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Children’s Education Is Going Blended. What Does That Mean?

Team StoryWeavers|June 21, 2022, 17:56 IST|

blended learning

“I am finding it increasingly difficult to understand if Raghav is studying online or browsing the web for fun,” Reema said exasperatedly. Raghav recently started using a blended learning approach to enhance his learning. Reema was finding it tough to understand how this partly online – partly offline model of learning was working for Raghav. Like any parent, Reema wanted to ensure that her child is learning, eager to provide any help required along the way. Like Reema, you could also be wondering about how this blend of online and instructor-led learning is working out for your child. 

A study conducted by Harvard Graduate School of Education graduate students in 2018 suggested that even when most parents have a neutral or positive perception of blended learning, their understanding of blended learning is limited.  

So here’s a beginner’s guide to understanding blended learning. Let’s get started. 

In this article, we will cover: 

What Is Blended Learning?

Blended learning also known as hybrid learning is a mix of two approaches – online learning and teacher-led classroom.  It is not as simple as adding more computers to the library. It is a formal education program not to be confused with children watching random educational videos on the internet. 

The blended learning model gives children some control over the time, place, path, and pace of learning. 

  • Learning can now happen whenever and wherever the child wants. 
  • Learning can happen in different ways and children need not restrict themselves to the teacher’s approach. 
  • Learning can happen at the child’s pace and the child need not be rushed to master a topic. 

Why Is Blended Learning The Future?

The recent COVID-19 pandemic has pushed everyone to look for alternative education systems. Everyone is currently in search of a model that offers flexibility and control over learning. That’s precisely what blended learning or hybrid learning offers to children. The blended learning model provides the best of both worlds and is likely to survive the test of time. 

Here are three key reasons why blended learning is the future of education:

  • Increased Instruction Time – Children can now spend more time learning as video calls do not require them to travel. They can reach out to teachers and other members of their learning group for support if they struggle to grasp any concept.
  • Access to global resources – Children can access study materials from all over the world. They can go through the materials again as and when needed.  They stay engaged longer with a variety of course materials. Overall, it offers a richer and more interactive learning experience to the students.
  • Quick feedback – Children can give tests online and receive feedback almost instantly. Children can now track how they are doing in class. It allows them to understand their own strengths and areas of improvement. It helps teachers to understand how to support a child better to maximise their learning. 

Three Things Parents Need To Know About Blended Learning

Pay attention to the credibility of the online reference material

When your child is doing a blended or hybrid learning assignment, pay close attention to the resources referred by the child. The child may not always be able to differentiate between a trusted and non-trusted resource. You can teach them how to look for credible learning resources or suggest trusted learning resources such as Disney.BYJU’S Early Learn. Encourage them to save the links of all the references. It will allow you to periodically review the resources used and redirect them to better resources accordingly. Also, teach them about online safety and keep the child-safety features on. It will make blended learning both fun and safer for your children. 

Enforce structure to make the most of blended learning

Since the line between school and home is blurring, children may think that they can study or play whenever they want. This can be quite damaging in the long run. Help your child establish a schedule for learning online. Provide opportunities for offline reading as well. Encourage them to take responsibility for their learning. Tell them about harmful study habits such as procrastination. Have open conversations about how they would like to go about this. Reward consistency to imbibe these habits. 

Periodically review your child’s progress

Reviewing progress and making adjustments accordingly is a part of every learning program. Stay connected with the schools to understand the progress of your child. Understanding how they are doing in different subjects, their strengths, and areas of improvement will help you make informed choices and foster a ‘never stop learning’ attitude in them. 

The core of blended or hybrid learning is enhanced learning outcomes and better education for children. Parents’ role in their child’s education will always be important. Getting a better understanding of blended learning will enable you to guide your child towards a future where the online and offline worlds start to merge.

About the Author

“Me-kha-la!” That happens at least once when she introduces herself to new people. She wholeheartedly believes in the quote by Arthur Rubinstein that says – “if you love life, life will love you back”. She is an organizational psychologist and psychometrician. She was a class teacher of 36 adorable girls for two years, grades 2 & 3, as a part of the Teach For India Fellowship. These little girls have a special place in her heart, and when she writes for children, she writes for them!

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