Blended Learning

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The blended classroom mixes the best of the web with the best of the traditional classroom. What will this look like? The blended classroom at the K-12 level will be a large classroom with computers in it to allow the teacher to combine traditional face to face teaching with online learning. Students will have to be somewhat adept at using computers so that they are not spending a lot of their time tackling technological challenges, but rather using their time online to access material that will supplement their lessons. Web-based learning would be used to enhance lessons taught through traditional methods such as lecture, group work, and blackboard activity. At the college level blended learning would have the students met perhaps once a month for a class, and then the students and teacher would do the remainder of the class work online ( like our class!). There are some challenges surrounding the blended classroom; it does not automatically guarantee success. Students still have to be motivated to do well, students will need to be well-trained in computer use so that the teacher is not training as well as teaching the subject matter, and schools will have to have sufficient funding to carry this out. The blended classroom would have a computer and a workstation for each student. It must have workable equipment, updated programs, and Internet accessibility for this to take place. Prior basic computer skills would be essential. The blended learning concept would be a combination of traditional, on-line instruction, and live visual classroom. Advantages for this learning concept are: (1) it would be self-paced and allows the person to skip content that he/she is familiar with to more advanced levels, (2) it provides an opportunity for more critical higher-learning thinking skills instead of lower-level skills, (3) it provides training for different audience needs, (4) it reduces training time, (5) it’s not boring, (6) it provides the person with a more effective learning experience, (7) it provides integration, and (8) it provides the instructor to be a facilitator , (9) it focus on the distant learning concept, (10) it focuses greater discipline on the learners part, and (11) it provides more effective learning experience. Disadvantages for this learning concept are: (1) there is frustration for the person who learns from face-to-face people contact, (2) the unmotivated student, and (3) the person who either doesn’t have the skills or is unfamiliar with the material

. effectiveness of blended classroom Blending learning

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There are many “faces” of a blended classroom. Many of us think of a traditional classroom with more technology for student use. This can be extended to the Virtual High School model where students take on line classes. Providing face to face support for students taking on-line or virtual classes helps improve their success and completion rate. High school students benefit from the structure and guidance of an adult while the on-line class allows them to progress through the material at their own pace. I believe that the blended classroom will bend the rules of traditional classrooms and the time constraints of the school day. Students could have a combination of classroom “visits” mixed with open lab times offered at school or they could work at home on on-line material. (Responding to a discussion thread, watching posted lectures/videos, etc) The high school day could start to resemble the college day. Unlike in college where students govern their own time, high schools would have more freedom to move sports, trips, art events, and internships to the morning and middle of the day. Studies are current being conducted about when students “learn” best. With a blended model the teenage brain could receive new info when it was most receptive. This Type of model also allows for better collaboration for schools across the country and the world because the class is essentially happening all the time. Of course the main drawback to this type of approach is money. The financial resource of the district and participating families ultimately drives the incorporation of cutting edge technology because of the upfront expense. It also takes money to provide professional development to the educators working within this system.

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