Blended Learning Middle School Classrooms
If you’ve heard the phrase “blended learning” at any point over the last few years, chances are you may have some questions about it. Laptop computers and digital learning modules have given students the freedom to dive into learning in highly personalized and custom ways. That said, perceiving that blended learning education is only about doing computer work inside a physical classroom misses the point. The below information details what separates the blended learning model from other ones, and why it has remained so successful for our Phoenix, AZ, schools.
Instructor-Led Classrooms are Still Present
Blended learning education is about taking the best of offline and online worlds and combining them for a holistic, robust program. Part of what makes this possible is teachers delivering specific modules in-person or assigning specific tasks for offline completion. Teachers have unique topical insights of their own, as well, and instructor-led components are still as useful and powerful as they’ve always been. Based on what teachers include in a curriculum, students can work in groups, complete-hands on projects, and discover physical source material—all of which happen offline.
Some Elements of Student Control
Many Internet-based tools and learning portals now have responsive challenges, or at least come with varying levels of difficulty. This is great news for students of all kinds and is one of the central principles of blended learning classrooms. If a particular student is struggling with a topic, teachers can work with him or her to approach the content in a different medium or from a new angle. Additionally, students who demonstrate advanced knowledge of a subject can progress more quickly, keeping them engaged. This dynamic flexibility in course content fosters student achievement at all levels and helps staff understand what children need most.
Combined Modalities of Learning
A common misconception about blended learning classrooms is that students complete all educational work via computers and online tools, with the only physical aspect being they sit in a building. The real concept of blended learning is defined as a curriculum or educational course that allows online and offline components to interact with each other, giving students a multifaceted understanding of and engagement with a topic. For example, in a history class, an educational plan that’s solely Internet-based would not allow students to learn firsthand about specific historical eras. In comparison, a course that begins online, but also taking students to a nearby museum or having them role-play a scene from history gives them a stronger perspective. Through these means, our middle school students interact with knowledge in a way that solely online quizzes or face-to-face lectures cannot deliver.
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