Flexibility in Blended Learning
One of the overwhelming positives for utilizing blended learning in the classroom is the flexibility it offers. Teachers know that education is never one-size-fits-all. The right technology can help fit every student’s needs while still fitting under the resource and time constraints of modern education.
The most popular blended learning model features a rotation, where students have the opportunity to work in a variety of different ways during the course of a lesson.
Most instruction in new skills emanates from the teacher. That might come in the form of whole-group instruction or breaking students into small groups to facilitate the rotational model.
When presentations are given to a small group, it provides the teacher an opportunity to spend more time with each student individually to make sure understanding is reached. Due to time constraints, that simply is not possible in traditional whole group instruction.
Student-led small groups
While the teacher is instructing one small group, another can be working toward a product or project that allows them to practice their skills. Technology facilitates this by making it possible for practice to occur interactively using real-world examples.
Another aspect of technology use in this form is that the right activity can help students stay on task better than if they were left to their own devices (no pun intended). Working systematically on a technology-facilitated product makes sure everyone stays on the same page.
Individual enrichment or remediation
Students do not learn at the same pace. Although working in small groups is a key component in differentiation through blended learning, the ability for students to work independently with the right program gives them, and the teacher, more flexibility.
The right online program moves at the student’s pace. Through intuitive assessment, the program becomes adaptive. Students move faster when they are doing well and slower when they have run into an obstacle. The overall effect is that students are constantly engaged and moving forward in a more efficient way.
Although some form of all of these rotations have been in use in education for a number of years, it wasn’t until recent advances in technology that their full efficacy could be experienced. This is what educators have been waiting for to come out of the Information Age.