Abstract: The current paper examines the educational experience of introducing experimental blended learning model in Bulgarian secondary school within the classes studying English as a foreign language intensively. The students who took participation in this project are 8th grade, majoring Information and Computer Technology with English as a first foreign language. The educational tool used is a “flipped classroom”, one of the recognized blended learning methods, in which the instruction is conducted both physically in class and via a freely available online-based virtual classroom. The concrete technology used is an application, called Edmodo, a virtual classroom that enables educators to enhance the processes of learning, communication and critical thinking of their students. Edmodo is also the biggest network of educators that collaborate, share resources and learn from each other. It allows teachers to engage students in new interactive ways by posting class materials, videos, presentations, discussion topics, conduct quizzes and tests, award badges, etc. In the focus of the analysis are the reflections and engagement of the students in using the virtual classroom in their class participation and performance. Students get access to an appealing social media like platform that allows them to interact with each other and their instructor, express themselves in ways that they would not in the physical classroom, which all makes the learning process a social experience of a new kind.
Keywords: educational communication, virtual academic communication, virtual school communication, virtual classrooms, blended education communication(learning), flipped classroom
Rhetoric and Communications E-journal, Issue 17, April 2015, rhetoric.bg/, journal.rhetoric.bg, ISSN 1314-4464