#23 – Guide, Inspire, and Empower Students Through Blended Learning

Unpacking Education January 20, 2021 21 min

Blended learning can be overwhelming to unpack. There are multiple models for teachers to implement, while also learning to balance the role of student voice and choice. In this week’s episode, we explore station rotation, playlists, and flipped learning—three models of blended learning that can be used to guide and inspire students to take ownership of their learning process. Let’s explore what it means to be an architect of learning, bringing the art and science of teaching together to design learning that has the structure to support students and also inspires them to learn.

Join our Digital Learning Specialists as they talk about how you might implement station rotation, playlists, and flipped learning to create a student-centered virtual- or hybrid-learning environment for your students.

Below, you will find resources and tips shared during the podcast.

Paul Beckermann
PreK-12 Digital Learning Specialist
Rena Clark
Digital Learning Coach
Pamela Beckermann
PreK-12 Digital Learning Specialist

Now, I consider myself an architect of learning experiences rather than a fountain of knowledge.

Catlin Tucker, educator and author


In this week’s episode, we discuss the following strategies and resources that are available on AVID Open Access for you to explore in more depth.

Explore Blended-Learning Models

While there are multiple models that can be used within blended learning, we are diving deep into three of the most common models in this week’s episode: station rotation, playlists, and flipped learning.

Station Rotation

In this model, students rotate in small groups through a series of stations. This is commonly facilitated within a physical classroom by having some stations feature online learning and some offline learning. Oftentimes, one station is a meeting with the teacher.

  • Station rotation may be the most versatile blended-learning model.
  • It can be implemented quite easily into elementary classrooms where teachers already use a center-based rotation model.
  • When implemented at the secondary level, station rotation can transform how these classrooms function, leading to a more student-empowered learning environment.


Think of a playlist as an individualized checklist of tasks or activities to complete. Within this checklist, students can make choices to personalize the learning in some way. Sometimes, the teacher customizes the playlist for individual students, and students may sometimes choose from options that are offered. One type of playlist is a choice board.

  • Playlists are often used in conjunction with other blended-learning models.
  • Playlists need to contain some element of online learning and some learning that is offline in order to be considered “blended.” These online and offline experiences should be aligned and work together to support a common academic standard or learning objective.

Flipped Learning

Flipped learning comes from the idea of flipping the instructional process upside down. Instead of the teacher lecturing content and the students doing homework later, students learn through a digital medium (video, article, website, etc.), and then come back together for a face-to-face activity that stretches students to the upper level of Costa’s Levels of Thinking.

  • By flipping these experiences, the teacher can maximize face-to-face time for work that requires the most cognitively complex tasks (analysis, synthesis, creation, evaluation). This is where students are stretched and grow the most, and it is during this phase of learning that they will most need their teacher’s support.