Blended Learning: How to Make it Work in Your Classroom
- September 29, 2017
- Posted by: steamc12_wp
- Category: Uncategorized
STEAM Education combined with blended learning has been shown to improve learning outcomes in the classroom.
Including learning in a digital format is an increasingly important aspect of today’s modern classroom. Argumentatively, it’s necessary as a way to equip students with the skills they need for the 21st century. So how do you go about it?
Ultimately, blended learning is a form of input that is more interactive and empowering to the students. It lets them take control of their learning process. It creates a nice balance between e-learning and the support that only a teacher in the classroom can provide. Keep reading to find out how you can start implementing this new “norm”.
According to the Online Learning Consortium, only 30% of a course can be done online for it to be a blended course. However, in your classroom you can (and should!) start even smaller. Don’t aim for blended courses as part of the STEAM curriculum, but blended learning as an integrated part of a whole for the grade level.
Using the “starting small” idea, set goals that you know you can achieve if the right measures are taken and the effort is put in. Do this in a way that works best for you. This could be a broken down into a quarterly, semester, or an entire year goal for one or more subjects, depending on what you have in mind.
Incorporating blended learning shouldn’t be “another thing you have to do”. It should be something that you want to do because you know it will benefit your students. With everything else you need to accomplish though, you’ll need to plan carefully where to fit it in so that it has maximum outcomes.
Where are there gaps in the curriculum? Is there a section of every unit in which the face-to-face instruction can be replaced? Can entire units be taught using a computer? These are the type of questions to explore when looking to start blended learning in your classroom. Remember, you don’t have to hit multiple STEAM subjects when first starting out. Just try one!
Consider Resources and Access
Exactly what type of access on what type of devices will be determined by what you plan. Take into account what your school already has available as part of their STEAM programs or other classes. Next, see what else you can get your hands on. You can of course take this even further and pool other teachers to back you when asking administration for more technological resources.
As long as you are creative, there is a way to work with what you have. Not every student has to be on a computer or device at the same time. Check out this article about a teacher who makes it work with one iPad.
There’s no need for fancy software or applications. You can start by creating a simple PowerPoint if you want! As you gain more insight and knowledge, what you use as part of blended learning will only continue to improve.
The vast majority of parents are involved and want to know what’s going on in their child’s academic life. Introduce them to blended learning. Send out an email about what it is and how you’ll be using it, along with any links that are applicable. Getting them involved and understanding the benefits of this new approach will help ensure success in the long run.
The important part of starting anything is to just do it. At one point or another, you have to dive in. It doesn’t necessarily have to be into the deep end, and it won’t be if you follow the tips and advice here. Don’t put it off to something you’ll try next school year- jump on it!