Blended learning – not just for school closures?

Michael Wilkinson, managing director of ClickView UK, explores whether, post-COVID-19, blended learning will be here to stay

After the first UK-wide closures in modern history, schools and colleges are preparing to welcome students back onto their premises. And through absolute necessity, educators, students and parents were recently forced to rapidly adapt to different modalities of teaching and learning.

Many teachers have been confronted with unfamiliar practices surrounding digital learning at this time. Suddenly, lessons were delivered through Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Google Hangouts, while various online resources for guided and independent learning were quickly deployed in an attempt to maximise learning and teaching.

Returning to a new normal for learning

The government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Education (SAGE) has suggested the most sustainable means of opening schools would incorporate a blended learning model, where students combine self-directed home study with part-time, tutor-led instruction in school.

Governments across the UK are planning to reopen in September, but many local authorities and schools and are having to consider how practical this may be, while preparing for the eventuality of regional or national changes in policy.

In addition, through the measures already put in place, many educators have seen opportunities to implement technology into their teaching and learning, much of which has been supported through The Department for Education’s EdTech Demonstrator Programme, which has now been extended until March 2021.

Governments across the UK are planning to reopen in September, but many local authorities and schools and are having to consider how practical this may be

How can blended learning play a bigger role in the future of education?

While the forced shift to remote learning created many challenges, opportunities have also emerged. As a nation, we can choose to embrace blended learning as we move forward into the new future of education.

How can we as educators and schools build an intentional approach that works now and is also sustainable for the long-term? For blended learning to be truly successful, it should consider the following:

Systems need to be in place
Effective communication tools are paramount; for instance, a working knowledge of Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Google Hangouts or another alternative. Time needs to be invested in staff and student training to maximise the use of these tools for successful learning experiences.

Explore flipped learning
Using this pedagogical approach, students are introduced to learning material before class with classroom time used to deepen understanding. With student-driven education at its core, flipped learning could also make students more adept at self-directed learning. In the medium-term, it may boost student engagement with home learning.

Easy access to high-quality educational resources is vital
High-quality video content can be used with students of all ages to ignite creativity, encourage independent learning, facilitate thinking and problem-solving, and assist with mastery. To maximise student use of educational videos, it’s important to provide tools, such as guiding questions, to help them process information and to monitor their own understanding.

Blended learning will allow educators and students to further use the educational resources and technology they are developing familiarity with to enhance their teaching and learning.

“ClickView provides us with high-quality video curriculum content with built-in interactive quizzes, saving our teachers planning time, enhances lesson delivery and engages our learners,” comments Jonathan Bishop, Headteacher, CEO of Cornerstone MAT (DfE Demonstrator and MS Showcase School).

About ClickView

ClickView is the leading educational video content resource for schools and colleges. Blended and flipped learning strategies play an integral role in improving practice across our 4,000 partner schools and colleges.

You might also like: Where are the blended learning champions?



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