Here’s why every teacher should mix it up with a face-to-face and digital education combo. I remember sitting in front of a Macintosh 128K, originally released in 1984. And because I went to public school, it was 1993. Although we didn’t have the most up-to-date technology, my teacher made sure weOct 11, 2018
Here’s why every teacher should mix it up with a face-to-face and digital education combo.
I remember sitting in front of a Macintosh 128K, originally released in 1984. And because I went to public school, it was 1993. Although we didn’t have the most up-to-date technology, my teacher made sure we had every opportunity to use these tools in our lessons. Today, our students have access to desktop computers, smartphones, SMART Boards, etc. Why not leverage blended learning?
Of course, diverse groups of students require different support. While we may never completely abandon all of the conventional styles of teaching our students, technology-driven learning is something to consider incorporating into the classroom. Through blended learning, we can improve instruction delivery and focus on mastery and results.
What is blended learning?
Blended learning combines face-to-face learning with digital/online education. Technology has created an opportunity for students to consider any place a learning environment. There are plenty of different models, but here are just a few:
- Rotational/stations — Students experience different types of instruction around content in stations or rotating settings. They might first meet with a teacher in a small group using tablets, work on a hands-on task in partners, complete a written assignment on paper, or transition to working individually on a desktop computer.
- Ad hoc — Students may only use additional technology to support remediation or extension of a topic when necessary. This might also include taking a completely standalone course online without any intervention from an adult.
- Enriched — Students receive face-to-face instruction from a teacher, but they complete all of their assignments remotely/outside of the classroom.
Why blended learning?
Blended learning helps minimize the need for as much adult intervention. Students can try science experiments, complex projects, reading, writing, educational gaming, and problem-solving in a low-risk environment. Students who usually hesitate to take chances, students who are concerned about what their peers think, and students who want to try something new would be excellent candidates to test this in your classroom. What are some other benefits?
- Builds engagement
- Improves collaboration
- Helps track progress
What’s the first step toward blended learning?
It may sound simple, but it all starts with one. Whether it’s one student, one assignment, or one course, choose one and continue on from there. Ask yourself what objectives you would like your students to reach. This will help narrow down what types of digital resources to use. Then, decide on the learning outcomes and choose a blended learning model. There are three listed above, but there are many more out there and combinations of them too. Set expectations with your students about how to succeed in this new style of learning. Finally, be patient. If this is something new to you and your students, it will take time to get it right for your classroom environment. Please don’t give up if you don’t see results immediately.