Thursday, June 5, 2014

Why Blended Learning?

Thinking about jumping into Blended Learing?  Here are a few questions to consider.

Are you the kind of teacher that wants  an engaging environment for your students?  Do you want to personalize instruction?  Do you need to challenge every student in your class regardless of their academic ability?  Are you bothered by moving on with content when you recognize that many of your students are struggling to learn the concepts you just taught?   Do you wish you could have more time in your classes to work closer with students?  Would you like to have time in your class so students can work on assignments that are meaningful and challenging?  Are you tired of being the hardest working person in your classroom?

Blended learning may be part of the answer to these questions.  Blended Learning is a combination of on-line learning with face-to-face instruction from the teacher.  By incorporating blended learning  with other good teaching strategies, such as the workshop model, differentiation and a liberal use of formative assessment you can create a classroom environment and culture that allows you to enjoy the type of classroom you always wanted.

Using teacher created tutorials and other materials already available on-line, teachers can create engaging lessons allowing student choice in both path and pace.  Teachers can design lessons that reach all levels of students in their class, not just the students in the middle.  With the teacher no longer spending the majority of their time in the front of the classroom delivering content with direct instruction (which is now available on-line) they have more time to work with individual and small groups of students.  Blended learning puts the responsibility for learning back on the student, making them the hardest working person in the class.

Blended learning is not the answer to all the problems in education, but it may be the bridge teachers use to close the gap between traditional and 21st century teaching.

Photo by me.  C&O Canal Harpers Ferry WVA

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