The current pandemic has pushed the education sector further into a digital world. The rapid growth of the e-learning market has shown that e-learning platforms have become a crucial part of people’s lives and the future of education.
What is blended learning?
The term ‘blended learning’ is used to describe a teaching style that combines technology and online resources with traditional face-to-face teacher to student learning.
A teacher leads the lesson and uses technology to make learning more engaging and effective for children.
Why blended learning is so important right now
Covid-19 has accelerated the transition to digital education, making it essential that we embrace e-platforms and adapt accordingly to keep up with the times.
E-learning made it possible for education to continue during the peak of the coronavirus, making it more important than ever that we embrace technology and use it to help us adjust to a post-COVID world.
Teachers have had to adapt their teaching style for e-learning platforms by choosing educational activities that can be viewed on a range of formats such as mobile phones, tablets or laptops. Children are more likely to have a smartphone than a laptop, so mobile-friendly content is key to ensure it is accessible for everyone. Teachers have also had to find ways to keep children engaged in their learning while using e-platforms.
The advantages and disadvantages of e-learning platforms
Blended learning and e-learning have some pros and cons that need to be taken into consideration.
Flexibility for students and teachers
A blended learning approach allows children to access reliable resources at home to enhance their learning.
Teachers can benefit from the flexibility of spending time with the children that need more help, while the other pupils continue to learn via e platforms.
Promotes independent learning
E-learning promotes independent learning which is important to develop creativity and intellectual curiosity. Children can use e platforms to work out the answers for themselves in an engaging way rather than be told how to work the answer out.
Provides a personalised learning experience
Traditional methods of teaching do not work for all students. Blended learning provides a personalised teaching style which allows children to learn at their own pace.
Increases student interest
Images, audio and video add variety and impact to lessons, enriching the learning experience for students. Children who enjoy learning stay focused for longer and have more academic success.
IT literacy/technology knowledge required
Children need to have a basic knowledge and understanding of technology to use e-learning platforms. Learning a new system can be frustrating and could negatively impact the learning experience for some people.
Online feedback is limited
Traditional teaching allows teachers to give instant personalised feedback to help improve learning. On the other hand, online feedback is limited, and children can get disheartened by the lack of personalised feedback that e-platforms provide.
Technology requires management and training
Technology needs to be set up, maintained and supported so teachers and students can use it. The internet and e-platforms have been added to teachers’ training lists to ensure they are able to use it correctly. Training is time-consuming and can be expensive as it requires regular updates.
Technology is unpredictable
Sometimes technology goes wrong, which can be a disaster if a teacher has their entire lesson planned on a particular e-platform. Back up plans are needed to ensure children can still carry on with their lesson if the technology fails.
The future of e-learning
E-learning platforms and blended learning will make it easier for the education sector to adapt to unprecedented circumstances such as the coronavirus pandemic and ensure children can continue to learn.
What are your views on blended learning? What benefits of using e platforms have you experienced with your children? Let us know in the comments below.