Blended Learning seeks to bring information technology into the classroom in order to give students an advantage in the learning process. If your school is integrating blended learning into the curriculum it is very important that you take the time to discover how to make the most of the technological advantages of a blended learning classroom. Here are three major ways that blended learning can make a huge impact on your students.
Help Your Students Make Learning an Action
For too many years students were taught like they were empty vessels waiting to be filled. With the technological tools that they are provided in a blended learning environment they will have online applications capable of tracking their own progress and identifying the areas where they need to improve. It is incumbent upon you to take every effort to make sure that they are fully familiar and proficient with these systems.
With the technology provided you may be able to:
- Make a student an active partner in their own learning process
- Provide greater challenge for high performers so that they will not feel stifled
- Give each student that essential feeling of achievement and positively reinforce accomplishment
Use “Flipping” to Maximize Class Time
Class time is a valuable commodity. On a typical day you will have less than an hour with your class and perhaps mere moments with an individual student. If you provide your students with prerecorded lectures or informative documentaries that they can view outside of class more class time can be utilized for in-depth discussion or working with individual students who may be struggling with the material.
Effective use of flipping may include:
- Videos of lectures that may be exceed allocated time in class
- Interactive, step by step games that teach mathematical equations
- Documentaries that make dry material as exciting as it is informative
Utilize The Technology to Reinforce Learning Styles
One of the greatest strengths of blended learning is that you will be able to collect a great deal of data on your student’s individual learning style that you might have never learned in a traditional classroom environment. You need to use this data to the greatest effect, evaluating your students and customizing lessons to their capabilities.Visual, auditory, and kinetic learners have different needs; it is not conducive to learning to cater to only one learning style. Use your data to deliver a customized learning plan to a student that takes advantage of learning style and permits them to exercise their talents.
Customized learning plans may include:
- Audio-only lessons that auditory learners can listen to in order to better absorb material
- Graphic-heavy lessons to reinforce the learning styles of visual learners
- Activities that kinetic learners can perform to make them feel more engaged in the learning process
Remember that whenever there is a significant change in curriculum or pedagogy there is going to be controversy. There will always be critics of new educational methods. Adapting to a different way of teaching may take time, and you may feel a little lost at first. Remember that the purpose is to maximize education by leveraging technology to the advantage of teacher and student alike. Hang in there and you will find that blended learning can be a great tool in your career as an educator.