Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Why Blended Learning is important for schools?

Each class is unique in its composition and learning needs. By composition, I mean the demography, student’s family educational and economic background. All these factors impact their learning capabilities. Technology has become part of schools be it in the form of Smart Classes or to the least in the form of WhatsApp groups for sharing homework and notes. It needs to be extended beyond the walls of schools as learning does not stop after school hours. There is a need for blended learning, there is a requirement of Online Learning Platform for schools. Times like Covid-19 make it more obvious but even after it, schools must have their Online Learning enabled.

One of the most important and critical reason to emphasise on Online method is varied pace of learning of students. Time spent in classroom lecture is not enough for students, not all students are able to grasp the concepts taught in the classroom. It is quite evident by the no. of home tutors, tuition centres and flourishing eLearning platforms like Byju’s etc.

Can a learning platform become a turning point in study habits and learning processes? Perhaps. What is clear is that the traditional meaning words like “study” and “homework” have changed.
Following can be clearly marked as benefits of having an Online Learning Platform:

  1. Better organisation of Study Material – Learning platforms give every teacher the opportunity to place a wide variety of learning resources at their students’ disposal. Notes prepared by teachers or reference material can be organised at one place. Students can add their own notes making it available from anywhere. Students can share their notes with their classmates making it a collaborative learning. Online learning is a greener option, it saves on paper and photocopying.Although creating these extra materials may take time for most teachers, once they are on the learning platform, the materials can be re-used in different courses and with different students. They can also be shared with colleagues in the school.
  2. Opportunities for Independent and personal Learning - The use of learning platforms leads to a greater variety of learning resources, and so can both motivate and support independent learners. Instead of going for tuitions or using learning apps, students can learn from the material provided, which is in sync with his school and use other tools provided on the platform to clear doubts. Studies have shown that this kind of learning leads to better grasping of concepts and improved learning outcomes.
  3. Increased Collaboration and Interaction – Learning platforms offer simple ways to teachers and students to collaborate and interact. Peer-to-peer learning, students can learn from their classmates, they can help each other in clearing doubts or understanding the concepts. Teachers can also help students in their studies after school hours. Positive outcome is that all these interactions are stored digitally and can help future generations. These interactions can also be analysed to understand how to improve the teaching methodologies.
  4.  Self-evaluation tools - Moving on, learning platforms have multiple variables for checking the success of learning. In this sense, a learning platform provides the student with self-evaluation tools, (tests, interactive material, contextualised situations, etc.). Through the self-evaluation, the student becomes aware of their progress, their level of learning and their areas for improvement. Furthermore, the professor may detect these areas to strengthen, develop exercises and specific content and improve the level of learning.
  5. Supporting additional educational needs and inclusion - Schools and teachers have to cater for students who, for one reason or another, have a greater difficulty in learning than the majority of their peers. Learning platforms can help by enabling the teacher to tailor the learning experience to suit the individual. For example, teachers can create groups. Teachers can then assign different materials to different groups or individuals, ensuring that students are working at the appropriate level.
  6. Building the school Community - By encouraging students to create and share their own resources, and giving them a space to voice their opinions, learning platforms help increase a sense of community. For example, discussion forums can be used for encouraging deeper opinionated discourse in a safe, school-monitored environment.

It may be an extra effort initially, but once setup and used regularly, an Online Learning Platform can help schools in saving time and money of their students as well as improving the learning outcomes and results.

1 comment:

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