Blended learning is a mode of learning wherein multiple strategies, methods, techniques and channels are used in the teaching-learning process. Whatever the most appropriate mode of learning is suited for the educators and the students, as well as every stakeholder involved, it is utilized to maximize learning.
Nowadays, both offline and online learning options are presented in this mode of learning, making the teaching-learning process easier. It is an inclusive approach that allows all types of students to have access to education.
Threats to Blended Learning
Blended learning is being recommended and implemented now more than ever. Though the concept of this mode of learning has already been developed in the 1960s, its current form has not been widely known until the 1990s. And with the prevalent effect of the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s no surprise that more and more educational institutions are recommending and implementing this mode of learning.
This, however, is not as easy as it sounds. Though there are multiple ways on how to conduct lessons, there are still hindrances in the teaching-learning process. This is particularly true in areas or communities wherein blended learning is not quite feasible due to various threats.
Lack of Resources
One of the biggest threats to blended learning is lack of resources and funds. Educational institutions, particularly public schools, will not be able to sustain the resources needed for blended learning. This is exacerbated by the circumstances and complications brought by the pandemic.
Deficiencies in Technology
Technology is quite needed in blended learning these days as this allows easy, convenient and quick access to learning. However, not all communities, not to mention families, can afford to have the kind and level of technology that is required for online learning. Of course there are offline options such as printed modules and limited face-to-face learning options: but due to the hazards of Covid-19 pandemic, most families opt for online classes. This creates the so-called inequality in education.
Though inequality brought by differences in economic status has always been present, the current situation of the world today put a huge gap between those who can truly afford education and those who are scraping by. Since not everyone can afford to have the same opportunities and means to get quality education in these trying times, those who are not affluent enough would likely be left behind.
The effect of inadequacy in technology will create a ripple effect on the future of not only the learners but also in the entire community. Since there will be deficiency in the accumulated learning and skills of the student body, which is mostly composed of the working class, various sectors will suffer in the near future. This will create for more difficult times and will ultimately lead to poorer quality of service to the people and education, particularly to the poor.
What to Do?
Blended learning might not sound feasible due to the impediments it will be facing. But, with the help of every stakeholder involved in the education of the youth (students, educators, administrators, parents, the community – everyone), these challenges can be resolved.
Get Physically and Emotionally Ready
Getting ready for the new school year does not only comprise of purchasing new supplies and gadgets for the students. Parents and guardians, who will become the new educators of the students, should get ready as well.
Getting into the mindset of teachers will be a big help. Thinking that student learning should be considered to be of utmost importance is significant. It will create a resolve that parents and guardians need to take the learning of their kids seriously.
Getting physically and mentally prepared to teach kids of any age will help a lot. This will prepare the mind and body to deal with the stresses of blended learning. Adding blended learning in the already cramped schedules of parents and guardians can be overwhelming. But, with thorough planning and positive attitude towards the ordeal can make things easier for everyone involved. This also applies to the students themselves. Learners can learn best in non-threatening environment. Hence, it is the duty of the parents and guardians to create the kind of environment where students can study without stresses. One way to do this is for the person in charge of the teaching to be calm and collected throughout the study sessions.
Prioritize and Budget
Prioritizing education now may seem pointless because of the pandemic. But, it is one way of putting aside the stresses caused by the current crises and focusing your energy on productive activities that will also help with the future of the students in your household.
Prioritize the budget for education instead of miscellaneous expenses that will not be currently usable. Budget for new wardrobes, extensive vacations and other stuff or activities that are not recommended these days might as well go to the education funds. This will allow your family to afford gadgets, supplies and consumables that can be used in blended learning.
Get the House Ready
Getting the house ready for blended learning will take away a lot of undue stress that you might encounter once school starts. Setting up a specific place for studies will greatly help in keeping everything organized.
It would help to set up a spare room or even a spare corner of your house for studies alone. This will not only allow school supplies to be stored in a single area but will also help in conditioning the mind for studying. Being in a designated area for studying will shift the mind’s attention from playing or lazing around to learning mode. It is similar to being in school or a classroom wherein students know that being in school is a time for learning.
Of course, decorate the area in a way that it can still be enjoyable to everyone. Adding things that the learners will enjoy will encourage learning. Just avoid things that can be distracting such as non-educational toys.
Have a Schedule
Having a schedule for blended learning, if the teacher does not provide one, will make blended learning easier. Since there will be a set schedule to tackle the lessons, students won’t have to cram at the last minute to finish and submit their schoolwork.
This will also allow the mind to transition from playtime and family time to study time. Since there is a time dedicated to studying, the mind will be more focused on the task at hand rather than thinking about other things to do.
Setting a routine will greatly help with smaller children since this will not only allow them to focus but will also give them security. Smaller kids tend to follow schedules since they will have a heads up on what will happen next. They won’t feel anxious trying to think about what they should do next since there is an established routine.
This will also help with establishing discipline in both younger and older kids. Additionally, establishing a schedule will also create more responsible students who accomplish tasks on a set timetable.
Anyone who will be in charge of supervising the students in blended learning should also study ahead. Even though teachers will likely hold online classes, elderly in the house should learn how to take care and guide students at home. This will allow the transition of classroom learning to blended learning to become smoother.
Since both the guardians and the students are ready for learning, the stress level brought by studying will be lessened. This will also allow guardians to provide proper and beneficial assistance to students. Since they are familiar with the lessons the students are tackling, guardians can give better advice, help and guidance to the learners.
Preparing for blended learning is not easy, especially for working parents and guardians. But, by doing groundwork little by little, the transition and the task itself won’t feel so bad. Just take your time and do things one step at a time. This will keep you from feeling overwhelmed and discouraged due to the commotion the global crisis is causing everyone. It can be overwhelming at times but as long as you are doing something, even little by little, everything shall come to pass.
Learn how create a homeschool schedule for blended learning.
Like our FB Page for daily updates!