There are no shortages of initiatives in education. Blended Learning is an interesting initiative; this teaching strategy is only possible because of the amazing technology available. The intersection between the current availability of technology in schools and new ways of instructing students and managing content via technology are powerful.
With anything, new it can be daunting to imagine working on learning a new paradigm, a new way of being in the classroom, new instructional strategies.
So, can Blended Learning wait?
It can wait. There are many classrooms currently acting as if the Internet is no factor in their classroom teaching and learning. There are classrooms where some Internet tools are used, but in isolation, more instructional technology strategies than a blended learning approach. While it is sad, it seems it is still acceptable.
Of course, there are always a handful of things more urgent than a new instructional approach.
Ethically, if a teacher can make instruction more widely available why wouldn’t s/he?
How can we expect kids, who continually learn outside of school from (1) YouTube and (2) Google to power down for school? Blended Learning can give them a digit destination to go outside of your classroom. Your objections to that are increasingly uninformed as time passes.
This instructional approach can shift time in your class to more meaningful activities and create new opportunities for students to interact with your content outside of class time. Interaction spread over time, distributed because it is always available, means higher retention and deeper thinking.
If you are wondering if you could start small and work up to a more robust blended learning environment, this is the time. Pick one thing and make it available online for tomorrow’s lesson, study session, lecture. Collaborate with others on your team, grade level, department to see if a division of labor approach might make more sense to jumpstart the content you can make available online. Mitigate the risk of going Lone Wolf by bringing in other teachers to try the approach with you.
If you are interested in trying it, you should. The last thing you want to wait for is your boss to decide everyone is doing this ‘new’ thing called Blended Learning, and here is an expert to tell you exactly. how. to. do. it.
You Don’t Have to Wait.
All of the above points do not dictate what you do in your classroom, however.
You can offer your students what you believe to be the best learning environment possible while learning about this new instructional model yourself.
I hope you try Blended Learning and share your results with a colleague; I’d love to connect with you over Blended Learning!