With the goal of making the learning experience more personalized and individual, a growing number of schools have embraced the concept of blended learning. The transition from more traditional pedagogies to one that’s centered on blended learning isn’t easy, but the rewards are certainly many.
Here are a few dos and don’ts that we’ve discovered on our own journey down the blended learning path:
1. Do make sure your staff and teachers understand blended learning before implementation
Blended learning isn’t a “one size fits all” initiative. Teachers are incorporating blended learning in different ways and have varying ranges of knowledge or expertise when it comes to using technology in a blended classroom.
Before any implementation begins, make sure all of your teachers are on the same page. Skip this step and you’ll either wind up with an unsuccessful program, or one that takes much longer than anticipated to incorporate into the classroom.
Don’t forget to create a blueprint for your blended learning classrooms
Too many districts skip this step and wind up putting the technology first, instead of the people. This is a mistake. You need to have a really solid plan and the understanding of your programming, instructional outcomes, and learning goals before you can implement technology effectively. Otherwise, you wind up trying to do both at the same time—and that’s difficult.
A lot of times the teachers will ask me, “Well, what is it supposed to look like?” And my response is, “I don’t know, because I don’t know what your kids are like.” The profile may change from one classroom to the next, and that’s okay as long as teachers can talk to us about the instructional choices that they’re making.
We all have to remember that teachers are the heads of their classrooms, and blending means that they’ve got to meet these kids where they are.