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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Important considerations for blended learning

Meris Stansbury
Meris Stansbury, Online Editor writes, "In today's news, experts say some of the most important considerations for blended learning include finding high-quality resources and ensuring network capacity."

Photo: eSchool News

Finding high-quality resources, ensuring network capacity are key steps, experts say.

As blended learning programs grow in popularity, proponents of the approach—which involves a combination of computer-based learning and face-to-face instruction—say there are a few key considerations school leaders should keep in mind as they set up blended learning models.

Alabama’s Mountain Brook Schools is in its third year of a blended learning program.
“Education is really changing, and we’ve got to change with it—and in order to do that, we’ve really been working hard to … customize the learning of each one of our students,” said Missy Brooks, the district’s director of instruction, during a Consortium for School Networking webinar.

“Blended learning is not all about the technology—it really is a blend of teachnology and instruction, so that the two work hand-in-hand so that we can meet the needs of our students,” she said. The district’s leaders bear in mind that blended learning is facilitated by an effective and intentional combination of face-to-face classroom methods and computer-based activities.

While many agree on the basics of blended learning, Brooks pointed out that blended learning is not:
  • Simply putting a digital device in the hands of teachers and students.
  • Scanning worksheets and uploading them for students to print and complete.
  • Sharing digital versions of class notes.
  • Experiencing a mastering of technology tools.
  • Thinking of students as being simply information consumers.
That last point is especially important, Brooks said. “We have to think of students differently,” she said—“as creators, researchers, investigators, and even designers.”

Source: eSchool News

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