Blended learning schools, virtual high school courses, and online education programs have become increasingly popular in recent years. Some researchers suggest that 50% of classes for primary and secondary grades will be taught online by 2019. The trouble with that estimate is that it’s difficult to factor in the rate of change spread across the diverse array of school systems in the United States.
What we can do is ensure that while schools are adapting to technological advances in classroom education, we’re discovering and sharing approaches that encourage the growth of and transition to blended learning schools.
What areblended learning schools?
They combine traditional classroom instruction with online video (or some manner of digital media) instruction. An important aspect involves student access to instruction remotely.
Some common strategies that you can implement in your classroom to blend it:
- Flipped Classroom: The flipped classroom is a blended learning strategy that delivers educational content outside the classroom in the form of teacher-created videos, lectures from free online schools, and other educational resources. Activities are performed by the students outside of the classroom and brought back to traditional class as an “entry ticket” to group discussion facilitated by teacher and students together.
- Station Rotation: Similarly, station rotation involves a switch between teacher-led instruction and computer-delivered content. Generally, this is done in-school as students rotate on a time frame from teacher to online to group activities.
- Enriched Virtual: A more advanced educational style, enriched virtual is a classroom that’s fully outside of a traditional building. Students can complete most of their work outside of teacher-led, in-class instruction. Schools that do this have variable attendance requirements and strategies tailored to student learning speed and style. An accredited online high school or traditional one with some online high school classes may have programs like this weaved into their curricula.
As excellent as these ideas sound, implementation in classrooms and curriculum development require a different approach. Many educators have tried to facilitate blended classrooms only to be overwhelmed by the instructional and preparatory changes, which ends up being detrimental to students and teachers alike. They’re not to be underestimated. Such programs come with a developmental admission price that many educators aren’t able to cope with.
By no means should you be afraid to try some blended educational strategies. As technology and education evolve, you must keep up the pace and continuously sharpen your instructional tools. The best, truest teachers are the ones who never cease learning.