“We've done some posts here on the CS blog in the past all about blended learning. Here's a refresher course, including an article by Jeff Dunn for Edudemic, and a creative video featuring Michael Thompson from Education Elements.”
We’ve been discussing blended learning on Edudemic for several months but I had been struggling to find a video that helps explain what it actually is and why you should care.
Then I happened upon one of the startups I’ve been watching. Education Elements has a terrific page along with a video to describe exactly what blended learning is, what it hopes to achieve, and what it looks like.
I’ve embedded the video and some helpful snippets of information below. Be sure to check out the page for more information!
Benefits of blended learning
Blended learning allows teachers to do what they do best – work directly and closely with individual students and small groups – by harnessing the adaptive power and precision of technology. The best blended learning approaches use technology to:
- help each student master the content and skills they need,
- allow teachers to get the most out of their planning and instructional time, and
- streamline operations with costs similar to – or less than – traditional schooling.
What blended learning *isn’t*
Simply adding online computer games or videos to a student’s day or homework time doesn’t count as blended learning. Neither does rolling a laptop cart into a school. Nor does it mean that students are isolated at their keyboards with no social interaction.
In great blended learning schools, technology and teaching inform each other. Students alternate regularly between engaging with teachers and peers and focusing on online content tailored to their learning pace and progress.
Exploring the possibilities
The result of smart blended learning is richer and deeper interactions between teachers and students (and between students themselves) than in traditional classrooms. Integrating technology and teaching allows students to fully master content and skills, and at the pace that’s right for them.
Think about it this way: an average classroom sets a “speed limit” for the class – bounded by grade-level standards and assessments – making it hard for some kids to catch up and holding others from moving ahead when they’re ready. But blended learning revs up students’ learning velocity, allowing them to go further and faster. Who knows how far they’ll go?