How we communicate and exchange ideas is rapidly changing due to technological advancements made in the past decade. Integrating this technology into our society has changed how we do many everyday things, including teaching.
Our children and future generations will continue to grow up in this digitally-driven world, and our teaching methods should evolve to keep up with the times to make sure our children don’t lag behind. Blended learning and its benefits are things that we should embrace, for its ability to integrate technology in ways that enhance our children’s learning experiences.
Blended learning (also known as hybrid learning or multi-method learning) combines both traditional learning methods and new teaching equipment — such as tablets, online materials, and informational videos. It is a natural development in the growth of eLearning resources, and the desire to make the learning experience more holistic and accessible for all children.
The increased flexibility teachers can incorporate into their classrooms is one of the biggest benefits of using blended learning methods. Having this technique offers more options for teachers when they present learning material to their pupils and more flexibility in the pacing and variety of these materials.
Additionally, this hybrid method provides access to the internet, which allows children to find additional materials online should they need them. This is a huge advantage as students can now access resources with little to no constraint. For example, instead of going to the library and spending an hour looking for one book, the student can now simply look online and find an eCopy in a few minutes.
By incorporating electronics and the internet into their classroom, teachers are able to become more efficient in their teaching. The more efficient they are in providing these materials, the more freed up they become to address individual concerns of the students.
Additionally, blended learning makes use of data collection and feedback from student’s progress. Many educational programs used in classrooms take note of the student’s performance and this can be relayed to the teacher. This empowers teachers with the necessary insight into the learners so that they can address gaps in ability or knowledge.
Engagement is something that teachers can struggle to get from their pupils. Often, it’s caused by disinterest or difficulty with the materials presented to the student. With blended learning, it introduces resources and methods that students find easier to engage with.
This is because most students today are surrounded by tablets, phones, and computers in their everyday life. They are more familiar with using this technology and when incorporated in their studies, they find it easier to understand the information compared to reading the same in a book.
Blended learning empowers the students with a variety of ways to absorb this information. They are given more time to view the resources and even replay modules if they need to. They are also given the choice of which modules to start on, which can help with their productivity. Learners prefer having this variety and online capabilities, and this makes it more comfortable and easier to study.
The variety that comes with blended learning also helps in addressing different learning styles. All students are unique in how they absorb and retain content. Some learners can grasp information with text alone, while others need visual examples to do so. Some can learn at a swift pace while others may need more time and guidance.
This can be difficult to address in a traditional classroom setting. Teachers with many pupils will only have a limited time to address different learning styles, and will often settle with one to teach all the students. This can cause some children to lag behind their peers and struggle with the learning material.
Using this hybrid method incorporates a variety of instructional approaches, and can be tailored to address the student’s unique learning styles and preferences. It also grants them the opportunity to progress at their own pace. As the content is hosted online, your children will also be able to access these modules outside class time to review.
Having blended learning can also come with individualized support from an online teacher. Using messaging platforms built into educational applications, learners can easily ask their questions and receive additional help. This can be helpful for children who are shy or find it hard to speak up in traditional class settings.
When technology is added into school activities, children are more likely to become more focused and interested — even excited — about the lessons that they are learning in class. When their focus and interest are increased, it helps with their information retention.
It’s no secret that some children can find school monotonous — especially with harder subjects like math or science. A great way to increase their enjoyment with these subjects is to find new and creative ways to catch their attention, which is easy with online activities and lessons.
Moreover, using these multi-method learning techniques provides them more ways to explore and research topics on their own. Children are encouraged to use their gadgets to look up new data, conduct their own research, and watch more informational videos. Most students find that this is more interesting than just reading paper resources.
Using new materials and techniques through blended learning can increase the chances of your child learning soft skills that they can use in future situations. These hybrid learning methods allow your child to set their own goals and take charge of their learning progress.
Some of these skills that can be applied to real-life situations, later on are research skills, self-engagement, decision making, time management, and computer literacy. With blended learning, your child can learn to become a more efficient learner and make decisions on their own. This can give them the confidence they need to be decisive go-getters later on in their education, and even in their professional life.
All students, no matter what stage they are in their education, will benefit from different learning and teaching methods. As they take in new information in different ways, their educational environment should reflect this by applying programs that address the needs of all kinds of learners.
The benefits of blended learning come from the heavy integration of online information and new technologies, which greatly improves a teacher’s ability to teach our children. With blended learning, students can improve their engagement, focus, retention, and even their own skills.