This article was written by guest blogger Dr. Robert Dillon, a School Experience Designer. Learn more about Dr. Robert Dillon here.
We have always had blended learning. It just wasn’t this blend. Over the last few months, students are experiencing learning in new ways. This makes our work difficult, but not impossible if we consider these four ways to promote learning experiences.
Think about active verbs
Learning at home and in virtual spaces can often be associated with sitting at a table or hiding somewhere in the house where it is quiet. Look to break this mental model by focusing on active verbs. In your planning process, think about ways that students can interact with your curriculum through discovery, exploration, and taking time to notice.
Use synchronous time to listen, discuss, and anticipate issues
Synchronous learning time is precious. We can’t use this time to dispense a lecture on new material. Instead use this time to connect with students and make sure their social emotional needs are met, anticipate questions, and hold space for conversation. All learners crave conversations.
Allow more voices to fill the learning space
There are many great teachers that can support your students. Let them be in the blend of voices your students hear. Use the community resources you have available in the area of virtual field trips and curated art museum tours. If your voice is doing all the teaching, students aren’t getting to hear from individuals that look and sound like them as well.
Focus on relevance
Now more than ever, this blend of learning has to be deeply relevant for students. Your passion and energy that draws students to the table when you are physically together can’t be matched in models when asynchronous learning is present, so it is necessary to connect the content to the why of the learning.
Though we may not have control over all levers of how we blend learning, it is also important that we help families with crafting their space and time for learning as well. For more about best practices on home learning spaces, check out 5 Ways to Make Working From Home Manageable.