an at-risk population and being an urban educational society.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:24 Erik Toman
2:24
Tracy Sheehan: 
if we say online education isn't for everyone, then we are saying education isn't for everyone
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:24 Tracy Sheehan
2:24
Tracy Sheehan: 
because the trend is toward more web enhanced course and content
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:24 Tracy Sheehan
2:25
Tracy Sheehan: 
Again how you structure your blended learning can support an at-risk population and help students that otherwise might not find success
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:25 Tracy Sheehan
2:25
Erik Toman: 
Hybrid education allows for those that need the extra help to get the one-on-one education that the student might need. With our school we have an academic support program that identifies students that are severe at-risk and we work with those students much more closely where they have another teacher that works with them in class and online.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:25 Erik Toman
2:26
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
So there is extra support for students online, just like there is face to face.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:26 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:26
Erik Toman: 
That's right.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:26 Erik Toman
2:26
Tracy Sheehan: 
in the case of VHS and credit recovery we are seeing a strong need for these types of courses
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:26 Tracy Sheehan
2:27
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
I've heard from some virtual educators that it is even easier in some ways to keep track of students who are falling behind because the data is so comprehensive and transparent in an online environment, and they can't fall through the cracks like some face to face classrooms.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:27 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:27
Tracy Sheehan: 
Absolutely!
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:27 Tracy Sheehan
2:27
Erik Toman: 
Our at-risk population can 'do school' almost double the time per day in order to get them the support that is vital towards their education.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:27 Erik Toman
2:28
Tracy Sheehan: 
VHS also makes sure there is trained support staff at the f2f school to support the students.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:28 Tracy Sheehan
2:28
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Excellent. Let's switch gears a little bit here.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:28 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:28
Erik Toman: 
That's right Katie. With all of the different systems out there, data is almost endless.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:28 Erik Toman
2:28
[Comment From Mary WisemanMary Wiseman: ] 
What about social media within a hybrid course? How do you use it? What success stories can you share?
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:28 Mary Wiseman
2:28
Tracy Sheehan: 
Like Erik said, no time constraints helps too
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:28 Tracy Sheehan
2:29
Erik Toman: 
Mary, another great question about incorporating the different online aspects for our students.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:29 Erik Toman
2:29
Tracy Sheehan: 
I use a variety of Web 2.0 tools...
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:29 Tracy Sheehan
2:30
Tracy Sheehan: 
social bookmarking in diigo is outstanding - build a class site have students contribute, annotate the web, have discussions in the actual article
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:30 Tracy Sheehan
2:30
Erik Toman: 
I personally haven't used a lot of social media, but I know of teachers that have had students create Podcasts. Online platforms are another great way to connect to students across the world through penpals.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:30 Erik Toman
2:30
Tracy Sheehan: 
something like Diigo is free and a terrific way to get started in blended learning
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:30 Tracy Sheehan
2:31
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Great. Are there other resources you can recommend to teachers who would like to incorporate more technology into their face to face classes?
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:31 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:32
Erik Toman: 
Anything that is free and allows the students to show off their creative side is a plus because most can do this in the comfort of their home.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:32 Erik Toman
2:32
Tracy Sheehan: 
Diigo allows the students to build the content. So we have an Economics class students read about price elasticity from a e-text and they are asked to relate this content to a current events article
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:32 Tracy Sheehan
2:32
Tracy Sheehan: 
then student contribute that article to the social bookmarking site. Do you know we did this and students contributed 20 different article....
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:32 Tracy Sheehan
2:33
Erik Toman: 
Moodle is a platform that I've heard teachers use.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:33 Erik Toman
2:33
Tracy Sheehan: 
everything from housing prices to seafood prices to iTunes. the student's personalized the course content, demonstrated understanding in a variety of ways
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:33 Tracy Sheehan
2:33
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
That's a really great example, Tracy.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:33 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:34
Tracy Sheehan: 
That is really just a start to how you can begin to web-enhance and blend learning
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:34 Tracy Sheehan
2:34
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Here's a question that comes up a lot when you start talking about teaching online:
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:34 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:34
[Comment From Joanne ConnorJoanne Connor: ] 
What are your thoughts regarding ideal class size in a fully online or hybrid course?
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:34 Joanne Connor
2:35
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Does this differ from a face to face environment?
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:35 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:35
Tracy Sheehan: 
I love to use RSS - where I will collect feeds from subject-specific blogs and websites and feed that into students
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:35 Tracy Sheehan
2:35
Erik Toman: 
Joanne, I think it depends on the educator. I actually just finished a class where I had 32 students, where I taught and reviewed order of operations.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:35 Erik Toman
2:36
Erik Toman: 
The tool that we use, Elluminate, can handle up to 400 participants. Our f2f classrooms have a 15:1 ratio.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:36 Erik Toman
2:36
Tracy Sheehan: 
I think an ideal number is around 20.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:36 Tracy Sheehan
2:36
Tracy Sheehan: 
Too big and there are too many discussion topics to follow
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:36 Tracy Sheehan
2:36
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Very interesting. I know that some virtual schools, like the Florida Virtual School for instance, has a much higher teacher to student ratio.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:36 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:37
Tracy Sheehan: 
Too few and you don't get enough discussion but again it depends on what you are doing with the blended component
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:37 Tracy Sheehan
2:37
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Definitely.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:37 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:37
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
On the coat tails of that question, here's one from jim.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:37 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:37
[Comment From jimjim: ] 
hybrid ed ed must add many hours to your "normal" teaching hours. How do you ensure that the job does not become 24/7?
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:37 jim
2:37
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
How does hybrid teaching compare in terms of time to face to face teaching?
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:37 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:38
Erik Toman: 
My case load of homeroom students is roughly 50 students. All ranging in abilities. Too little of a class gives you the ability to hone in on certain skills but then lacks the discussion and becomes a teacher led class. And vice versa for more students.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:38 Erik Toman
2:38
Tracy Sheehan: 
You need to manage your time just like a f2f classroom can be 24/7
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:38 Tracy Sheehan
2:38
Erik Toman: 
That is true Tracy. This job can become a 24/7 job, but you have to personally set the limits on when you break away from your job.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:38 Erik Toman
2:39
Tracy Sheehan: 
Again, like Erik said it takes a long time to build a hybrid course, so you won't do this all at once
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:39 Tracy Sheehan
2:39
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Definitely. It seems like the virtual component could definitely bleed into your "personal" time sometimes - answering emails and responding to student questions and that kind of thing.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:39 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:40
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Setting those boundaries is very important.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:40 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:41
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
There's something else that comes up quite a bit when we talk about virtual education:
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:41 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:41
[Comment From Randi LeonardRandi Leonard: ] 
I think the challenge of a hybrid or completely asynchronous course is the "bond" that students feel with teacher and other students. Online tools help to enhance the experience so they feel like they are part of a group.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:41 Randi Leonard
2:41
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
How do you make sure that the student feels connected to the teacher and their learning and vice versa?
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:41 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:42
Tracy Sheehan: 
Getting to know you types of exercise are a start
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:42 Tracy Sheehan
2:43
Erik Toman: 
Great question Randi. Most educators feel that with online learning the student doesn't get the social aspect that f2f brings. Having the hybrid component helps because then students see that there are actual people behind the names and it also allows the students to know their peers better.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:43 Erik Toman
2:43
Tracy Sheehan: 
group work and social media absolutely help bring in the bond.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:43 Tracy Sheehan
2:43
Erik Toman: 
Allowing students to have the interaction in the virtual classroom will allow them to know they are a part of something. Building the relationship the teacher can work many ways, through email, phone conversations, or one-on-one virtual sessions.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:43 Erik Toman
2:44
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Great. Here's a question from Gary.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:44 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:44
[Comment From Gary HickernellGary Hickernell: ] 
As a teacher, where do you go when you need help? Are there good virtual sites for teachers to learn, not content, but pedogogy?
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:44 Gary Hickernell
2:44
Tracy Sheehan: 
and learning to build community goes back to the idea of training teachers
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:44 Tracy Sheehan
2:44
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
What do you do when you get stuck? What kind of resources do you have at your disposal?
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:44 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:45
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Or in your case, Tracy, what do you do to help teachers who feel like they need more support or have questions?
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:45 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:46
Tracy Sheehan: 
I myself use social media - read blogs, attend virtual sessions like these, see what others are doing using twitter etc.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:46 Tracy Sheehan
2:47
Tracy Sheehan: 
The teachers I deal with are often time in a virtual class with me, so we share screencasts or Skype each other
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:47 Tracy Sheehan
2:47
Erik Toman: 
Luckily, our school as the opportunity to work with a big company that has done online education for 10+ years. Teaches have the ability to talk to experts in the teaching field and find out the best practice of something. Also online teaching is a huge network. We are able to pull information from other teachers across the country to see how things have worked for them.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:47 Erik Toman
2:48
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Excellent.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:48 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:48
Erik Toman: 
Within the school we also talk to other teachers to find out what has worked and what hasn't. Each month at our school PD's we share our personal best practices to help our fellow teachers.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:48 Erik Toman
2:48
Tracy Sheehan: 
Many teachers do not have access to a company
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:48 Tracy Sheehan
2:48
Tracy Sheehan: 
so building a personal learning network is very useful
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:48 Tracy Sheehan
2:49
Erik Toman: 
Right Tracy, so then using the examples you mentioned will help out.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:49 Erik Toman
2:49
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Good point, Tracy. And personal learning networks are out there for all kinds of teachers - not just those teaching online.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:49 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:49
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Heather: Do students ever have the opportunity to "teach" each other, through peer mentoring/tutoring? How does this work virtually?
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:49 Guest
2:50
Erik Toman: 
That's a great question.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:50 Erik Toman
2:50
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
What kind of interactions do students get to have with each other in a hybrid environment?
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:50 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:50
Tracy Sheehan: 
Absolutely many communities available on a variety of topics
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:50 Tracy Sheehan
2:51
Tracy Sheehan: 
@ Heather Again comes back to the idea of students creating content and publishing it
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:51 Tracy Sheehan
2:51
Erik Toman: 
In my situation this has become a topic in my classrooms. Virtually the students are more apt to helping and teaching other students, however, f2f I have a hard time getting them to be the same way.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:51 Erik Toman
2:52
Tracy Sheehan: 
you can certainly make it more formalized but students are learning from each because the environment is so collaborative
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:52 Tracy Sheehan
2:52
Erik Toman: 
Depending on the content and the structure of the class for a particular day, students would be put into break out rooms, mini groups, and then work on problems to then be able to share with the whole class.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:52 Erik Toman
2:53
Tracy Sheehan: 
and all of those options Erik mentioned can be done online too
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:53 Tracy Sheehan
2:53
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
That's an interesting observation, Erik- I never would have guessed. It seems like it would be easier to do peer mentoring in a face to face environment vs. virtual, but you're finding the opposite.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:53 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:54
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Here's another good question from Kim:
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:54 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:54
[Comment From Kim Wilson-HiteKim Wilson-Hite: ] 
How do the students feel about the hybrid classroom? Our school is experimenting with team teaching - and have received favorable responses from them.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:54 Kim Wilson-Hite
2:54
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
What kind of feedback are you getting from students about hybrid learning?
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:54 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:55
Erik Toman: 
Can be successful in any environment. With little teacher directions once the students are used to the activity and expectations.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:55 Erik Toman
2:55
Tracy Sheehan: 
student tend to be very positive
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:55 Tracy Sheehan
2:55
Erik Toman: 
Most of our students love the aspect of hybrid education....
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:55 Erik Toman
2:56
Erik Toman: 
They are able to work when they feel at their best. They see that they get more support from their teachers.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:56 Erik Toman
2:56
Erik Toman: 
To touch on team teaching...
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:56 Erik Toman
2:57
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Sure - we've gotten a couple of questions about that.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:57 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:57
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Do you know of team teaching hybrid classes?
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:57 Guest
2:57
Erik Toman: 
I team teach with our math middle school specialist and it works great in the virtual world. The same modes of teaching can work online and in the end we are there to support all students.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:57 Erik Toman
2:58
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
I think we have time for one more question. I'd like to end with this one from Mary Wiseman.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:58 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:58
[Comment From Mary WisemanMary Wiseman: ] 
If educators needed to hone into one single step to take, to be a better hybrid educator, what would that be?
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:58 Mary Wiseman
2:58
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
One piece of advice you might give a hybrid educator or prospective hybrid educator.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:58 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:58
Erik Toman: 
In the virtual world it allows another teacher to step in if one teacher is having a hard time explaining it. It also allows for more group work and monitoring so then the students are working and not playing when they are by themselves in a room.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:58 Erik Toman
2:59
Tracy Sheehan: 
Start small and don't overwhelm yourself
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:59 Tracy Sheehan
2:59
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Good advice, Tracy.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 2:59 Moderator: Katie Ash
3:00
Erik Toman: 
I would agree with Tracy. Don't think that it can all be done overnight. Hybrid is just a baby in the realm of education. It takes time to see what works and what doesn't and it will all come with experience and the help of the experienced.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 3:00 Erik Toman
3:00
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Awesome.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 3:00 Moderator: Katie Ash
3:00
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Thank you both Erik and Tracy for being here with us today and answering so many questions.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 3:00 Moderator: Katie Ash
3:00
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
And thanks to all of you who participated in today's discussion!
Wednesday November 2, 2011 3:00 Moderator: Katie Ash
3:01
[Comment From KathyKathy: ] 
Thanks for so many great ideas!
Wednesday November 2, 2011 3:01 Kathy
3:01
[Comment From Mary WisemanMary Wiseman: ] 
Thank you! Very informative
Wednesday November 2, 2011 3:01 Mary Wiseman
3:01
Tracy Sheehan: 
Yes, great point Erik, put yourself out there and learn from others. You do not have to do it alone.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 3:01 Tracy Sheehan
3:01
Erik Toman: 
Thanks. It was great to share my knowledge of Hybrid Education and to help those that had so many great questions.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 3:01 Erik Toman
3:01
Tracy Sheehan: 
Thank you everyone! It was a honor to be here.
Wednesday November 2, 2011 3:01 Tracy Sheehan
3:01
edweekbryan: 
Thank you, Katie! And let me also thank both of our guests, Tracy and Erik, as well as all of you who joined today. Also, a big thanks to this chat's sponsor, GlobalScholar.

A transcript of today's chat will be available at the same link by tonight at 6 p.m. EDT. 

Have a great rest of the day, all! 

Wednesday November 2, 2011 3:01 edweekbryan
3:03
 

 
 
 

Training the Hybrid Educator

Wednesday, November 2, 2 p.m. EDT

Hybrid learning, which blends face-to-face teaching techniques with online instructional aspects, is a rapidly growing sector of K-12 education. Although each hybrid, or blended, program varies on the spectrum of face-to-face vs. online elements, it is always important to properly train hybrid educators to meet student needs effectively. This chat addressed what kinds of professional development are available to hybrid educators, as well as the key factors they need to know to be successful in the classroom. Our guests shared their experiences as hybrid and virtual instructors and talked about the role that hybrid education is playing in K-12 today.

Guests:
Erik Toman, middle school teacher, Chicago Virtual Charter School
Tracy Sheehan, manager of instructional development, Virtual High School Global Consortium

Katie Ash, staff writer, Education Week and Education Week Digital Directions, moderated this chat.

Related Story:


—Ramin Rahimian for Digital Directions

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