With the rapid emergence of new innovations in technology, the attention span of both adults and children is decreasing and it is becoming increasingly challenging to fully engage both children and adults in learning.
As an educator you have the responsibility of entertaining your students from the start of each lesson when you have a captive audience ready to learn, through the distractions and energy dips of the lesson to the end of the lesson and ultimately to the end of the course without learners losing focus, energy or the motivation to learn.
How do we combat the need for entertainment and innovative learning with the achievement of learning objectives in a time and effective way?
The solution = Blended Learning.
E Learning has provided the 21st Century teacher with a creative toolbox suited to the needs of today learners.
What is blended learning?
Blended learning is the incorporation of teaching methods such as role-play and classroom teaching with e learning.
Why use Blended learning?
E-learning in itself is still innovative and exciting to the learner. As human beings we are curious and we like to explore new technology as we have done in the past with social media sites. This drive and determination to figure out how ‘it’ works is always coupled with fun and excitement. Add e-learning to the mix and you will find learners are learning sub-consciously. By creating engaging, interatcive courses the excitement created by e learning will remain.
E-learning reaches all students through courses suited to match the ability of each individual learner, it allows students to complete tasks at their own pace and provides the teacher/trainer with an additional tool for setting homework - students can complete their learning at home or they can use the e learning lessons for revision at a later date.
An extra bonus is planning the lesson once and using it multiple times either with different classes simultaneously or you can use it months later. You can even share courses you have created with collegues thus minimising lesson planning time and drawing on knowledge and insights from them. It is very easy to add updates or change the material you have created.
There is a 50% potential productivity boost from using e-learning as a teaching method.
E learning teaches self discipline, problem solving, critical thinking, new learning skills, self-motivation, it encourages creativity and for many it brings the enjoyment back into learning.
So how do I get started with blended learning?
Allocate time within a lesson for blended learning. E.g. set aside 10 minutes at the end of each lesson and use e-learning to re-cap the main lessons learnt or at the end of a topic/module use e-learning to revise and assess the students learning.
Design a quiz for the learners to complete or you could even ask the students to create quizzes for each other.
Use e-learning as homework – create a video tutorial for the class to watch followed by a quiz or you could get really creative and video your lessons and upload them to your e learning portal.
By incorporating blended learning in the classroom you can reap the advantages of both classroom teaching and e-learning.