Blended learning,the way of future education
Blended learning has become increasingly popular in the past few years with teachers and pupils alike acknowledging its advantages.
It is variable in its combinations, but mixes education material that is available online with familiar classroom procedures. Both pupil and teacher are present, but the pupil has some say about the time, place, medium and pace of the lessons.
Such school is The Academy Hout Bay. The academy believes that students should be excited to go to school. The teachers are perceived as role models rather than judges of failure or success. “Happy students learn more”, adds Daniel Daniel Landi founder of The Academy Hout Bay. “They want to learn more if they are enjoying the experience of learning. They become more independent, creative, open-minded, and brave if they are happy in their learning environment. By finding their own level, they are confident in their decision about what they want to do in life.”
Blended learning also makes it possible for learners to interact with fellow students (so social learning is part of the process) and instructors. According to studies, blended learning leaves pupils with a better understanding of the content of courses.
Blended learning also saves costs, for example budgeting for travel, accommodation and the printing of educational material. Lessons can also be adapted to be more like game playing, although with an educational slant. This combination makes lesson content easier to remember and enthusiastic. Gamification takes something that is not actually a game but applies the same approach to problems. Pupils are encouraged to collaborate, share and be interactive.
Blended learning also makes it easier to track where students are in the learning process. Content can also be targeted towards specific groups. Any webinar mediums can be used.
The overall intention of blended learning is to combine the best of the traditional and online approach to get learners to be more engaged. This is because it can involve presentations, case studies, simulations and group discussions.
It has been hailed as the way forward, with predictions that this approach will allow teachers to be more caring, inventive and to tackle problem solving.
The downside is that disadvantaged groups are less able to take part in online courses.