Blended Learning: Transforming Education

There are various blended teaching-learning models available that teachers can use for the effective learning of their students
"A practical blended approach always starts with experimentation. Thus, we should try out various digital tools and techniques to make out what works. Some definitely will turn out to be the pillars of our daily practice."
"A practical blended approach always starts with experimentation. Thus, we should try out various digital tools and techniques to make out what works. Some definitely will turn out to be the pillars of our daily practice."Mubashir Khan for Greater Kashmir

Unsurprisingly, COVID-19 has forced all educational institutions to think beyond the established classroom practices. In 2020 all educational institutions across the globe were closed for face to face transactions, and to overcome the academic loss, technology enabled the world to adopt a new approach.

Keeping in view the lack of efficiency of online education, teachers have switched to the blended mode by combining the best practices of the established classroom with digitally enhanced strategies.

It is a teaching methodology or a teaching-learning approach that combines classroom methods with computer-assisted teaching-learning generally using online tools.

This blended approach has made the teaching flexible where teachers meet the needs and aspirations of their students by drawing from an all-inclusive toolbox of traditional and digitally governed pedagogies.

The meaningful blended teaching does not denote a comprehensive technology. As teachers, we can use any small and easy technological intervention that slots flawlessly into our teaching and makes a visible difference to students. Thus, there is no need for a teacher to be a tech guru.

A practical blended approach always starts with experimentation. Thus, we should try out various digital tools and techniques to make out what works. Some definitely will turn out to be the pillars of our daily practice.

If a teacher has any doubt about what works well, he should take feedback from students and tailor novel strategies by introducing new digital tools accordingly. Preferably, the technology used in blended teaching must considerably supplement students’ learning.

To prepare students for 21st century skills, a teacher should frequently use digital tools like podcasts, online games, video tutorials etc., which will light students up more than a mass of unappealing handouts. These will help them remain connected with the digital world they live in, which always cannot be achieved on paper.

There are various blended teaching-learning models available that teachers can use for the effective learning of their students. Now, it is the right time to use multiple novel pedagogical approaches to construct and disseminate knowledge. We have a Flipped Classroom model in front of us.

The educational model in which the class work and homework have been upturned. NEP-2020 has offered students the flexibility to earn credits necessary for a particular degree or diploma. The Programmed Logic for Automatic Teaching Operations (PLATO): an online learning option that offers self-paced credits that a student can work on completing both inside of the classroom and at home. We can also use this model.

By integrating social media, students now can develop the mastery of content through various tools such as Telegram, WhatsApp, Facebook, Blogging, Edmodo Or Video Conferencing, where students get the choice to regularly share information with each other.

Moodle is another course management system that offers options to teachers in posting lectures, assignments, and videos. Face-to-face Driver can be used where a teacher drives the teaching, which is augmented with digital tools. Sometimes a teacher can also use the Flex model through which most of the content is delivered through the digital platform, and he remains available for consultation face-to-face.

To conclude, the world has witnessed swift changes in all the domains of social institutions, and education was no exception. The growth of the digital teaching-learning platforms developed and used during Covid-19 time has had a significant impact on educational output, but the traditional teaching-learning pedagogy has its unique place, which is still in demand.

As a result, teachers are in the process of combining digital learning tools with face to face classroom teaching, which is appreciable. The blended teaching-learning approach offers a variety of opportunities for both the teachers and the students that a physical classroom may not.

With the growing demands of quality education, blended teaching-learning allows students to learn the scholastic content anywhere and offers teachers the skill to engage their students in a more meaningful framework in the classroom.

The blended approach gives students diverse ways to display their understanding while engaging in different learning styles and nurturing self-determining and self-paced learning skills, which becomes a decisive ability for lifelong learning.

This approach incorporates digital tools into the student toolkits of notebooks, assignments, practical sheets, and presentations. This modernised toolkit helps students to develop the workforce skills required for a successful life.

Dr. Mohammad Sayid Bhat is Sr. Assistant Professor in Department of Education at Central University of Kashmir.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.

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