Some Benefits of Blended Learning
One of the silver linings of the last 18 months has been the opportunity for adult educators to get to know a wide variety of edtech tools that they might not have been familiar with before. And, not only the tools themselves, but how and when they might use those tools with their students.
As we begin a new school year somewhere between continuing online and returning to in-person, a question in many people's minds is what to do with the collective knowledge we've gained about how to better use technology in our instruction. While the easiest thing to do might be to return to a previous and familiar way of in-person teaching, relying on textbooks, paper, and limited technology usage once we're back in class, 21st century learning asks us to be thoughtful about technology in the classroom that will benefit our students and equip them with tech tools for the world of learning, work, family, and community that we all inhabit.
The article From Hybrid to Blended Learning: Using Tech to Improve Students' Experience is one of many that are exploring how we can use the technology knowledge we've acquired moving forward with our students and in our classrooms. Many of these articles are also discussing shifting to blended learning, which asks us to think about how we intentionally incorporate technology into our lesson plans and learning activities and keep the focus on teaching first and technology second. As this article points out, here are some of the benefits of blended learning to consider:
Teachers can use technology to engage students – think of tools that gamify learning, for example, such as Kahoot, Quizlet, and Quizizz.
As students become more proficient with technology, this leads to a sense of success – think of students who can use PowerPoint or Google Slides for the first time for a presentation.
Technology use opens up possibilities to students in the world of work and post-secondary education – think of students who can now apply for jobs online and sit in virtual interviews with experience attending online classes.
Technology enables student collaboration and opportunities for students to get creative – think of many tools that teachers have used like Google Docs, Padlet, and video that students now use as a part of their learning.
OTAN is happy to help you make the shift to blended learning and think about how to make the best use of knowledge gained for future learning opportunities in your classroom. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 916-228-2580 and let's explore blended learning together!