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The Quick Guide to Simultaneous, Hybrid, and Blended Learning

The Quick Guide to Simultaneous, Hybrid, and Blended Learning

March 2021 | 120 pages | Corwin

What a year! Twelve months and counting since COVID expanded, stretched, and blurred the boundaries of teaching and learning, at least one thing has remained constant: our commitment as educators to move learning forward. It’s just the context that keeps changing—why Doug Fisher, Nancy Frey, John Almarode, and Aleigha Henderson-Rosser have created a follow-up to The Distance Learning Playbook, their all-new Quick Guide to Simultaneous, Hybrid, and Blended Learning.

First, to be clear: simultaneous learning must not be an additive, meaning we combine two entirely different approaches and double our workload. That’s unsustainable! Instead, we must extract, integrate, and implement what works best from both distance learning and face-to-face learning environments. Then and only then—Doug, Nancy, John, and Aleigha insist—can we maximize the learning opportunities for all of our students.

To that end, The Quick Guide to Simultaneous, Hybrid, and Blended Learning describes how to:

  • Have clarity about the most important learning outcomes for our students. This will help us decide what is best done asynchronously and what is best done with our “Roomies” and “Zoomies.”
  • Capitalize on the potential of asynchronous learning and use that valuable time to preview and review. This way we can draw on evidence from these tasks to help us decide where to go next in our teaching and our students’ learning.
  • Utilize synchronous learning for collaborative learning and scaffolding of content, skills, and essential understandings. In doing so, we can collect additional evidence of students’ learning so that we provide feedback that moves learning forward. 
  • Establish norms for combining synchronous and face-to-face environments in simultaneous learningImportantly, we have to set up the environment for our Roomies and Zoomies to learn together.
  • Develop learning experiences and tasks that maximize learner engagement for all learners in all settings.
  • Focus on acceleration and learning recovery. In other words, no more deficit thinking! Our students are where they are and there are specific things that we can do to ensure their learning.
  •  Implement the guide’s many resources, strategies, and templates.

“None of us chose to be in a situation where some learners are physically in our classrooms, while others attend virtually and remotely,” write Doug, Nancy, John, and Aleigha. “However, what we hope to convey is that we’ve got this! While the context is different, the principles behind clarity, planning, high-yield strategies and interventions, student learning, and assessment hold steady.” This is where The Quick Guide to Simultaneous, Hybrid, and Blended Learning will prove indispensable on this next leg of our journey.

If you want to work smarter versus harder in this time of distance learning, this book is for you! Schools and teachers worldwide face unique challenges as they work to accommodate and transform the methods in which they provide quality learning and teaching through various formats of distance learning. The Quick Guide to Simultaneous, Hybrid, and Blended Learning provides the needed clarity and specificity in how to navigate developing and managing quality teaching and learning experiences in any distance learning environment or platform. Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey, John Almarode, and Aleigha Henderson-Rosser offer practical and authentic ideas on how to maximize and adapt for student learning and engagement in an ever-changing environment. The timing of this book is impeccable and will transform the ways in which schools and teachers intentionally plan and deliver quality instructional practices.

Debra Cale
Elementary Principal Dallas Center-Grimes CSD
Dallas Center, IA

As an educator in a large urban district that utilizes all three of these models to help us deliver on our promise of equity, I can honestly say that The Quick Guide to Simultaneous, Hybrid, and Blended Learning offers every educator the entry point they need to increase students’ learning, collaboration, and agency in any context. Through multiple research-based, classroom-tested practices and examples, this book gives educators the practical strategies and structures we need to enhance our simultaneous instruction. A must-read, The Quick Guide confronts the doubts and challenges associated with simultaneous and hybrid environments by offering implement-right-away solutions that inspire readers to see that, regardless of the modality or context in which students learn, learning at high levels is still possible for all students.

Kierstan Barbee
Assessment for Learning Coordinator
Dallas, TX

This is the book that I have been waiting for! After schools shut down because of the pandemic and we realized that our return to school would not be “business as usual,” I was having a difficult time imagining what school would look like in a simultaneous learning environment. This guide gives me permission to use what I know but extends the paradigm in which I was thinking. Clarity, a crucial component in designing effective learning experiences, is addressed and amplified in this guide to help allay some of my concerns. Student engagement, something at the forefront of every educator’s mind, is also on the minds of the authors. This guidebook is easy to follow but allows the reader to take the ideas and adapt them to their own situation. So helpful!

Melanie Janzen
Curriculum Coordinator, Secondary Mathematics, San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools
San Bernardino, CA

This book is a multipurpose tool for the educator’s toolbox. The information and examples combine for methodologies to not only be used during a pandemic but to truly provide a bridge into future learning and instruction.

Douglas Howell
Superintendent, Pocatello-Chubbuck School District
Pocatello, ID

The Quick Guide to Simultaneous, Hybrid, and Blended Learning by Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey, John Almarode, and Aleigha Henderson-Rosser is a practical guide for educators at all levels. From definitions to learning models to digital tools, this book has a little bit of everything for educators who are implementing remote learning (and aren’t we all?)! The potential learning models described are especially helpful for academic administrators determining how to pivot to remote learning, and weekly plans for each learning type support classroom implementation. The authors also provide practical solutions for common problems in remote learning, including student engagement and how to teach in-person and remote students simultaneously. I’ll be flipping through my Quick Guide to apply these solutions for semesters to come.

Elizabeth E. Smith
Assistant Professor of Education, Vice Provost for Academic Initiatives and Faculty Affairs
The University of Tulsa, OK

This is a must-have for all involved with thinking about and involved with distance learning. This book is insightful and provides administrators and teachers with the tools and questions to think about when planning high-quality, rigorous, and engaging lessons—whether they are doing so asynchronously or synchronously. Examples and key insights from educators already immersed in the field provide yet another handy resource from which teachers and administrators can easily flip through and glean ideas. As distance learning is now changing the way in which we teach and the structure in how our students learn, this book is essential for anyone who is thinking about designing a high-quality distance learning model.

Lisa C. Chen
Director of Virtual Learning, Louisa County Public Schools
Mineral, VA

Managing technology has been a challenge for our teachers and students. The Quick Guide to Simultaneous, Hybrid, and Blended Learning gives teachers the techniques to deal with technical complexities in smart and creative ways. We need to save time for meaningful instruction and one of the ways we can do that is not to narrate all that we’re doing to students. Give students the time to read the instructions, charts, and other visual aids, and let them take ownership of the learning process. Students are loving that autonomy!

Elizabeth Cardenas-Lopez
Director of Literacy, Evanston/Skokie School District 65
Evanston, IL

A very easy and informative guide to hybrid and blended learning. A must read for all 21st Century teachers.

HESC Office, Barnet And Southgate College
June 8, 2022

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