What is blended learning?
Updated: Dec 20, 2018
Demystifying blended learning
At the very heart of blended learning is the welcome acceptance that teachers are indeed irreplaceable. The digital revolution has meant the introduction of technology in all walks of life. In this context, blended learning helps teachers create learning spaces that use technology effectively. By definition, blended learning models require the close involvement of teachers in their design & successful implementation; weaving technology into their best practices of learning & teaching.
For students, blended learning translates into opportunities to learn at their own pace. The tool used to achieve this outcome is technology. The term blended learning highlights this marriage of face to face teaching with technology.
The use of technology has inbuilt advantages like -
(a) generating data to help students & teachers assess mastery
(b) an increase in each student's ownership of learning
(c) personalizing the learning experience to the unique needs of each student
These can also be considered the parameters to build or identify the correct technology for learning spaces. The right technology will provide teachers and learners a space to co-create and co-learn. For this co-learning process to have lasting value, teachers need to adopt a value system that aligns with the growth mindset.
Admittedly, it can be very scary to give up control as a teacher. Our images of an ideal teacher come from internalized experiences and social messaging which equate the sage on the stage teaching method as the most effective. However, this is far from true. The most exhilarating learning experiences happen when the teacher decidedly takes on the role of learner in the classroom. She shows her students how to learn with dedicated playfulness.
This means she has to create a delicate balance, where the students acquire enough content knowledge to be able to feel like they are progressing, while still feeling challenged as they take charge of their own learning. The teacher needs to ensure that learning is scaffolded, every step of the way, while leaving enough space for the students to explore. She needs to play a dual role, modeling both an effective teacher and learner.
She needs to capture the wonder and excitement of finding out something new and cast a spell on her students, so that they can take an insightful journey of learning together.
In all of this, technology can be the portal of discovery, to spark curiosity and engage with it.
After all, great education is about making the seemingly impossible feel like it's within reach by widening one's knowledge and imagination. The more resources like technology that are available to the teacher & learner to make great education happen, the better.
To know more about how to design blended learning spaces for your school, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.