Definitions and Glossary

It is our belief that the visual to the right represents the vision of teaching and learning in APS, encompassing all of the modern research, learning theories, and best practices.

However, in our efforts to increase the use of Blended and Personalized Learning within APS, we know that we must define them in the context of what is already known. So, this is an effort to make meaning out of all of the relevant learning theories and models that may seem overlapping or at conflict with one another.

Because we have a specific scope, we will not be diving into every learning theory ever created, however. For that, you can reference this insanely great interactive diagram.


Blended Learning:

Using the internet to empower students with Engaging, Effective, and Equitable Face-to-Face learning experiences.

Personalized Learning:

Knowing yourself as a learner and being able to make decisions about your learning based upon that knowledge.

Technology Integration:

Using technology for learning tasks.

Project-Based Learning

Learning through investigation and response to an authentic, engaging and complex questions, problems, or challenges.

Important Models + Resources:

Lesson planning within these models:

Obviously, these models don't create learning on their own. In fact, they are merely theories until put into practice. So, how can you incorporate these different experiences into your own classroom?

Well, the simplest way is to look at your own lesson plans. Rather than providing a different template for lesson planning or a new format, we would like to use the definitions and resources above as lenses to look at your lesson and to ask questions.

Key Questions to Consider:

  1. Are there opportunities for you to have smaller group instruction? If so, what are the other students doing during that small group time? If not, are there ways to shift the content delivery online? (BL)
  2. How are you leveraging the internet to connect students together or to another content resource that they wouldn't otherwise have access to? (BL)
  3. How will your students know where they are in their learning and how well they are doing? How will they be able to make choices about their learning based upon this knowledge? (PL)
  4. How will your students reflect upon their progress and continue to develop a profile for how they learn best? (PL)
  5. Is the technology utilized in the lesson a substitution of "analog tasks" or does it reach for learning tasks that were not previously possible without the technology? (TI)
  6. Is the same technology required for all students to access the learning task, or do they need different technologies/supports? (TI)
  7. Are students engaged in making things that matter to them and investigating problems that are authentic to their experience? (PBL)
  8. What is the Product of the student learning in this lesson, and how can the Process of creating that product be supported through genuine inquiry? (PBL)