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Blended learning takes both face-to-face learning and online instruction and combines it together. Through the help of technology teachers and instructors are able to organize the appropriate course content, communication, and other workflows that take place throughout the typical day in the life of professors and teaching staff members. Looking at this approach from a couple steps away this method has become a blueprint for harboring success stories, left and right, to continue providing educational experiences for students everywhere. Thanks to COVID-19 “the new normal” has consisted of staying inside, learning from behind their computer screens, and avoiding in-person teaching sessions to minimize contact. With several students being vaccinated individuals, many Universities have found it safe to reintroduce hybrid methods to get students in physical seats, while also offering the option of online class for those who feel more comfortable in that spectrum. With the help of advanced technology options, workflows and communication have never been easier to get this accomplished.
Reimagining Learning Methods
In lieu of speaking face-to-face with students, reading/reporting from a PowerPoint slide, many instructors have substituted this level of teaching with video. Instructors are recording their lectures and uploading them to their students’ learning management system to be viewed instead of reading pages upon pages of assignments. Research from Pearson tells us that 60% of learners between the ages of 14 and 23 prefer videos as a tool for learning over textbooks, with YouTube being their favored platform of learning. Generation Z, which is the current age of college students these days, is a generation that is pretty attached to their mobile devices through apps such as Instagram and TikTok that are actively producing quick video content that is alluring and informative at the same time.
Video-based learning brings a high-level of consistency, quality, and accessibility to classrooms who are introducing remote and blended-learning structures. Video-based learning is not only interesting, but it’s interactive with students, where these creative videos can be integrated into quizzes, check-points, and even discussion questions that are assigned.
Constructing Connected Systems
Learning Management Systems such as Canvas, Blackboard Learn, and many others are another valuable tool utilized within remote, hybrid, and blending learning models. The most common components of a Learning Management System includes the following resources: rosters for contacting fellow peers and tracking attendance; document management tools for uploading and managing course materials; calendars for posting and sharing schedules, deadlines, assignments, questions, and tests; interactive features that encourage engagement and interaction, such as email, instant messaging/chatbots, discussion forums, and video conferencing options; and grading features to measure and calculate student performance over the course of the semester.
The State of the Digital Transformation
EdTech refers to an industry that is used to improve the staples of classroom education, encompassing the usage of interactive whiteboards, smart tablets and devices, and fully online/hybrid learning management systems. From Zoom, GoogleMeet, and Microsoft Teams, teachers are able to conduct fully-structured examinations and lessons online for a more seamless experience for all. There are many advantages to these advanced educational patterns, including a more meaningful way to monitor student success. Parents and guardians are able to better observe students’ performance as well, so they can keep a closer eye on things.
The usage of technology in educational environments can impact the way institutions access the way students are learning on a daily basis. Though we don’t know what the future will bring about, it’s fair to say that the future of educational environments will continue to thrive as times go forward, whether that be in the format of hybrid learning methods, or more advanced virtual realities, there is an open door for the potential to come.