Blended Learning: Towards a more personalized approach in a traditional school setting.
Many have been arguing for the benefits of the classroom setting in education, as social learning allows for a multi-fold approach in education, especially when it comes to language learning. But what should be done about students of different levels? And how can we address different learning styles?
Differentiation is a key issue, when it comes to teaching in a classroom. Fortunately, the advent of technology has allowed for extra room for differentiation in teaching. The blended learning approach is a method that combines traditional teaching methods with e- learning tools. In other words, the teacher or facilitator may teach in a traditional way but at the same time enrich the education process with extra activities that the students can carry out at school or at home.
There are many blended learning models that a teacher or school can implement. In specific, the variations differ according to the level and extent of the e- learning tools and the structure in which they are used. For example, a teacher may introduce different activities for students according to their level and learning needs. Or extra material can be assigned to students so as to ensure that all students have mastered the concepts that are being taught at school. There are many tools (usually refer to as WEB 2.0 tools) and many systems (LMS- Learning Management Systems) that allow for such differentiation.
To sum up, while teachers can reap the benefits of the traditional classroom teaching, they can also differentiate in the classroom with the use of many tools, so as to ensure that all students are eventually on the same page. Within the near future we shall also be looking at specific ways of how to incorporate blended learning methods into traditional teaching.