Hybrid Learning image

Teaching – Learning from anywhere to anyone (Hybrid Learning).

It’s no surprise that 2020 has shifted school operations on a global scale. As we prepare for a very unique back-to-school season, let’s explore how the new instructional scenarios can really help the teachers and learners in 2021.

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While educators are using various terms – blended, hybrid, remote – often interchangeably, to describe the new classroom environment, many teachers, parents, and students are unsure what to expect in the new normal of 2021. 

Different scenarios are discussed currently, to be put in use when the learners return to their classrooms in 2021. 

Scenario – 1

Teachers teach from classrooms while students learn remotely, a synchronous online classroom model

Scenario – 2

Teachers and students both remote and rely on the internet to conduct their classes. This can accommodate both Synchronous and Asynchronous teaching styles

Scenario – 3

Learners and Teachers will be in the classroom together with Social distancing measures in place.

Whatever the scenario, the move to these varied instructional scenarios is testing the significance of education technology as a true teaching tool.Schools are finding that they rely on educational technology that provides a maximum amount of flexibility and integration. These attributes allow schools to pivot should the need arise, especially if COVID-19 cases continue to increase.

Saving teachers time and reducing stress should be our Top priority, especially now that teachers are working overtime.

This year is an opportunity for schools to assess and reassess which tech tools create efficiencies and which one’s don’t. Many schools are already in their third term, so it’s actually less about reopening and more about sustainable continuity of learning and comprehension.We encourage & recommend Schools authorities and Education authorities to adopt future ready solutions designed to meet the needs of the 21st century educator. No more beating around the bush. Teachers definitely deserve better.

We highly recommend the Hybrid Teaching Learning model, which lets the teacher teach the students both in-person and remote (Online) simultaneously. While in-person teaching will remain an essential part of education for the foreseeable future, we now see the need to open up multiple channels to respond to not just extreme conditions like a global disaster but the day-to-day interruptions of effective education. Hybrid teaching not only makes learning more accessible to the differently-abled, but it also allows educators to reach remote areas, helps students stay connected during long absences, and familiarizes both educators and learners with the latest communication technologies.This way, the teacher doesn’t have to repeat the same class and can get more focussed on learner engagement. This model allows the teacher to integrate both Synchronous and Asynchronous teaching methodology.

To build a successful & effective Hybrid Learning environment, Our Ed Tech consultants offer Free Consultation on the technologies that are to be used to ensure that there is less stress on the teachers to adapt to the technology and help teachers to enhance the learning outcomes at both ends (In-Person & Remote)

How to motivate learners to stay engaged in online classrooms

8 Steps to Create a Positive and Healthy Virtual Classroom

Setting up a virtual classroom is no easy task. We’ve seen over the last several months the educational world turn on a dime, transitioning from a brick and mortar experience to a virtual learning environment. Teachers have risen to the challenge and explored new ways to reach and teach students. We applaud your efforts going live for the first time and Zooming with 35 to 40 learners on your screen.  

Now that you’ve had a sizable experience of online classrooms,under your belt and seen your students in pajamas or perhaps a family pet walk across the screen, it’s time to recognize that while it’s likely becoming new normal, virtual learning is a huge adjustment for your students.

Getting comfortable with virtual learning may take a bit longer to master for the students you teach.

The following are a few steps to consider implementing in your virtual classroom:

1. Schedule One-on-One Chats

Setting aside time to talk with your students is the first step in creating a positive and healthy environment. Scheduling regular and dedicated time with each student will help replace the personal attention and accolades they used to get and crave.

Some simple questions to start with are:

  • How are they doing?
  • What does their learning environment look like now?
  • What can they do to make learning easier at home rather than making it hard?
  • Are they setting a regular routine for school activities?

By creating chat times with students, you will have the opportunity to listen to them in order to design instruction around their current abilities.

2. Create a Sense of Belonging

Your students are used to seeing each other every day, spending time on the playground or at lunch. Social connections are essential to child development. The sudden shift to school at home could be shocking and can lead to feelings of isolation. Even during online check-ins or virtual class time, they can feel as though they don’t belong to their natural peer group.

Create a sense of belonging by inviting your students to share with each other during virtual class time. Create online virtual study groups and continue group projects of course, with some minor adjustments. Encourage your students to stay connected outside of class through FaceTime or Skype.

3. Discuss Rules and Standards of Engagement

Similar to the first few days of school, establish rules for your virtual classroom. The difference in this new normal is that students have more distractions and perhaps less guidance to redirect their attention. Create a set schedule for your virtual classroom, so expectations are upfront and known. You will also want to set standards for engagement—everyone needs to participate somehow.

Seek input from your students via verbal responses, thumbs-up or for older students, polling, using the chat box, or control of the virtual whiteboard available in some video conferencing platforms.

4. Routine, Routine, Routine.

During your one-on-one discussions, you will be able to discern whether a regular wake up and bed-time routines are being practiced. Encourage your students that it’s time to get back into the swing of things.

All-day pajamas time or sleeping the morning away isn’t the best way to end the year strong. Suggest they get up and get dressed just like when school is in session.

5. Creating a Study Space

Not every child will have the perfect study space at home. But there are a few things you can suggest helping them find a study space that works for them and serve as their own study space:

  • Ask them to find a corner in a room where they can set up a small card table and chair. Close enough to be around a family member for assistance if needed. Or find a private space in a bedroom, for students who need more private space to focus. 
  • Make the space their own. Encourage them to decorate their space with artwork or pictures. 
  • Distractions. Just like at school, all other devices need to be turned off and put away. That includes video games and TVs in the background.

6. Break Time

Most kids are not used to being indoors all day long. Consider incorporating a few online exercises during your virtual class time. Incorporate intermittently breaking away from online devices by sending the students on a seek and find activity in the house that corresponds with your lesson.  

The idea is to keep moving around throughout the day to keep minds active and refreshed. It’s not healthy to stay stuck in front of a computer all day.

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7. Virtual Office Hours or Check-in Time

Staying connected with students and families is more crucial right now than ever.  Setting aside time for virtual drop-in hours or check-in times is helpful for both your students and families.  Consider creating a Twitter account, YouTube channel for instructional videos, or even a blog to post daily information and materials.

No matter what you set up now can still be used after the school doors open again.

8. Empower Change and Flexibility

You are both adjusting to change. While you are gathering feedback from the students and families, make it known to your students that you are open and flexible to their ideas. Perhaps creating an online suggestion box.

Or incorporate a question of the week,

  1. “What are you enjoying about virtual learning?” or
  2. “What do you find difficult in our new virtual classroom?”

Inviting students to participate is a good way to empower students to contribute to how they are learning. 

This process is and has not been perfect. We are learning as we go. But what we can do now is offer grace, compassion, and the means to create a positive learning environment for students.

For more ideas on best practices on Distance Teaching, Connect with our Education Consultants by clicking here I would like to speak with your Consultant