At Twickenham Primary School we have developed a Blended Learning approach into the delivery of our curriculum. Blended Learning is a mixture of learning methods that incorporate multiple teaching modals–most frequently eLearning and traditional face-to-face learning so that our children have equal access to our curriculum both in school and in the home. Blended learning is a natural development to the growing accessibility of eLearning, online resources, and the continued need for a human component in the learning experience. A blended learning approach ensures that the child is engaged and driving his or her individual learning experience. This approach also helps cater to the individual needs of the learner, most children have unique learning styles and a blended approach is more likely to cater to those needs than a traditional classroom teaching experience.
Why Is Blended Learning Important?
Blended learning is important because it breaks down the traditional walls of teaching, ones that do not work for all children and now with access to present-day technologies and resources we can tailor the learning experience for each child. Blended learning also offers flexible time frames that can be personalised to each child, offering them the ability to learn at their own pace.
Advantages of Blended Learning for Children
Increase pupil interest:
When technology is integrated into school lessons, learners are more likely to be interested in, focused on, and excited about the subjects they are studying. Subjects that might be monotonous for some – like maths and science, while also increasing information retention.
Keep pupils focused for longer:
The use of computers to look up information & data is a tremendous lifesaver, combined with access to resources such as the internet to conduct research. This engagement and interaction with the resources keeps pupils focused for longer periods then they would be with books or paper resources, this engagement also helps develop learning through exploration and research.
Provides child autonomy:
The use of eLearning materials increases a child’s ability to set appropriate learning goals and take charge of his or her own learning, which develops an ability that will be translatable across all subjects.
Instil a disposition of self-advocacy:
Children become self-driven and responsible, tracking their individual achievements, which helps develop the ability to find the resources or get the help they need, self-advocating so they can reach their goals.
Promote child ownership:
Blended learning instils a sense of ‘pupil ownership over learning’ which can be a powerful force propelling the learning, It’s this feeling of responsibility that helps the feeling of ownership.
Allow instant diagnostic information and pupil feedback:
The ability to rapidly analyse, review and give feedback to children’s work, gives the teacher the ability to tailor their teaching methods and feedback for each child.
Enables children to learn at their own pace:
Due to the flexibility of blended learning and the ability to access internet resources allows children to learn at their own pace, meaning a teacher can help speed up the learning process or give more advanced resources if necessary.
Prepares children for the future:
Blended learning offers a multitude of real-world skills that directly translate into life skills, from:
Helps to develop a ‘self-driving force’
Better decision making
Offers a larger sense of responsibility
All children no matter their age learn differently and teaching methods should reflect this, by designing teaching programs in a way that reaches visual, auditory, and kinetic learners alike. With the heavy integration of technologies, we’ll be able to improve teaching, information retention, engagement, responsibility, and enjoyment.