The Covid-19 pandemic introduced students to online classrooms. Although the pandemic is over and physical classes are taking place, virtual tests and live teacher-parent meetings have become the new normal of the education system. Blended learning has become a new norm rather than exclusively physical or digital learning modes.
Blended learning is a game-changer learning method for holistic education. All school system stakeholders need to get involved in promoting and developing the new system.
Here is a guide about blended learning and its advantages for principals and education professionals. We will also plug-in suggestions for schools to implement blended learning efficiently.
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What is blended learning?
It is a blend of traditional and modern tech-based education systems. Blended or hybrid learning provides customized and flexible teaching methods. It combines teacher-led classroom learning with digital technology.
Blended learning enhances the learning experience. Students perform better in exams and extra-curricular activities.
Advantages of blended learning
Schools can improvise teaching styles and cultivate a positive feedback culture. Blended learning helps to improve accurate assessment. There is an extensive application of blended learning for education, teacher training, and team management.
Greater online engagement has increased the use of blended learning in several schools. The adoption of hybrid learning has improved peer-to-peer activities, learner-centered approaches, and active learning methods.
Improved access and flexible approach
Principals and teachers can personalize the learning experience. Blended learning has provided flexibility and ensured universal access to education for all.
For example: Providing education in hilly regions of the Himalayan States and the North-East of India is an uphill task. Only big towns have the proper educational infrastructure.
A blended learning system with internet-based classes can connect the remotest of hilly areas. Internet and hybrid learning has democratized the education system.
Students can use online classes and also involve in social activities through a hybrid model. Many students prefer learning at their own pace and want to maintain human interaction.
Blended learning is the perfect education style for such people. The number of such people has multiplied many times since the lockdown.
Cost efficiency is a crucial benefit of blended learning. Higher educational institutions are implementing blended learning faster primarily because of significant cost savings.
Principals and teachers can organize multiple teaching sessions, evaluations, meetings, etc., via the internet. It is much cheaper than meeting face-to-face in school or college premises.
Higher acceptance among smartphone generation
Technology and social media are vital components of hybrid learning. Students of the current generation love to use tools and platforms for educational purposes. There is a high acceptance of tech-based learning methods among students.
What does the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 say about Blended Learning?
The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 emphasized the holistic growth of children with improved learning experiences. The NEP 2020 has introduced several changes to transform the Indian education system. Blended learning is one of the crucial components to attaining the vision of NEP 2020. The policy has recognized the advantages of blended learning.
The Government of India’s ambitious education reform focused on digital education and in-person interaction to learn crucial 21st-century skills. A government think-tank will identify various effective blended learning models for suitable implementation for diverse subjects.
How can principals be prepared?
- Blended learning has brought a change in the approach to education delivery. It is no longer a top-down method where teachers follow a one-size-fits-all style. Now we need to develop a student-centric and bottom-up education system. Teachers and principals should work as coaches and mentors. We need to provide a personalized and comprehensive education.
2. Hybrid education provides spare time for principals and teachers to use the time for teacher training, one-to-one interaction, school/college facilities reviews, etc.
3. Principals can lower the excessive workloads of teachers with online teaching and evaluation.
4. Reduced work pressure is vital for India, where the teacher-to-student ratio is low at 26 to 1, per a UNESCO report.
5. We can use blended learning for the professional development of teachers. Lower workloads and spare time help to pursue courses and train teaching professionals.
6. Principals and school hiring teams should hire subject experts. There should be a focus on technology integration.
Tips for implementing blended learning
If we need to know how to implement blended learning in our schools/colleges/institutions, then we can follow the following four-step process:
1. Choosing a hybrid learning model
- We should choose a BL model according to the learners' and teachers' requirements.
- We can introduce technologies under the confines of traditional infrastructure.
- The model should invoke maximum engagement and the least resistance.
- Widely used models are lab rotation, station rotation, flipped classroom, and flex learning.
- A correct blended learning model is vital because it will affect our tech-upgrade cost, physical infrastructure, teacher’s role, student response, etc.
2. Multimedia tools
Choose multimedia tools for a comprehensive learning experience.
Some of the preferable tools for schools/colleges:
- Gamified learning
- Audio/Video insertion
- Branching scenarios
- Case studies
- Augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI)
- Interactive illustrations
We can also allow smartphones in our institutions. It will help students to learn on their
familiar devices. They can read and revise anywhere, anytime.
3. Developing Personalized Learning Pathways
- Every student has a different understanding level and learning style. Blended learning allows our institutions to customize education.
- After discussing them with teachers, we can develop personalized, unique, and targeted learning experiences for students.
- Customized learning pathways are one of the best advantages of blended learning. Students do better when they are in a customized program.
4. Projects and training sessions
- People might feel hesitant or uncomfortable with shifting to blended learning from the traditional method of education.
- Principals should assign tasks online and conduct training at regular intervals.
- We should encourage blended learning techniques in teaching methods.
- Observe performance, review, and repeat for correct implementation
Change is the only constant. Blended learning is the need of the hour. Read the passage, follow the tips, and implement a hybrid education style now. Teachmint can help institutes adopt blended learning smoothly. With our integrated school platform, schools can manage their activities from a single platform. The lms portal, institute erp, performance management system, and other tools smoothen the process of school management.