Guest post by Linda Craig
Blended learning is a relatively new educational trend, which reduces the volume of traditional instructions for the sake of practical learning and real discussion during class. The students access the lectures through web-based programs. Then, the rest of the class is used for asking questions and discussing relevant topics.
One of the most important advantages of this teaching approach is the fact that students get used to the usage of technology from a very early age. It’s no secret that the most lucrative degrees at the moment involve computer engineering and programming, so you’ll help your students build the foundation for future career success. Even if they don’t choose that educational path, technological literacy will serve them well in any profession they choose.
For a teacher who’s used to the traditional approach of lecturing, blended learning is a huge challenge. You have to start using several tools to assemble materials, create videos, presentations and quizzes, and then distribute them through an online platform. You need to commit to a strict schedule that will consume a significant portion of your after-work time. However, this challenge is certainly worth taking. Remember: you don’t have to film actual videos of you presenting the lectures. That will be boring for your students. There are tons of online resources you can use for the purpose of presenting new concepts to the students.
How to Plan the Blended Learning Program
Before you take any steps into the new stage of your teaching career, you have to understand what blended learning is all about. If your school is providing training programs, make sure to benefit from them.
If your school doesn’t provide a standardized blended learning program, you should create your own schedule based on the curriculum. The first thing to do is to evaluate the interests and capacity of your students. Thus, you’ll be able to fix their weak points and emphasize individual strengths with this method.
Remember: this approach is all about placing the student in the center of attention. You are no longer the most noticeable character in the classroom; you pay attention to each student individually and you allow them to express opinions.
Going Digital: Where Do You Find Content And How Do You Create Your Own?
Analyze your current teaching methods and identify the strategies that are already working well for your students. Do they like short anecdotes, practical examples, the right dose of humor, and intriguing questions? Well, that’s what the digital content should be based on. Plus, you can include educational games that will boost their interest in learning.
Think Before You Act
Before you start shifting to blended learning, there are few things you should consider:
- Do all your students have access to computers, tablets or smartphones? Maybe some of them cannot use the computer? Make sure you’re not placing anyone into an unfavorable position by changing your teaching approach. Every single student has to benefit from it.
- Train your students to use the platforms you use for delivering learning materials.
- Talk to the parents and explain how their children will benefit from this program. Explain how they can help the kids to adjust to the new learning methods.
Once you make sure that the environment in your classroom is suitable for implementation of a blended learning program, you should definitely go for it. Get the needed training, create the resources and start changing the way your students learn.
About the Author: Linda is a professional editor with experience in tutoring and also contributed articles on Lifehack, eLearn Magazine and others.