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Eight Design Essentials to Transform Your Classroom

Pennsylvania Convention Center, 105AB

Listen and learn: Ed talk
Recorded Session
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Dr. Nathan D. Lang-Raad is an educator, speaker, author. Throughout his career, he has served as a teacher, elementary administrator, high school administrator, and university adjunct professor. He was the Director of Elementary Curriculum and Instruction for Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, as well as education supervisor at NASA's Johnson Space Center. Nathan is the author of 8 books: Everyday Instructional Coaching, The New Art and Science of Teaching Mathematics co-authored with Dr. Marzano, WeVideo Every Day, Mathematics Unit Planning in a PLC, The Teachers of Oz, The Boundless Classroom, Instructional Coaching Connection, and Never Stop Asking. ​

Session description

Through purposeful integration of instructional technologies, you can create meaningful learning opportunities for all your students, no matter the modality in which you teach. I invite you to explore the strategies and approaches aimed at deepening your practice and reimagining the learning you can bring into your classroom.

Purpose & objective

When engaging in this session, participants will likely identify intersections of technology and instruction, regardless of the method of instructional delivery and that’s because many effective instructional practices transcend the walls of a traditional classroom. No matter which learning environment you’re teaching in, don’t throw out best practices that were effective during in-person instruction. The beauty of blended learning is the ability to leverage technology and learning theory in creative ways to meet students’ unique needs.

As you begin to incorporate the session’s eight Design Essentials, I encourage you to think about how each aspect enhances instructional practice and student learning.

When implementing the instructional framework presented, remember that your focus is not to use as many technology tools as possible. Instead, the focus is to make learning accessible, engaging, and meaningful for all your students.

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Students in a blended learning environment interact synchronously and asynchronously, at least in part. This means that students use instructional technologies, online resources, and other digital tools to work through a prescribed plan of study, learning, and demonstrating understanding both synchronously and asynchronously and even in-person and remotely. By design, some teachers also allow students to control their learning pace in a blended environment; when students are ready, they complete an assessment to demonstrate mastery.

Once a certain level of proficiency is attained, students progress with their learning. At times blended learning is described in a way that focuses on only the context of education. Because of the technical components, there is hyper-focus on instructional technologies instead of teaching and learning. Although technology is essential to delivering blended instruction, it is just one aspect of numerous considerations. To mitigate this issue, I use a design framework addressing instructional design considerations specific to blended learning. An instructional design framework supports high-quality instruction and authentic student learning. A framework also ensures that students engage at the highest cognition levels, whether learning synchronously or asynchronously.

In this session, I will explore a framework for designing and delivering blended learning:

Why of the framework (Opening game to demonstrate the need for a framework: 5 mins)
What is your why.? (Peer to Peer Interaction: 5 mins)
Open with optimism (SEL/Morning Meeting strategy: 5 mins)
Communicate learning outcomes (Modeling: 5 mins)
Activate prior knowledge (Cloze Passage model: 5 mins)
Build academic vocabulary (World Cloud: 5 mins)
Deliver engaging instruction (Socratic practice: 5 mins)
Facilitate student discourse (Share and then shoulder chat: 5 mins
Close with optimism (Closing Circle: 5 mins)
Extending learning through feedback and reflection (Share and then shoulder chat: 5 mins)

It’s important to remember that my framework adapts to both in-person and remote synchronous teaching and learning. That’s the magic of the framework—it’s universal by design.

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Supporting research

Alliance for Excellence in Education. (n.d.) A 5 step process for creating your future-ready action plan. Future Ready Schools.
Anderson, L. W., & Krathwohl, D. R. (Eds.). (2001). A taxonomy for learning, teaching,
and assessing: A revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy of educational objectives. Longman.
Bloom, B. (1956). Taxonomy of educational objectives: The classification of educational
goals. Longmans, Green.
Berger, R., Rugen, L., & Woodfin, L. (2014). Leaders of their own learning: Transforming
schools through student-engaged assessment. Jossey-Bass.
Borup, J., West, R. E., Graham, C. R., & Davies, R. S. (2014, January). The adolescent
community of engagement framework: A lens for research on K–12 online
learning. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 22(1), 107–129. editlib.
Chappuis, S., Stiggins, R. J., Arter, J. A., & Chappuis, J. (2004). Assessment for learning:
An action guide for school leaders. Assessment Training Institute.
Clayton Christensen Institute. (2021). Blended learning models. Blended Learning
Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning [CASEL]. (2019). SEL 3
signature practices playbook: A tool that supports systematic SEL. schoolguide.casel.
Danielson, C. (2011, January). Evaluations that help teachers learn. Educational
Leadership, 68(4), 35–49.
Danielson, C. (2007). Enhancing professional practice: A framework for teaching. ASCD.
Dinmore, S. (2019). Beyond lecture capture: Creating digital video content for online
learning-a case study. Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice, 16 (1).

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Session specifications

Grade level:
Skill level:
Chief technology officers/superintendents/school board members, Curriculum/district specialists, Principals/head teachers
Attendee devices:
Devices useful
Attendee device specification:
Smartphone: Android, iOS, Windows
ISTE Standards:
For Educators:
  • Stay current with research that supports improved student learning outcomes, including findings from the learning sciences.
  • Use collaborative tools to expand students' authentic, real-world learning experiences by engaging virtually with experts, teams and students, locally and globally.
  • Model and nurture creativity and creative expression to communicate ideas, knowledge or connections.
The submitter of this session has been supported by a company whose product is being included in the session
Related exhibitors:
Savvas Learning Company