For eons, education has endeavoured to follow the traditional approach of a teacher presenting a lesson whilst the learners quietly listen. But it’s becoming increasingly obvious that this approach is being challenged on a daily basis and we’re left asking the question “Why?” What has changed?
The answer is one word: Technology!
Blended learning is a relatively new approach to education but it’s proving to be a positive impact and the advantages definitely outweigh the disadvantages.
What is blended learning?
Blended learning is a combination of traditional classroom teaching and digital learning. The learners are present in the classroom but also learn through accessing online resources. For example:
- Learners will watch an educational video and come to class with prepared questions
- They will research a topic and the classroom time will be spent on discussion
It is a fundamental change in the way both teachers and learners approach education, allowing for much more positive engagement.
The advantages of blended learning
1. It allows for more flexibility
Learners no longer are expected to fit into the mould of passively sitting and listening until their 10 – 20 minute concentration span runs out! Learners are encouraged to participate in the learning process by asking questions and being involved in a discussion.
2. The learners get to explore online resources
The web is an endless source of information and learners can be taught how to use it for more than social media! They can be taught:
- How to access reliable and up-to-date sources
- How to check facts
- Not to believe everything they read
3. It allows more time for learning
When learners do research on a topic during after school hours, they come to the lesson already briefed on the subject and more time can be spent on questions and discussion. This makes learning more interesting and the learning outcomes for positive.
4. There is more interaction
The interaction is with the material itself and with the teacher and other students. Teachers are then able to evaluate the learners’ understanding of the subject and give valuable feedback. This is done on a daily basis and not only when there are tests.
Blended learning models
There are various models on offer, but we are just going to mention two:
1. Station rotation
This model allows learners to visit various learning station during an allocated top for a specific subject. The stations can consist of individual work, small group work, digital learning and one-on-one time with the teacher. This way the teacher can personalise the time with each person or maybe group to address very specific needs. This model is successful for all age groups
2. The “flipped classroom”
This is were learners research or review material after school hours. This can be in the form of online videos or research, recorded lessons or reading assignments. They then come to class already prepared and class time is used for discussion and answering questions.
Blended learning is a more efficient and effective approach to education and the results are showing this. We have two great course that will help you get to grips with this subject and earn CPTD points at the same time! Take a look:
Flipped classroom – This module takes a look at the balance between face-to face interaction and independent study and how to use both effectively and efficiently.
Blended learning – Learn how to incorporate technology into your teaching.