What is Blended Learning?
This video follows the story of a teacher who discovers blended learning and incorporates it into his teaching. It teaches:
- A basic definition of blended learning
- How the Internet has impacted teaching options
- The role of Learning Management Systems (LMS) in blended learning
- How blended learning can change how classroom time is used
- What factors can ensure success
- Why blended learning matters
Anyone who attended school before the Internet experienced teaching as a single place, like a building or classroom.
While this is still the case today, the internet means that many students and teachers have two classrooms - online and offline.
This is often referred to as Blended learning because it uses a blend of face-to-face teaching and online, self-directed learning.
To see how it works, let’s meet Alex, a middle school teacher. For most of his career, he would teach a concept in class, assign homework and then evaluate performance the next day during class.
He didn’t have a way to work with students when they were out of the classroom. Those assignments happened without a connection to him.
But now that students have access to the internet, assignments can be completed in a blended fashion, with parts taking place in the classroom, at home, or in another location. This way, Alex can work with students throughout the assignment.
For Alex and other teachers, this happens thanks to new tools like Learning Management Systems that can be accessed on the internet. With these tools, Alex can provide assignments, tools and resources, media, quizzes and discussion spaces in an online classroom.
This online access means that as students complete assignments at home Alex can evaluate their progress and collaborate with the class through online discussions.
Blended learning means that Alex’s class time can be more productive. Because he can arrive with a clearer idea of his student’s progress, he can focus his classroom time where it is needed most.
But this is just one form of blended learning. It can also be a specific combination of offline and online activities, or self-directed assignments where students choose to learn online or off.
Some schools even choose to “flip” their classrooms. Here students access online content at home, and then apply it to assignments or problems in class, with the guidance of their teacher.
Of course, blended learning works best when teachers and students have access to high quality resources and reliable internet connections. Students who are not comfortable with computers may need extra support.
But in most cases, blended learning offers teachers like Alex a way to work with students in both classrooms so his teaching can be more effective.
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