Technology is growing increasingly important in daily life and in the classroom. As such, blended learning is no longer a fad or a bandwagon to be hopped on but rather a teaching model that is here to stay. In fact, based on research from the Clayton Christensen Institute, it’s estimated that by as soon as 2019, 50% of high school courses will be delivered online.
“Technology is at the core of virtually every aspect of our daily lives and work, and we must leverage it to provide engaging and powerful learning experiences and content, as well as resources and assessments that measure achievement in more complete, authentic, and meaningful ways."
-National Education Technology Plan, Office of Educational Technology
While considerable amounts of research have been done on the efficacy of blended learning models and how they impact students, there is far less information available to help prepare teachers for the shift. And while the ultimate goal of blended learning is to bolster student success, it should also be viewed as an opportunity to enhance teachers’ techniques and skill sets. We’ve compiled a list of five traits of successful blended learning teachers to help get you started building your own practice:
1. Technological Prowess
In a blended learning classroom, teachers need to double as the IT department. A knowledge of help-desk basics like resetting passwords, downloading plug-ins, and general device troubleshooting saves precious class time and keeps lessons running smoothly.
2. Growth Mindset
You don’t have to go into blended learning as a tech expert. Just as you tell your students, believe that your abilities and skills are developed through hard work and dedication. Training your brain to think this way enables a mindset that is essential when implementing a new teaching model and learning new technologies. View blended learning as an opportunity to enhance your craft!
3. Communication Skills
The integration of technology in the classroom has revolutionized the way that students, educators, and parents share information. Gone are the days of sending home paper notices in students’ backpacks. Online tools facilitate fast, open communication, and effective use of these tools is a cornerstone of a successful blended learning program. Clearly outline your expectations of students, and make these expectations accessible in case students or guardians need to reference them.
4. Data Focused
Blended learning enables teachers to monitor student progress in ways that have never been possible before. At times, the sheer amount of data available can feel overwhelming. However, by leveraging analysis tools and taking the time to really understand the data available, instruction can be tailored to deliver effective personalized learning experiences for students.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: technology is just a tool. There is no replacement for well-trained teachers who offer leadership and guidance. While blended learning solutions can help provide students with flexibility and freedom, it’s important to let them know that they have a caring teacher there every step of the way to offer support.
Register today for a free online webinar on Thursday, April 21st, to learn how you can start implementing blended learning into your school or district.*
*Can't join at this date or time? No problem! Register and we will send you a complete recording after the live event.