Too often blended learning is thought of as a one-off addition, or that it’s only for STEM and STEAM programs. Some believe only magnet schools and gifted and talented programs can make blended learning a reality.
Fortunately, none of this is true! The reality is that blended learning is everywhere. Thanks to the proliferation of technology, students can learn and collaborate more efficiently today. They don’t need to be part of a STEM, magnet, or G&T program, either. Blended learning is possible to implement for every type of learner.
It’s no secret that technology is everywhere. Our students’ smartphones are more powerful than the technology that put the first astronaut on the moon! That’s a ton of computing power in the palm of a student’s hand. This technology is an effective tool to use in today’s classroom. Let’s take a look at why blended learning matters for public schools.
Banning technology isn’t the answer to keeping students safe and productive in school.
Boundaries and good habits are important with tech. We don’t want students to be on their devices all the time, and we certainly want them to know how to behave properly online. By allowing blended learning to take place, we’re giving students a safe environment to learn and experience healthy technology practices before they enter the real world.
Blended learning is essential for teaching students the skills they need for life after school. After all, how are students going to feel when they enter the workforce and don’t know how to collaborate in Google Docs, or how to send an email? Blended learning makes your learners more competitive in the job market. It decreases the entry barrier for many jobs, ensuring students feel prepared and your local employers get the best talent.
If your boss asked you to run a report, how would you do it? Would you spend hours counting everything by hand, logging it on a paper chart? We hope not! You would use technology to make the process easier.
It’s the same in the classroom.
Blended learning gives students the tools to complete their work quickly, focusing on important things, like content, instead of the process of compiling work. It also helps them build their collaboration and communication skills as they work with classmates.
Now, notice that we didn’t say the mere presence of technology makes learning blended, or that blended learning replaces teachers. Blended learning must be implemented elegantly, and aligned with learner needs and the unique desires of the community.
Blended learning is everywhere. It can be implemented at any school, for any learner. It’s not a one-and-done initiative, either. Done correctly, blended learning is the One Thing that unites your desired learner skills, culture, and instructional practices. For Future Ready learning, it’s clear that we need to embrace the blended nature of our society. Bring on the tech!
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