How to use blended learning in your classroom

You’ve probably heard the term “blended learning” or “hybrid learning” before. Blended learning is a flexible and easy way to incorporate technology into any classroom without adding too much to your already-packed curriculum.

Technically speaking, blended learning combines online learning with traditional instruction to guide students along a set learning path. The goal is to create a more engaging, effective, and customizable experience for each student. If you haven’t already, read more about what blended learning is and why you should use it. 

If you’d like to learn more about how to implement blended learning in your classroom, read on!

Blended learning models

There are four main models of blended learning. Each has a different balance of online and classroom components.

1. The flipped classroom

The flipped classroom reverses the usual pattern of learning in class and practicing at home. In a flipped classroom, students learn the content outside of class by watching pre-recorded lectures or completing online readings or other coursework. Teachers are then free to use class time for more engaging activities and projects rather than delivering lectures.   

Source: Faculty Innovation Center, University of Texas at Austin

2. Station rotation

Station rotation takes place entirely in a traditional classroom, and is a good introductory model for teachers new to blended learning. Students move through a series of stations each with a different objective, and one of those stations is an online learning activity. This way, the teacher need only provide enough technology for a fraction of the class.

3. Flex model

Flex model puts most content in an online learning platform, allowing students to control their pace and timing completely. Teachers provide instruction as necessary to support individual students as they work through the content. This model gives students a high degree of freedom in their education while still operating within a traditional school schedule.

4. A la carte

A la carte allows students to take courses that schools are unable to offer in an online format. The course is entirely online, often with mentors available to assist with understanding as needed. Schools can even give students specific periods in their schedule in order to complete the online coursework.

How can I implement blended learning?

Finding online learning platforms that provide high quality and relevant content can be time-consuming, if not downright overwhelming.

Once found, incorporating the tools into classes as well as managing online assignments is a logistical challenge. But it doesn’t have to be difficult!

Here are some online platforms that will help make your foray into blended learning seamless and simple.

  • Khan Academy provides thousands of informative videos, tutorials, and exercises available for every subject, free of charge. Students can map their progress and work towards mastery goals, earning points along the way.
  • TEDed partners educators and experts with exceptional animators to create entertaining and informative videos on every academic subject. The lessons are available for free, and if you can’t find a video that fits your blended learning needs, you can work with an animator to create your own.
  • Crash Course is a series of animated videos narrated by John Green and Hank Green geared toward high school and college classes on a variety of subjects. The videos are fast-paced and detailed, while still being entertaining.
  • Labster creates high-quality virtual labs for high school and college-level science courses. Students learn foundational biology concepts in an engaging format and by performing virtual experiments and answering comprehension questions along the way. Learn more about using Labster in your classroom or start your free trial today.
  • Google Classroom is not a blended learning tool, but it can certainly help you keep track of online assignments. You can post updates as well as deadlines, and students can submit online work, as long as it can be transferred to google drive or saved as a local file on their computer.

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