Create a School Environment that Embraces Blended Learning
The integration of technology in our day to day lives can be found in almost all sectors of society. Education is no different. Technology has the ability to help educators disrupt learning in ways that were almost unheard of in the past. This was evident when online learning appeared on the scene and created a new pathway to learning. And as the technology continued to evolve so did the delivery models for learning. Instead of students doing all their learning online at a distance or in a traditional classroom, teachers began creating blended learning opportunities in their classrooms.
Blended learning combines online learning and teacher facilitated brick and mortar environments to create an education program that allows students to have some element of control over the time, place and path of their learning. This environment allows teachers to provide more personalized instruction for the individual student and empower students with more control over their own learning. Technology has enabled this transformation in education but teachers are the experts in implementing how it happens.
With such a shift in the instructional model, it makes sense that teachers would need professional learning support to redesign their classroom experience. In order to transition to blended learning, administrators need to understand what types of professional development (PD) are needed to support teachers in their efforts. Just as we want to see personalization of learning happen for students, we must also provide personalized professional development for teachers.
As a school or district moves toward blended learning instruction, it is imperative to have data to create personalized PD for teachers. The Blended Practice Profile is a diagnostic tool that establishes baseline blended instruction data for implementing professional development. This diagnostic tool is aligned to national standards and assesses six blended learning domains to easily identify gaps in knowledge.
Effective implementation of blended learning is vital to the success of blended initiatives. Empowering administrators with reliable data about their teachers’ knowledge of blended learning and pedagogy enables them to plan professional development that is meaningful and relevant. It is important to differentiate between integrating technology and true blended pedagogy. Measuring teacher strengths in these areas gives administrators the ability to maximize professional development funds and focus on teachers’ individual needs.
Blended learning has the ability to personalize education for students in new and exciting ways. It is important that teachers feel confident in implementing blended learning in their classrooms to ensure its success. Providing teachers with the best possible professional development is key to making that happen and it all starts with understanding their unique Blended Profile.
Learn more about how Thrivist is helping schools foster blended learning environments.