Blended Learning is the future of Education

As the world begins to feel the beneficial effects of the emergency measures against COVID-19, it is time to look to the future. This prolonged period of forced closure has pushed educators towards a more extensive use of technology. So, will the schools ever be the same again?

Blended learning teaches the students three key lessons:
• Education is no longer about memorising facts and answering test questions, but knowing where to find reliable information about applying knowledge to real-life situations.
• Teachers in a blended learning environment are there to act as discussion moderators, provide guidance and support and give feedback to student projects, but are no longer the only source of knowledge in this structure.
• School is not the only place where you can learn, educating yourself is a continuous process that follows you everywhere.

Blended education combines online and classroom approaches to teaching and learning. It offers more flexibility to teachers and a richer experience to students. Blended learning also called hybrid learning, focuses on outcomes, employing a variety of methods to aid the students in learning the required material. In blended education, both Independence and self-discipline are important aspects which require students to take more responsibility for their own learning. In turn, it provides greater satisfaction when the subject matter is mastered by students and they engage in a wide variety of tasks independently. This blended education has allowed teachers to be more creative the way they structure and deliver courses and provide opportunities to incorporate new technologies into their lessons. This shows that as technology changes, both teachers and students must adopt it.

Blended learning includes:
• Students alternate between classes and online learning which is called Rotation.
• At home, students listen to online course lectures and class time is used for projects, group activities or questions about the lectures which is known as "Flipped Classroom".
• Students are allowed to access all learning material online at any time to refresh their memories, to ensure that they understand the course.

Opportunities in blended learning:
• A mix of teaching approaches will make it possible so that a larger number of students will absorb the material more easily. For those who find it challenging to keep up during classroom lectures, it reduces stress and can increase satisfaction for quicker learners.
• Students can access online materials anywhere and anytime. They can review the material any time as they like and study them at their own pace. Blended learning includes new technology which has become a natural part of everyday life.
• Blended approach offers richer, more interactive learning experiences and improves communication between student and teacher.
• Online tools allow students to collaborate and communicate better with each other and can connect via email, text messages and online discussions, as well as face-to-face in the classroom.
• Students can be given the opportunity to take test online, allowing easy grading and quick feedback that gives them the opportunity to see where their weaknesses lie. Teachers can also quickly take action to address these students’ problems.

Challenges:
• Students may find difficult to absorb the course material if they don’t understand how to use the necessary technology.
• Those students, who lack in Discipline about keeping up with online material, can easily fall behind in their coursework.
• Same goes for teachers if they are not trained to incorporate new technologies successfully into their courses, they too will lack.
• Students must have time to do the coursework at home and access to the necessary technologies for blended learning to be successful.
• Outdated Tools: The technology used in blended learning must be kept up to date, because students will be adopting the latest technologies.

So, it is seen that positives of blended learning far outweigh the negatives, and it’s apparent that students will encounter blended learning wherever they study.

The Author is Dr. Anuradha Mehta. Views are personal.

Dr Anuradha Mehta

Creative, Innovative, Visionary and Honest Personality

She is the principal of Red Roses Public School Sr Sec School, Saket, New Delhi since November 2002. Dr. Mehta conferred with many awards for her excellent work in the field of education. She is the recipient of CBSE Teacher Award in 2015 and Delhi State Teacher Award in 2013. Her efforts have also been recognized at many national and international platforms. She recently received “Best Principal Award” in 5th Eduleaders Summit and Awards 2020 held on 7th November 2020.

She is the CBSE Resource Person for Classroom Management and An Executive Member of the Forum of Public Schools. Under her visionary leadership the school selected for ‘International School Award’ from 2011 to 2022 by British Council for leading the integration of the international learning in the school.

She Presented 11 papers in renowned National and International Journals. She visited 8 different countries for attending International conferences of principals to learn the finest education system in the world gaining experience as a principal. She attended many national and international seminars and workshops. She is also very active in community work.

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Published on January 11, 2021