Implementing blended learning for student success
The growth of digital educational resources has led to an opportunity for teachers to supplement their curriculum with online content including mobile apps, blogs, podcasts, e-learning courses, and educational videos. Through these tools, K-12 students experience learning through a blend of face-to-face classes and digital media. Because students learn differently and at various paces, blended learning can provide a more personalized experience for students and help engage them in a variety of online and offline activities. It can also provide real-time feedback for teachers and improve communication between teachers, students, and parents.
Evidence of blended learning’s effectiveness was released earlier this year from Chicago’s Virtual Charter School (CVCS). Their learning model includes students receiving instruction from teachers during live, interactive online classes and going to the CVCS Learning Center at least once a week to engage in collaborative learning onsite. When comparing ACT Composite Scores, CVCS has consistently outperformed Chicago’s public and charter schools. In fact, the CVCS was in the 89th relative percentile of Chicago Public Schools in ACT Reading and in the 93rd relative percentile compared to all Chicago Public and Charter Schools.
How to Implement
There are many methods for implementing blended learning in your classroom and each is unique to the class’s needs. Try any method and see if it provides positive effects to your students. If not, then reflect on the method and assess the properties of what worked and what didn’t. Getting started will take time and some exploration on what works the best for your classroom.
Tools to Use
Consider using Edpuzzle or PlayPosit when assigning students to watch videos outside of class so there is more time for discussion and collaboration. These video tools allow for self-paced, interactive lessons that provide data about competency in real time.
To have students brain storm and discuss topic outside of the classroom, you can use Padlet. This is a virtual wall where students connect with one another and discuss posed questions or post project links. You can then take the posts and use them as a discussion starter during the next class period.
If you want students to study for an upcoming test, have them use the apps Quizizz or Quizlet. You can create flashcards or quizzes for students to use or they can create their own and then share it with the class. Students can work at their own pace and with elements like avatars and leaderboards, it’s like they are playing a game which is more likely to keep them engaged.
If blended learning is used wisely, it can help students learn more efficiently as well as be more engaged with the topics. Blended learning gives students an opportunity to do more than just sit and learn, but be more actively involved in their education.
To check out more tools to help create a blended learning classroom, click here. If you know of a great tool that we didn’t mention in this post, share it in the comments!