5 Reasons Blended Learning Will Make You a Better Personalized Teacher

Posted by Zack Blois on Oct 23, 2013 3:29:00 PM
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Blended Learning and Personalized LearningYou've probably heard this mantra over-and-over again, whether its from your administration or EdTech pundits: combining face-to-face social interaction with effective educational technology (i.e. a blended learning model) provides teachers the first-rate ability to develop personalized learning plans for students.

In theory, the above statement is very true, but you’re probably asking, “How do I, as an everyday educator, actually achieve that without losing my sanity?” And, you’d be in the right at first glance, however I’m here to tell you there’s no need to yell “serenity now” just yet! 

Below are five real reasons offering instruction via a thought-out and optimized blended learning model can help you personalize learning for each and every student.

1) Provides real-time performance analysis

Simply put, it’s very difficult to personalize a student's curriculum before knowing how well he or she is progressing. However, it often takes time and attention to identify a student’s learning level and learning needs. 

Emerging educational technology helps teachers quickly identify areas of needed reinforcement and/or enrichment via real-time performance updates and analysis for each individual student. Because the teacher no longer has to spend hours scoring tests and possibly providing inconsistent analysis of a student's progress -- due to human error or otherwise -- the teacher can immediately assess and adjust to a student's progress.

2) Affords educators the ability to tailor individual learning paths

Every teacher would love to individualize lesson plans according to each student’s needs, but their time and resources often end up running thin. Blended learning environments allow the teacher to work in conjunction with EdTech resources to quickly and effectively develop tailored lesson plans for each student. The efficiency of the technology and the expertise of the teacher allow the lessons to be updated in real-time, based on a student's progress and achievement. 

Additionally, there are many amazing educational technology components designed to help teachers identify students who need additional help or challenges. The teacher can utilize these notifications and their own personal knowledge from one-on-one experiences with the student to assign and scaffold the needed learning. Essentially, the variability and flexibility of blended learning content and resources allow students at very different skill levels to learn side-by-side, at the same time. That’s pretty amazing stuff!

3) Makes individual student attention to truly possible

As we all know, one of the biggest hindrances to student education in the United States is class size. Blended learning environments help solve this issue in spades. Schools who have integrated blended learning models into their curriculum have already proven that a technology-friendly learning environment allows for effective personalized education, regardless of class size.

This is possible because blended learning environments provide, for the first time, the possibility of constant communication between teachers and students (i.e. no more running around to reach every student within the short class or subject period). Because educator-to-student communication can be administered both in-person and digitally, the teacher can provide each student individual attention without distracting the other students in the classroom.

4) Improved student interest equals improved student engagement

Student interest is a key component of a child's education and engagement levels, but it is tough to offer learning content that piques the interest of each and every student. Moreover, it’s fair to say that students often have difficulty seeing the value in certain aspects of their learning. This lack of interest/value can be a huge drain on a teacher’s ability and spirit.

Blended learning serves as an amazing way for educators to bridge the gap between learning value and student interest. Just like you may see one student playing Angry Birds while another reads a sports story on same exact device,EdTech resources allow educators to disseminate varied content to students in a way that they are comfortable with, thus enhancing the value for the students.

5) Students can learn 24/7, around the clock

Many educational technology resources provide students (and teachers) access via desktop web browsers and mobile apps. This open accessibility is often referred to as “web-based” or “cloud-based” content and allows students, many of whom have access to a smartphone, tablet or computer either at home or at the library, to learn at all times. 

This unprecedented ability to learn whenever and wherever does not end with the students either. Teachers can respond to instruct students via chat, email, or open discussion boards to student queries in real-time. Additionally, students can connect with one another to further enhance their learning and truly personalized the learning experience.

Share your Personalized Learning via Blended Learning experiences

These five points are obviously not comprehensive, and we'd love for you to help us tell the rest of story! What are some of the Blended Learning strategies you have used withiin the classroom? Have you found some strategies that are more effective in personalizing learning than others? 

Share your stories and concerns in the comments below or with us on Twitter -- @Wowzers.

Want more blended learning info? Check out the bonus link below!

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Topics: Blended Learning

Wowzers is a comprehensive online math program covering all Common Core State Standards for grades K-8. The research-based program adapts to each learner and allows for an individualized path through the curriculum. Content is presented in multiple ways, and appeals to tactile, auditory, and visual learners. Assessments mirror those found on high-stakes achievement tests and provide teachers and administrators with the information that they need to personalize learning for each student.

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