The concept of blended learning is nothing new. We have seen this buzzword floating around for years, emphasizing a more customized learning experience for students while allowing them more control over their education via online and in-person instruction. Is blended learning, the new norm? Not quite, but we are getting there.
What's new about blended learning now, however, is that it’s far less trendy and more applicable than ever before. Though not quite the rule rather than the exception just yet, we’re certainly moving in that direction, with an estimated 75% of U.S. schools having already implemented some form of the model. Perhaps a helping hand comes from younger teachers and administrators that have grown up with technology, so incentivizing and incorporating it into classrooms is more seamless and less revolutionary; it’s almost expected. On the other hand, maybe it is being pushed along by some of those veteran teachers who happen to understand that the way we have been teaching is not working. Pairing this open-mindedness with the ever-improving platforms for implementation, it’s easy to see how this shift is gaining so much momentum nationwide.
Though intimidating at first to implement, many teachers see the rewards much more directly with their students. The more encompassing approach appeals to different types of learners and particularly aids in bridging the generation gap. Today’s student is much more proficient on devices, and for better or worse, often requires a much faster pace of stimuli to stay focused. Matching them at their pace is aided greatly by the available options for blended learning, be it an engaging, social discussion after they’ve quietly watched their assigned content at home with less distraction, or the pace of moving through different and engaging stations. Of course, blended learning is customizable for each student, but more broadly, it’s ideally customizable for this new generation of learners. We can’t help but mention a few of our favorite platforms for this and much more.
- Slack brings team communication and collaboration into one place, the result, more work is done in less time. It is a tool that is making inroads in all kinds of businesses and it would be great to get students proficient with this tool as they may be encountering it in varied settings as they enter the workforce.
- Kiddom supports blended learning by connecting assessment, curriculum, communication, and analytics in one free platform. The platform has an extensive library of standards-aligned resources, which makes its easier than ever to plan, assess, and analyze learning. A simple tool to solve a complex problem, giving teachers more time to connect with students.
- Otus understands classroom management and organizes teachers and students by streamlining the implementation of assignments, assessments, polls, and feedback all in one convenient yet surprisingly user-friendly package.
- Nearpodseamlessly combines interactive presentations, real-time assessment tools, and has recently added an incredible new collaborative feature, everything needed for blended learning is here in one integrated platform.
For more, check out our post on building your digital tool kit.