As technology advances, teachers are faces with new challenges in the classroom. How do you mix standard classroom instruction with computer technology? Initiative teachers are embracing this challenge and creating blending learning courses.
A blended learning course is a hybrid between a traditional classroom setting and an web-based online course. This provides flexibility of in the learning environment and enhances the face-to-face, teacher lead instruction. But should blended learning to be the new classroom norm? In my opinion, unequivocally, yes!
The blended learning classroom environment provides students with a multitude of teaching and learning opportunities that can help them to deepen their knowledge of a subject and increase student engagement as they explore online tools and resources. The benefits of a blended learning environment are endless as the model allows for teachers to create a more differentiated learning environment to accommodate the students such as: The shy student who may not feel comfortable presenting his/her opinion out-loud in a group, but is comfortable replying to discussion boards. Or the student who may not feel compelled to use a computer, but excels in teacher lead activities.
The blended classroom does not happen with ease or magic. The teacher must dig in to their curriculum and create a lesson plan that defines the element of face-to-face and digital lessons. Only with detailed design and mapping of lessons, teachers and students will enjoy the benefits of a blended learning environment.
If you are curious about blended learning and would like to learn more about it, I recommend perusing the BlendKit 2017 article “Understanding Blended Learning“. The article goes into detail about the benefits and process of creating a blended course. The article presents two case studies that allow you to review the basic structure of a blended course from an instructor viewpoint.
I enjoyed reading the article as I now have a better understanding the of blended learning structure. The disadvantage of the article is it does not discuss the challenges or components in regards to an elementary curriculum. It mainly focuses on higher education.