Today, children are born and grow in their digital life in parallel with the real world around them. Technology has revolutionized our world. We connect and learn, create and share. We have immediate, improved and personalized access to the world. Nothing in our modern lives remain untouched with technology. In the previous articles we discussed, about the role of technology in education and how the modern technology trends have taken roots into the educational world. Blended Learning is one of the trends of technology that has taken education to a next level.
What is Blended Learning?
Blended Learning is a buzzword being used for more than two decades. Yet, the very first question asked by people on hearing about Blended learning is that “What is Blended Learning?”
Blended Learning is defined in various ways by different organizations, educators, students and parents. In the most common language Blended Learning is the mixture or blend of the online world and physical classroom setting. It is also defined as the combination of teacher’s instruction with computer based instruction.
Oliver and Trigwell, define Blended Leaning in ‘Can Blended Learning be redeemed?’ as:
A. The Blend of Face-to-Face and Online Teaching
“The integrated combination of traditional learning with web based on-line approaches.”
This definition arguably is the classic definition of Blended Learning in which the best combination of online learning is observed with face-to-face interaction of students and teacher. The teacher conducts the class in the traditional way interacting with the students along with the online part of the course which is usually through learning technologies, typically involving a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).B. The Blend of Technologies
“The combination of media and tools employed in an e-learning environment.”
In this situation the face-to-face interaction of the learner and the mentor is not involved. It purely describes a distance learning course situation. The communication or learning process is carried out through the technology channels like email, social media, internet telephone, etc.
C. The Blend of Methodologies
“The combination of a number of pedagogic approaches, irrespective of the learning technology used.”
Undoubtedly, Blended Learning combines a wide range of methodologies teachers use or can use to make the teaching learning process more effective and efficient. By integrating blended learning in schools, the students will be curious for their every subject class. They will seek to learn new every day and will enjoy throughout.
Why Blended Learning?
Education providers have started integrating Blended learning in their schools and even universities. The idea is to make students independent learners and to work on those parts in which they lack. The students get a room to open themselves to new ideas, critical thinking and help them learn on their own. Independent learning makes the students be self-confident and produce good results. Along with online education, teachers also conduct regular content classes to prepare students have full command on the particular subject they study. By integrating blended learning in classrooms teachers can give more time to each student individually. Students today are used to learning in their digital lives as well as in the real-world. Schools that don’t have blended learning programs are missing out on a significant teaching opportunity.