Blended learning

Blended learning has been a part of the tools in some schools for years. Many schools have taken a school-wide approach to integrating digital content as part of their instructional framework. Driven by changes already happening in the education and the need to prepare students for the 21st century workplace, blended learning provides the schools with a variety of ways to address student needs, differentiate instruction, and provide teachers with data for instructional decision-making.

An analysis in Australia showed that the teachers use a relatively wide spectrum of ideas about the nature of blended learning, suggesting that teachers tend to have qualitatively different conceptions about blended learning, and tend to adopt qualitatively different approaches to both teaching and design for blended learning (Ana-Maria Bliuc, 2012). That was in 2012 or before. How is the situation now?

In a booklet form 2014 you can find a list of 10 good reasons for using blended learning. Here I copy four of them:

1.    Blended learning enables teachers to make better use of the limited time they have with their students. By moving some traditional classroom activities into the online world, you end up spending less time talking in front of the class and more time working with individual students.

2.    With more time to work with individual students in class, teachers find they can better differentiate their teaching to suit individual needs, answering student questions and giving individual feedback. Many online resources also differentiate automatically: math exercises can be set to get progressively harder the more answers a student gets right, for example.

3.    Blended models such as the flipped classroom use online videos and resources to prepare students before they come to class. This way, the students have already learned the theory and can use the classroom time to put that theory into practice. In this model, the classroom teacher takes the role of guide and mentor.

4.    There are thousands of online resources that enable students to create videos, animations, podcasts and new media. This gives your students new ways to engage with the work and express what they have learned. Stronger students can also do extra work online to show their knowledge and understanding of a subject without taking up your valuable class time

I search for the experience in this. I would like to know how blended learning works for the students in technical vocational education and training.

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