5 steps for effective blended learning
There is no clear agreement on the definition of Blended Learning. Yet to make things simple, Blended Learning is the use of different means of information delivery to learners. An example can be; youtube, webpages, LMS, games…etc. There are many advantages for Blended Learning. Students can access information anytime & anywhere. They can absorb the information at their own pace. in Blended Learning students can interact with the content in different ways, they can leaving comments, chatting with their peers, or in the gaming space they can take full control of the learning environment.
So what are the steps each teacher must take toward an effective blended learning?
- Find the right resource/tool for your classroom
There are many tools and resources for education out there. Some are subject specific and others can be used as multi-disciplinary content or tools to organise both teacher & student time. Educational apps, websites, and desktop applications are not hard to find. Now you can simply visit the app stores on Apple, Android, and Windows to get a full listing. Yet which app is useful and effective?
Get the app that teachers’ recommend. You can engage with teachers on social media and check what apps are they currently using and why. You also can visit professional educational websites offering expert review and evaluation on educational apps, such as www.commonsense.org. You can join Edtech magazines and read about case studies covering the use of technology in education such as www.edtechmagazine.com & www.edutopia.org.
- Communicate the benefits
You need to sell the idea to your students. Prepare a short presentation that illustrates the benefits of using the new resource/tool and how other teachers and students are currently using it “testimonials”. Make sure the message reaches parents. If you are lucky and happen to have the parents’ emails then record the presentation and share it with the parents. What you are doing is getting support prior lunching the resource/tool in your classroom.
Make sure that you listen to their feedback. This means you care about what they think and you are all working together to make this a success. Send parents and students more links to read when they are free. This will keep them engaged in the decision making.
- Pilot in a project
Even after you have the full support, as a teacher you know that experience is king. You can ask your students to create a project on the pros & cons of using the resource/tool for education. Put them in groups of 5 and ask one of them to play the teacher role. Then ask them to reflect on their experience. This can help you find any obstacles unaccounted for in the theoretical research you conducted as a teacher and will also give the students confidence in the new resource/tool.
- Sustain & be persistent
Now you are ready to start. Consistency and persistence is what makes projects succeed. As a teacher your role to keep using the new resource/tool even if your students are trying not to. There is always a backup plan but never use it unless you want the new project to fail. It is always easier to roll back but this is definitely not the road for improvement.
- Continuous improvement
Remember this is not the first or last resource/tool you want to add to your classroom. Technology is evolving and you need to stay up-to-date. Be careful not to overwhelm your classroom with new resources/tools all the time. You need to properly time when a new resource/tool is introduced to the classroom. After all classroom time and students time is very important.