While technology is making more things possible than we ever imagined before, the pace at which this is happening may feel a bit too rapid for some schools.
Blended learning allows you to incorporate technology into everyday school life, but only to a degree that is manageable for the teacher.
Many education experts believe that blended learning is the best way to teach, as it allows you to utilise the best features of both traditional learning and technology-aided learning. So, we’ve created a five-step guide to adopting a blended learning approach in your school.
1. Understand what you can do
Pick out what you feel would be most beneficial to you and your pupils from both camps. For example, using technology to set and receive homework. You could use a learning platform to create quizzes based on a particular topic, and ask pupils to go online at home and answer the questions. The learning platform would then self-mark each pupil’s response, meaning you don’t have any physical marking to do.
Within class, you may choose to set and mark tests on a particular topic in the traditional way – using pencils and textbooks, and helping to improve handwriting skills in the process.
2. Outline your goals
This may be to improve and get maximum benefit from personalised learning (you can alter the ratio of technology to traditional learning based on each child’s strengths and weaknesses). Other drivers of blended learning include improving student engagement, maximising resources and reducing costs of materials (i.e textbooks).
3. Plan your blending
Once you know what your goals are, work out a timeline for achieving these.
You will need to take into account any obstacles or processes that may stand between you and implementing your plans. For example, staff may need to be trained, pupils may need to learn how to use your learning platform, equipment may need to be purchased and parents may need to be informed.
Decide on things like the learning platform you will use (if you don’t already have one), the content you will use and the devices you will require.
4. Implement your plans
Once you have everything in place, begin implementing your blended learning strategy. Make sure your keys to success are in place – like infrastructure, continuing professional development, IT support and communication – with parents, pupils and other teachers.
5. Improve on what you’ve done
Measure pupil outcomes and, if possible, compare on a year-by-year basis to life before blended learning. If blended learning – as it should – has improved outcomes, like pupils’ grades and their engagement in learning, it puts you in a better position to argue its inclusion in yearly budgets.
A retrospective, maybe at the end of each month or half term, will also allow you to improve upon the strategy you have in place, fine-tuning your original plan to get the most from blended learning.
Find out how Webanywhere’s education apps can help with blended learning by getting in touch here.