What is blended learning?
Blended learning seems to offer what education technology has long promised but rarely delivered: greater student learning and improved school efficiency. Education Elements works with schools to deliver on that promise, and make sure that blended learning offers more hope and help than hype.
Benefits of blended learning
Like any other great blend, Education Elements believes blended learning works because it combines two things in a way that makes each better than they are on their own: teachers’ talent and technology tools. Blended learning allows teachers to do what they do best – work directly and closely with individual students and small groups – by harnessing the adaptive power and precision of technology.
The best blended learning approaches use technology to:
- help each student master the content and skills they need,
- allow teachers to get the most out of their planning and instructional time, and
- streamline operations with costs similar to – or less than – traditional schooling.
What blended learning *isn’t*
Simply adding online computer games or videos to a student’s day or homework time doesn’t count as blended learning. Neither does rolling a laptop cart into a school. Nor does it mean that students are isolated at their keyboards with no social interaction.
In great blended learning schools, technology and teaching inform each other. Students alternate regularly between engaging with teachers and peers and focusing on online content tailored to their learning pace and progress. Education Elements believes that tightly integrating online content and offline instruction helps students get exactly what they need when they need it – and that regularly reviewing student progress data and dynamically adjusting student groups optimizes student-teacher interactions.
Exploring the possibilities
The result of smart blended learning is richer and deeper interactions between teachers and students (and between students themselves) than in traditional classrooms. Integrating technology and teaching allows students to fully master content and skills, and at the pace that’s right for them.
Think about it this way: an average classroom sets a “speed limit” for the class – bounded by grade-level standards and assessments – making it hard for some kids to catch up and holding others from moving ahead when they’re ready. But blended learning revs up students’ learning velocity, allowing them to go further and faster. Who knows how far they’ll go?