As one of the biggest trends in academy learning, Blended Learning (BL) is a new teaching method that leverages the power of technology to enhance and re-invent the traditional learning environment. In a standard education model, it refers to the use of computers, mobile devices, internet, and digital learning applications to strengthen class sessions and complement the theories taught through face-to-face lectures. But, is it the right approach? What are the benefits of using this new educational model to the students and the academia as a whole? Read on below as we further discuss the use of technology in education in the 21st century.
1. Young Learners Engaged Through A Variety Of Content Types
Blended Learning is like adding colorful illustrations to your plain class lectures. You can accompany your discussions with digital content (audio, video, games, and, augmented reality applications) to keep your students awake and engaged. This method assists your students in grasping the concept/s you are introducing in front of them.
This became easier since mobile devices nowadays are equipped with media creation tools that allow you to achieve these goals. Known to be one of the best tools for education, iPhone has the ability to create slide shows with the engaging music through iMovies. It was one of the main features of iOS 7 that was listed on O2 at its dedicated iPhone 5S page, wherein it states that the free movie making tool can help you create video presentations combining photograph, audio, and text element.
2. Globalizing The Classroom Experience
With the advent of video conferencing, you and your students can go beyond the four corners of your classroom in pursuit of learning. You can also arrange language, culture, or history lessons by connecting your students with a native speaker living in another country.
This also includes real-time virtual museum apps that enable your whole class to explore exhibits only available in their area.
3. More Efficient Feedback and Assessment
With the integration of social media into the Blended Learning environment, feedback loops between you and your students are infinite.
They can directly ask you once they encounter any difficulties with regard to your assigned homework. In the same way, you can utilize its private messaging feature to perform a one-on-one assessment with your students.
4. Gamification Can Increase Children’s Attention Span
As one of the Blended Learning techniques, you can incorporate gaming elements in your lectures to keep your students energized and eager to participate. Known as the process of “gamification,” play-based learning, according to the Australian Journal of Education and Developmental Psychology can significantly increase your students’ attention span. When children are allowed to play, there will be far less time that you will have to spend on behavior management.
5. Blended Learning Eliminates Student’s Pressure
With the physical class environment, time has always been an issue. As teachers, you are restricted by a one to two hour limit per class to deliver all the information to your students – pressuring both you and your students to absorb the lessons quickly. With BL, you can allow your students to take added information home, where they can review on their own time and question-and-answer later.
Unlike the “flipped classroom” model, where students are left with reviewers at home and tests in the classroom, BL promotes usage of devices in the classroom to beef up your lectures and increase classroom participation. How do you plan to implement blended learning in your class?
Reese Jones is passionate about the latest trends and learning models used in the academe. As a regular contributor for various blogs, she covers stories ranging from educational technologies to innovative teaching practices employed by 21st century Educators. Interact with her at Reese+ or@r_am_jones.