The Blended Learning Classroom is Here to Stay
Two years ago, I taught a blended classroom model for a community college. The dean called it a hybrid classroom. You can read more about it here:
Thirteen Days to Creating a Successful Hybrid College Class, Day Two
Thirteen Days to Creating a Successful Hybrid College Class, Day Five
I taught in public and private schools for the thirty-eight years of my career. A blended classroom was very different for me, although I was enthusiastic about trying it.
Primarily, I had to think backwards with everything I wanted the students to learn. Many hours and days later, I realized the value of the blended classroom.
I think we may see more and more of it as the pandemic continues.
The good news is that our students appreciate differentiated instruction. Who doesn’t? I know I like to learn by myself and I also like to learn from a qualified instructor.
Plus, some parts of a lesson can be better expressed by viewing a video clip. Or taught by running through basic concepts on digital flashcards. Of course, the most important part should be instructed by the teacher.
Because of the pandemic, most of our school have gone on-line. We hear a lot about people pivoting, but folks, you have no idea how difficult that has been for our teachers.
They are best in their classroom. You just can’t stop a top notch educator!
(I have to say this photo is rather comical. What teacher wears high heels to teach? Not this one, that’s for sure.)
I discovered more than half of my products could be tweaked for distance learning. Since then, hundreds were purchased. That’s thrilling for me for obvious reasons, but more importantly I was relieved I helped someone in a tough predicament. However, I sensed they wanted something more than what I could offer at the moment. So I began researching the blended classroom.
Because of my recent experience, it was necessary to blog about the blended classroom. I truly believe it is here to stay. As I always do when putting together a blog post, I looked around to see what I could find in the way of research on the subject. This post very helpful, “The Seven Most Important Benefits of Blended Learning” from KnowledgeWave.com. KnowedgeWave is a business software company who develops products using Microsoft Office.
The Blended Learning Classroom is Here to Stay
A blended learning approach provides ultimate flexibility in presenting content. Complex topics can be presented in the classroom, while other subject matter can be available online. With an online component, you’ll also increase flexibility and convenience over how and when your employees participate in training.
Garrison and Kanuka (and I’m sure countless other academics) have studied blended learning. Their research concludes that “blended learning … has the proven potential to enhance both the effectiveness and efficiency of meaningful learning experiences.”
With a well-planned blended learning strategy, you can efficiently and quickly deliver training to a broad audience. And with digital assets such as videos and recordings and eBooks, the potential for re-use is huge. You can easily help more people get up-to-speed after the initial rounds of training have passed.
Most of us like strategies that can save our organization money. And blended learning is one of them! Including more online options in your training program saves on travel and missed work. When you are hosting live events online, you eliminate employee and instructor travel costs. When the venue is your own desk, that’s clearly a savings over large rooms!
Any training that is not well implemented can create an isolating, cookie-cutter, impersonal learning experience. But the good news is that a well-crafted blended solution can provide a seamless transition from classroom to computer or vice-versa. You can design ways of continuing discussion themes and personalizing content to a person’s specific job or interests.
6. Extended reach
Almost always, creating a blended learning strategy reduces classroom teaching time. By digitizing the expertise of talented instructors or subject-matter experts, you can reach more people with high-quality content at a fraction of the cost. That frees up knowledgeable instructors to offer more classes, or create more training content, or work on other things.
7. Covers all learning styles
It’s always important to take learning styles into account then designing training for adults. Effective blended learning is a “best of all worlds” solution that can help you cater to all learning styles through a variety of mediums and techniques.
Here’s something I did not know–the blended classroom approach has been around since 1960 when the first mini computers emerged. WHAT?!?
Innovative Teaching Methods
As a teacher – author I am constantly on the look out for successful, innovative and new methods teachers are using so I can provide products for them. In particular, I develop drama education units and lessons.
One of the newest methods is one pager assignments. One pager assignments are a terrific way for students to take notes over what they learn.
One Pager Assignment
Here is one for you to check out : Hugh Jackman One Pager Biography Lesson
A Blended Classroom Drama Lesson: Costume Design with Fairy Tale Characters
We are hearing in the news that many schools are considering distance learning in the fall term. Lately, I considered how I could be of help to more teachers. Watching them navigate their way through these challenging times is hard. Trust me, it is difficult enough to be a teacher in the classroom but these times compound everything.
I created nearly 220 drama education products (lessons, units, posters, quizzes, word walls, etc.) for my Dramamommaspeaks Store through Teacherspayteachers.com
Here is my recent costume design product for the blended classroom.
This unique and innovative lesson is the best of both worlds giving students an opportunity to learn individually and additional tools for the teacher to instruct through distance learning or in the classroom. #distancelearningTPT
How do I use this in my classroom?
It’s a three-step process. First, the teacher assigns the student to view a portion of a video which demonstrates the costume design concepts. Next, she assigns the Boom Cards! for the student to study prior to the assignments. Finally, the teacher charges the student to design a costume for a fairy tale character and complete the creative writing assignment. This lesson can last one or two days.
Included in the PDF product:
- Letter to Teacher
- Rationale for Teaching Costume Design
- Costume Design Template (Female)
- Costume Design Template (Male)
- Writing Assignment Sheet
- Writing Assignment Sheet Examples
- Video Links
Included in the Boom Cards! product:
- 16 Boom Cards which include the history of costume design
- True/false questions to secure the learning as the student progresses through them
If you’d like more information about this Blended Classroom Lesson, go to:
Drama Lesson: Boom Cards! Costume Design
NEW! Here’s my first hybrid Broadway musical lesson. Check it out: Wicked, the Broadway Musical with Boom Cards
I’m no sooth sayer, but from my many years of teaching experience and observation, I think I’m right bout the blended classroom of the future.
What experiences do you have with the Blended Classroom? I’d love to hear about them. Contact me at DhcBaldwin@gmail.com or DeborahBaldwin.net
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