Why this group?

Vance Stevens

On Wed 11 March at 1400 UTC the Blended Learning Classrooms course, which started on Feb 20, 2020, will end with its closing webinar.

But it will also continue, when I unveil the MOOC community space extension to the course This will be Learning2gether episode 443 and the last live event of the course on Creating and Using a Blended Learning Classroom at https://tinyurl.com/blended2020. The course 


The last half of the 3-week course coincided with a time when schools were closing in unprecedented numbers over concerns with the COVID-19 outbreak. This has sent an equally unprecedented number of teachers into a search for stratgies they can use to transition their classrooms online. Going from face-to-face straight to online is a daunting transition, and one that requires some kind of portal space that will attempt to center the course and provide coherence to activities that cannot be simply explained as such to students not physically present in class. 


The blended learning course has been focused on helping teachers conceptualize and create that center space. When teachers have to come up with components for such spaces on limited funds and resources, I call this DIYLMS, or do-it-yourself learning management systemsFor teachers who have already been running blended learning classrooms, that center space was already there, and the shift to a totally online environment is simply a matter of layering syncronous activities onto the existing asynchronous ones.


With more schools worldwide closing suddenly almost every day now, many teachers have been stretched to come to grips with the demands of their new situations, and many others not yet in that situation are doing what they can to level up and prepare for whatever contigency.


Accordingly, the last week in our course we were hearing from teachers who were having to come up with strategies for dealing with meeting students purely online. Jeff Lebow, who has been working online for years and, like me, incorporating what works online into blended environments for his students, showed us how he had already set up classes for his whole department in blogger and now all they had to do was just add Zoom. In our most recent webinar we talked with Suzan Stamper and Bonnie Calanchini, two teachers from Hong Kong, about how they were coping in international schools with kids and in the tertiary setting with adults. These made for interesting webinars but were mere ripples in the growing tsunami of information that is becoming apparent as the days go by. I've been accumulating whatever crosses my radar here:



Since this is a dynamically developing situation, and as there is a chance that we in this community could both learn from and contribute to the ongoing conversation, I have created a kind of static extension to the course in the form of a MOOC / Community space, with more information in the Green Folder in the Schoology portal here,https://app.schoology.com/course/2362600716/materials?f=183558388.



I've also set up a MOOC Community Extension space at http://workshops2020.pbworks.com/ and added it to the sidebar there. It can also be reached via this direct link



I also created a Groups.io for ongoing discussions of this topic,

for anyone who wants to share or wants to know, or keep abreast of, this critical topic.

If this is you, join us at 




On March 11, at 1400 UTC, I'll come online and talk more about this,

You can find information about this last upcomng webinar, its link in Zoom, the time 1400 UTC wherever you are in the world here

You can also find links there to all of the webinars over the last 3 weeks in the course, and links to all other aspects of the eLearning course and its underlying workshops at the sidebar there.

In this way I am trying to model how teachers might construct a DIYLMS which can connect students or participants asynchronously, and then bring them together synchronlously. I hope you get my point :-)