Blended learning is all the rave in education today. There’s been a big movement around the concept of blended learning over the last year, in light of the current realities faced by millions of families across the globe with the pandemic.
And yet, blended learning is not a new concept. Teachers have always been using a combination of teaching methods and resources in their classrooms to teach their students. However, with more students learning from home than ever before, blended learning goes beyond using different teaching methods.
There are many definitions on blended learning. At ICS, our definition on blended learning is adopted from a well known and highly talented Californian educator, Caitlin Tucker, who defines it as “a formal education program in which a student is engaged in active learning at least in part online where they have some control over the time, place, and/or pace and in part at a brick and mortar location away from home."
At ICS, the goal is for blended learning to be a seamless transition between an on campus learning experience to an online learning environment, while leveraging digital tools to allow students to personalize their learning. Teachers are embracing the various educational technology platforms available to create an environment where students are able to manage their own learning.
Blended learning also supports being a highly effective and learning progressive school by allowing classes to integrate online with face to face activities and giving access to the same information. Teachers are able to combine instructional methodologies to create a harmonious learning and working environment either in person or online. Having students in different learning environments further encourages teachers to individualize their approach with students.
Using a blended learning model is useful for several reasons. Students at home will inevitably have different learning experiences than students that are physically at school. These different experiences can be used to the teachers’ and students’ advantage as it allows teachers to tailor their approach to each student’s unique needs and students are able to personalize their learning.
The current pandemic is unprecedented, and the realities of living in Ethiopia means that we might not be able to come to school on any given day. Our blended learning model allows us to maintain a continuity of learning when the possibility of not being able to physically attend school is a reality for the ICS community.
Blended learning allows for classes that integrate online with face to face activities; classes that are taught both in the classroom and online, combining instructional methodologies in order to create a harmonious learning and working environment either in person or online and being flexible to meet different student needs and learning styles. The importance of blended learning is that it allows students in both learning environments to have access to the same information and learning.