In the spring of 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic forced schools to make a sudden switch to online learning. This left teachers and students scrambling to adapt to often unfamiliar learning technologies. This year, most schools planned to resume face-to-face learning without remote options. However, the Delta variant and a subsequent surge has shifted many districts’ plans. So too has new information about Covid and kids. Experts say that children can suffer from the effects of long Covid even if they have little or no symptoms during their initial infection. Some districts, including schools in South Carolina and Indiana, have already shifted to remote learning. Others work to prepare students for the possibility of this shift. In New Jersey, for instance, many schools distributed laptops in case of a return to virtual schooling. Blended learning, a teaching method combining both technology-based and physical learning, can help prepare students for possible shifts to remote learning. Moreover, blended learning helps students grow more comfortable with technology. It also helps them develop technological skills that will help them in college and in their future careers. Plus, blended learning lessons help to curb short attention spans. Here are a few blended learning models to try in your classroom.
If you don’t have access to a large collection of tablets or computers, then Station Rotation can help your classroom transition technologically. There are a variety of options when choosing to have different learning stations. Some students might have a discussion group while others use online learning resources. There can even be a rotation for physical learning games. Whether you have the means to host all of your students on a computer at once or not, this type of blended learning engages them in their lessons.
Dividing students into classrooms by age doesn’t guarantee equal learning capabilities. The Face-to-Face Driver technique helps students who are more advanced and those who are a bit behind. With this blended learning model, some students work from a classroom computer on individual lessons. At the same time, others continue with traditional lessons. Ultimately, this method of learning hopes to limit frustration and boredom among students learning on different levels.
Each year, more schools adopt online resources for additional learning at home. If your school has access to a system like this, then using the Flipped Classroom method is simpler. In this model, students work together as a class during traditional school hours. Then, students have online homework. It’s best to review the assignments during class the next day. If you have access to one, a smart board can help you fully explore and explain the assignment.
If you’re still feeling unsure about which blended learning model works best for your classroom, try letting the students decide. Ask them what type of technology they’re familiar with and what they like. Try out a few different options and go with what returns the best results. Giving your students a small say in their education can go a long way in motivating them.
Keep Students Safe from Online Threats
Any time that students work online, they face additional dangers. These dangers include cyberbullying, predatory grooming, and inappropriate materials. Filters may restrict access to certain age-inappropriate sites, but they’re easily bypassed. LearnSafe can catch pornography and other dangerous content that content filters may miss. Additionally, LearnSafe detects risky digital behavior both online and offline. LearnSafe alerts administrators, allowing them to intervene before harm is done. LearnSafe goes beyond filtering to detect harmful student-to-student and staff-to-student interactions. In this way, monitoring software like LearnSafe can ensure student safety and make online learning more successful.