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Blended learning is the logical extension of traditional classroom-based learning. Students and teachers use technology to add to classroom learning at different times and in different places – with teachers able to give feedback both remotely and face-to-face.
Blended learning has evolved to ensure that learning can continue when student and teachers are not in the same place at the same time. It has a number of key benefits, for example:
The concept of blended learning is not new – distance learning using books and other written resources dates back centuries. In Australia, the use of radio allowed the introduction of the ‘School of the Air’ to educate children in remote locations. In the UK, a further step-change in distance learning came in 1969 with the founding of the Open University – which used television programming and videos to supplement face to face and written learning. And the development of the Internet has allowed further development – from group video calls to students working together on projects from different sides of the world!
There are a number of different approaches to learning at a distance and these three phrases can often be used interchangeably. However, there are some key differences.
It’s rare to find a school that doesn’t offer some blended learning today. But in order to do it effectively there are five areas in the school that need to be aligned.
It is clear that the COVID pandemic has driven and will continue to drive new innovation in blended learning. At ONVU Learning we’re watching how our partners schools have responded to the pandemic (here’s one blog about the changes we’ve already seen) and we expect that there will be much more use of interactive remote material (from self-marking quizzes to AI-powered self-levelling learning), as well as more sharing of content to reduce the demands on teachers.
We’re also really clear that as this process develops, one key skill that will help teachers thorough these challenges is effective self-reflection – here’s our blog offering advice to teachers in this area.
The School of the Future Guide is aimed at helping school leaders and teachers make informed choices when designing the learning environments of the future using existing and upcoming technologies, as they seek to prepare children for the rest of the 21st century – the result is a more efficient and competitive school.