Jeff Gerlach

Jeff Gerlach

Jeff Gerlach (@JGer1) is an instructional design coach for Michigan Virtual University. He works with teachers to design blended learning experiences for students through presentations, school partnerships, online courses and 1:1 coaching. He holds a master's degree in educational technology from Michigan State and has experience as a face-to-face teacher in the metro Detroit area where he blended his classroom for six school years.

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MyBlend Stories | Justin Bruno

Reflecting on the past year of our podcasts.

Written by Jeff Gerlach on Monday, 14 December 2015.

MyBlend Stories | Justin Bruno
Justin and Jeff reflect on the conversations with the guests they've had in their respective podcasts over the past year; they each chose clips from past guests that they felt were thought provoking, important to the profession or simply interesting in guiding this new conversation.
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MyBlend Stories | Ashlie O’Connor

Getting practical about data.

Written by Jeff Gerlach on Thursday, 10 December 2015.

MyBlend Stories | Ashlie O’Connor

Ashlie O’Connor is an Instructional Technology and Data Coach for the Alpena-Montmorency-Alcona Educational Service District and Alcona Community Schools itself. In our conversation, we talked about her efforts to help teachers establish digital communication channels with parents and we got practical about student data collection, interpretation and the practicality of personalized learning with it.

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MyBlend Stories | Erin Luckhardt

How do you sustain learning beyond the initial PD session?

Written by Jeff Gerlach on Monday, 19 October 2015.

MyBlend Stories | Erin Luckhardt

Erin Luckhardt is an 8th-grade social studies teacher at Boyne City Middle School. In our conversation, we talked about the components that help support effective technology PD, how to sustain learning beyond the initial PD session and applying competency-based learning at the classroom level.

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MyBlend Stories | Andrea Zellner

What kind of informal learning can happen through social media exchange?

Written by Jeff Gerlach on Tuesday, 01 September 2015.

MyBlend Stories | Andrea Zellner
Andrea Zellner is a Technology Integration Specialist at Oakland Schools, working exclusively with the Pontiac School District. She is also a Ph.D student in the Educational Psychology and Educational Technology program at Michigan State University, a Red Cedar Writing Project disciple, a former high school English and biology teacher and a self-proclaimed “shenanigans instigator.”
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MyBlend Stories | Rachelle Wynkoop

What distinguishes blended learning from technology rich instruction?

Written by Jeff Gerlach on Wednesday, 26 August 2015.

MyBlend Stories | Rachelle Wynkoop
Rachelle Wynkoop is the Supervisor of Secondary Curriculum and Professional Development at the Port Huron Area School District. She is an active member of the #michED community and a regular presenter at education conferences throughout the state.
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Redesigning Normal

A reflection on the MyBlend Summer Learning Day Camp

Written by Jeff Gerlach on Tuesday, 04 August 2015.

Redesigning Normal
My colleague Jamie DeWitt (@jamiedewitt) gave the keynote address at the inaugural MyBlend Summer Learning Day Camp last week. I really grabbed on to an analogy Jamie made between blended learning and the work of Adolphe Chaillet.
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Celebrating Student Learning at Brandywine

Exploring a blended learning project from start to finish.

Written by Jeff Gerlach on Tuesday, 12 May 2015.

Celebrating Student Learning at Brandywine
I asked Angela three questions to celebrate the great blended learning project that her students just completed, reflected on how we can improve for next time and openly shared our experiences so that others can add their voices to our conversation about blended and/or project-based lesson design.
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MyBlend Stories | Cresta Wright

Cresta talked about the unexpected learning that can happen when you share your work.

Written by Jeff Gerlach on Thursday, 30 April 2015.

MyBlend Stories | Cresta Wright
Cresta and I talked about shifting from a consulting to coaching mentality while working with teachers, how growing up in an agricultural environment shaped her understanding of teaching and learning from an early age and the unexpected learning that can happen when you share your work, no matter how good you think it is.
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MyBlend Stories | Sarah Wood

There is no such thing as a “normal” week in Sarah's role, something she enjoys.

Written by Jeff Gerlach on Wednesday, 22 April 2015.

MyBlend Stories | Sarah Wood
I was excited to talk to Sarah about Godfrey-Lee’s Rebel U event, their own educational technology conference that takes place during teacher days in August. We also chatted about how she approaches using tech integration to meet districtwide goals.
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MyBlend Stories | Kerry Guiliano

Kerry described her transition from a technology using teacher to more of a blended facilitator.

Written by Jeff Gerlach on Wednesday, 15 April 2015.

MyBlend Stories | Kerry Guiliano

Kerry shared her story as an educator and described her transition from a technology using teacher to more of a blended facilitator. We also discussed her coaching relationships with teachers and how she’s helping administrators to start providing professional development using blended strategies.

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MyBlend Stories | Kit Hard

Kit chatted about innovative PD models and building blended learning capacity

Written by Jeff Gerlach on Wednesday, 08 April 2015.

MyBlend Stories | Kit Hard
Kit Hard is an Education Technology Specialist at Marysville Public Schools. Part of his professional responsibilities are to provide training and support to teachers, which he focuses predominantly around blended learning instruction and formative assessment. He’s also a Universal Design for Learning evangelist, a Maker movement supporter and a #michED leader.
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MyBlend Stories | Elaine Mantinan

What's it like to design, build and teach a blended Spanish course

Written by Jeff Gerlach on Wednesday, 01 April 2015.

MyBlend Stories | Elaine Mantinan
Elaine Mantinan is a Spanish teacher at L'Anse Creuse High School - North in Macomb, Mich. When her principal approached her to be among the first educators in L’Anse Creuse Public Schools to pioneer their blended learning initiative, she was excited to take part.
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MyBlend Stories | MACUL15

The MyBlend team share their stories from this year's conference

Written by Roman Stotland, Jamie DeWitt, Brandon Bautista, Jeff Gerlach on Wednesday, 25 March 2015.

MyBlend Stories | MACUL15
In the days following the conference, we’ve been trying to unpack and share our reflections as so many others do. Personally I was having a bit of writer’s block. Brandon suggested we do a podcast so I booked a meeting room here at MVU and put a mic in the middle of the table.
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MyBlend Stories | Chris Stanley

Chris shares his story of using competency based learning with his students

Written by Jeff Gerlach on Tuesday, 03 March 2015.

MyBlend Stories | Chris Stanley

Chris chatted with us about personalized learning strategies that strike a balance between proactive and reactive differentiation, the power of structuring learning around inquiry and his early impressions of using a competency based learning approach with his students.

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MyBlend Stories | Ann Smart

We chatted with Ann about implementing inquiry based learning strategies

Written by Jeff Gerlach on Tuesday, 24 February 2015.

MyBlend Stories | Ann Smart

We discussed Ann's favorite aspects of being an instructional coach, her work with teachers in implementing inquiry based learning strategies and the district’s exploration of learning environment design as part of their model classroom initiative.

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Differentiation in a World Without Learning Styles

My belief that everyone learns in ways unique to them was sound, but my methods needed adjusting.

Written by Jeff Gerlach on Friday, 20 February 2015.

Differentiation in a World Without Learning Styles

Coming to terms with the learning styles myth allowed me to see that students don’t fall into three or four boxes. Differentiation is much messier than this, but our approach need not be complicated

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MyBlend Stories | Angela Mellott

A whole course blended learning adventure!

Written by Jeff Gerlach on Tuesday, 10 February 2015.

MyBlend Stories | Angela Mellott

Identifying opportunities to differentiate learning for her students, Angela began to explore blended learning in April 2014. She chose to work with MyBlend to support her growth in applying blended learning strategies to her course design.

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MyBlend Stories | Andrew Shauver

Andrew shares his blended story and how he's inspiring the growth of others.

Written by Jeff Gerlach on Tuesday, 03 February 2015.

MyBlend Stories | Andrew Shauver

After going through the struggles of a first-year math teacher, Andrew sought to create opportunities for his students that focused more on value and less on one-size, fit-all tasks. Before blended learning was a buzzword, he was developing online environments that gave students greater control over place, pace, path and time.

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MyBlend Stories | Melody Arabo

The 2014 Michigan Teacher of the Year shares her story.

Written by Jeff Gerlach on Tuesday, 20 January 2015.

MyBlend Stories | Melody Arabo

In this installment of MyBlend Stories, Melody Arabo talked with us about blended learning strategies, building a culture of collaboration in education and got a sneak preview of her new book, “Diary of a Real Bully.”

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The Blended Learning Nation

The voice of the audience was amplified at this year's MVU Symposium

Written by Jeff Gerlach on Wednesday, 03 December 2014.

The Blended Learning Nation

We set about unifying the buzz of the audience with the conversation on the stage during a blended learning panel discussion at MVU Symposium 2014.

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Mastery of the Universe

Exploring the practical aspects of Competency Based Learning

Written by Jeff Gerlach on Friday, 21 November 2014.

Mastery of the Universe

Competency Based Learning makes us question the traditional school structure. Which aspects can increase our ability to personalize learning, and at the same time be incorporated into pre-existing school structures?

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MAET Bridge: Social Studies

How are social studies teachers blending their classrooms?

Written by Jeff Gerlach on Thursday, 30 October 2014.

MAET Bridge: Social Studies

Watch as a group of social studies teachers talk about social studies and technology integration on the MAET Bridge.

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What is it Like to be a Blended Learning Teacher?

Celebrating blended learning for connected educator month!

Written by Jeff Gerlach on Friday, 17 October 2014.

What is it Like to be a Blended Learning Teacher?

I really enjoyed connecting with teachers across the country to hear about their experiences with blended learning and to talk about my own experiences. One of the key topics of conversation was the idea of using LMS student generated data to inform decision making. This is one of the most thoughtful and substantive conversations focusing on this topic that I’ve taken part in.

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Zen and the Art of Instructional Design

Coaching and learning with teachers, designing a new development process

Written by Jeff Gerlach on Thursday, 11 September 2014.

Zen and the Art of Instructional Design

I’ve learned a lot about instructional design since I joined the MVU staff. My recent experience in the classroom, coupled with working with seasoned instructional designers, has given me an interesting perspective on how to approach building blended learning environments.

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Teachers Trump Tools

We need to stop giving tools the credit for engaging our students and put the focus back on teachers.

Written by Jeff Gerlach on Thursday, 04 September 2014.

Teachers Trump Tools

Tools are often given credit for engaging our students; we need to help put the focus back on teachers, as they are the most important ingredient.

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MyBlend Stories | Kim Watson

Blended Learning for the resource room

Written by Jeff Gerlach on Wednesday, 13 August 2014.

MyBlend Stories | Kim Watson

In our conversation, Kim shared with us how her use of educational technology has evolved in her six years with the district. She has a strong understanding of the diverse needs of her students and uses blended learning to personalize learning to accommodate those needs.

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MyBlend Stories | Tara Becker-Utess

We talked to Tara about teaching in a blended classroom, discuss its advantages and challenges, how she adapts to the students' feedback, and what she wishes she knew when she first started flipping.

Written by Jeff Gerlach on Thursday, 31 July 2014.

MyBlend Stories | Tara Becker-Utess

We talked to Tara about teaching in a blended classroom, discuss its advantages and challenges, how she adapts to the students' feedback, and what she wishes she knew when she first started flipping.

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The Bridge Webinar Series

Developing Information Literacy and Technology Skills in Students

Written by Dave Goodrich, Jeff Gerlach on Tuesday, 22 July 2014.

The Bridge Webinar Series

High school science teacher and MAET student, Kim Owens (@KimOwochta) invited Jeff and I to be a part of one of the Bridge Webinar Series on the topic of developing digital literacy skills in students, why it is important, and practical advice for teachers going forward. Viewers and participants walked away from this conversation with practical ideas. More importantly, we were energized about the importance of these efforts.

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MyBlend RoundTable | Physical Learning Spaces

How should the physical environment of a blended classroom be designed?

Written by Jeff Gerlach on Tuesday, 01 July 2014.

MyBlend RoundTable | Physical Learning Spaces

The purpose of this roundtable was to explore designing the physical environment of a classroom to maximize blended learning practices. With students taking greater ownership in their learning, they need a work-space that better facilitates their study habit needs. We explored how we might design for these accommodations.

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MyBlend Stories | Capital Area District Libraries

How can teachers form partnerships with their local public libraries?

Written by Jeff Gerlach on Friday, 20 June 2014.

MyBlend Stories | Capital Area District Libraries

Blended learning teachers are creating learning environments that utilize online tools to expand when and where students are able to learn. Community libraries can provide a safe environment, computers with internet access and other digital resources to support blended learning away from the classroom.

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Lessons in physical space from the library

GVSU's library is a flexible study environment that K-12 education should emulate.

Written by Jeff Gerlach on Monday, 09 June 2014.

Lessons in physical space from the library

The GVSU library is intuitively designed. A perfect place for accommodating collaborative and focused study formations in close proximity. How could the ideas behind this design translate to other physical learning spaces?

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Physical Spaces

Designing the physical classroom to accommodate modern learning

Written by Jeff Gerlach on Wednesday, 04 June 2014.

Physical Spaces

What does the physical environment of a blended learning class look like? Show us a picture of yours!

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Picking a School-Wide LMS ... Or Not

Houghton Lake High School teachers embrace LMS freedom, forgoing uniformity.

Written by Jeff Gerlach on Friday, 16 May 2014.

Picking a School-Wide LMS ... Or Not

On a recent visit to HLHS, we enjoyed having thoughtful conversations with teachers. One topic that stood out for me was LMS adoption. Should schools universally adopt a LMS for all teachers to use, or should it be left up to teachers to choose what works best for them?

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This Is Fourth Grade: A Blended Odyssey

Mary Wever personalizes learning to meet the diverse needs of her students.

Written by Dave Goodrich, Jeff Gerlach on Monday, 12 May 2014.

This Is Fourth Grade: A Blended Odyssey

Recently, Dave and I made the two-mile trek from the MVU office up to Red Cedar Elementary to meet up with Mary Wever (@WeverWorld) and her student teacher Deedee Stasiak (@MissStasiak). We’re always eager to get out to schools to visit with teachers who are doing great things with blended learning. Mary and Deedee really fit that bill.

 

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MyBlend Stories: Andrew Vanden Heuvel

A conversation with Andrew about online and blended learning

Written by Dave Goodrich, Jeff Gerlach on Friday, 04 April 2014.

MyBlend Stories: Andrew Vanden Heuvel

We reached out to Andrew Vanden Heuvel to see if we could capture some of his thoughts about all things blended and online learning. He was kind enough to converse with us and share his valuable experiences and insights.

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Confessions of an EdTech Guerrilla

Innovator or antagonist? You decide.

Written by Jeff Gerlach on Friday, 28 March 2014.

Confessions of an EdTech Guerrilla

I often sidestepped conventions to explore new digital learning pathways for my students. Looking back I wonder how much I was benefitting my students, myself and my school district by doing this.

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MACUL 2014 Reflection

The trek through the blizzard was worth every session

Written by Dave Goodrich, Jeff Gerlach on Tuesday, 18 March 2014.

MACUL 2014 Reflection

What an amazing three days we had at #MACUL14! We made lots of connections and had reflective conversations with some of Michigan’s most innovative and brilliant educators.

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Make Intermittent Internet Access Normal

The digital divide need not turn your classroom into a case of have/have-nots

Written by Jeff Gerlach on Friday, 07 March 2014.

Make Intermittent Internet Access Normal

Nothing will make you feel like a jerk more than encouraging parents and students, who utilize free or reduced lunch programs, to get online at home. So how do we make intermittent access a normal thing?

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TAG II: Grades vs. Feedback

Wondering aloud the place and time to provide feedback and grades

Written by Jeff Gerlach on Monday, 24 February 2014.

TAG II: Grades vs. Feedback

In the second installment of Thinking About Grades (TAG), we're discussing the differences between grades and formative feedback for students. What is the purpose of each and when is the proper time to "use" them as a teacher?

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TAG: Thinking About Grades

Grades and feedback are two different things, yet we often treat them as synonyms.

Written by Jeff Gerlach on Monday, 17 February 2014.

TAG: Thinking About Grades

What is the place of grades in education? What purpose are they intended to serve? How should teachers and students be using them ‘in the moment’ that learning is taking place?

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A New Snow Day Ritual: Learn From Home!

Could schools hold classes even when the weather closes down the building?

Written by Jeff Gerlach on Monday, 17 February 2014.

A New Snow Day Ritual: Learn From Home!

When you’ve had a winter like we’ve had this school year, educators panic. The issue becomes, how can we maintain the status quo of learning despite the exceptional weather conditions that we have been under for months now?

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#PersonalizationProbz

How do we foster self-paced learning without also introducting complacency?

Written by Jeff Gerlach on Tuesday, 11 February 2014.

#PersonalizationProbz

One aspect of personalizing instruction for students is giving them customized control of their pace. Can there be a "too slow" in regards to self-paced learning? How do we help students stay on pace if we don't set firm timelines for completion? How can we establish shared expectations?

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Don't Flip Out! Use Your Own Blend

Flipped classrooms are media sensations but is it true blended learning?

Written by Jeff Gerlach on Friday, 07 February 2014.

Don't Flip Out! Use Your Own Blend

On a recent edition of the CBS Evening News, blended learning snatched three minutes of the nation’s time. Specifically classroom flipping, the outspoken narrowly focused branch of blended instruction, was the topic du jour.

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Learning Like a Skateboarder

Blended learning environments can mimic "out of school" learning experiences

Written by Jeff Gerlach on Thursday, 06 February 2014.

While watching a Ted Talk that discused how learning to skateboard differs from traditional learning, I began to think of the customization that blended learning can help provide to learners and how that really mimics the skateboard learning process.

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