In this digital age, there is a strong move towards online and blended learning in the way modern-day, progressive schools teach and learn. Dear School Owner, where is your school in this shift to digital?
Technology has become part of our way of life. Its impact is clearly seen in transportation, health, agriculture, economy, and even human interactions. Though its introduction to the Nigerian educational system has been slow, we have started to see its impact.
Traditional classroom learning has its advantages; it has produced many great minds. But with students having different learning styles and abilities, having a ‘one size fits all’ method of learning is not sufficient.
As good as the traditional learning approach has been, it has left behind some students.
Education has gradually been moving away from the traditional “paper and pencil” method and becoming more and more digitalized. Learning with technology makes your students learn at their own pace, place, time and path; offering flexibility for both the teacher and the students.
Online and blended learning are among the technological-revolutionized methods of 21st-century learning.
Understanding Online and blended learning
What is online and blended learning? And how can they enhance the quality of teaching and learning in your school?
Online learning is when students learn, primarily through the internet. Educational or course content is provided and delivered online. To broaden the definition, it means the instructor or teacher communicates with the students without having any physical contact with the students.
The learning can be delivered in real-time, or the information can be preloaded. The students can access the lessons or lectures from anywhere in the world via an internet-enabled device.
Like in a physical classroom, online learning can also be interactive with questions and answers been exchanged between the teacher and the students.
Blended learning, on the other hand, is an approach to education that combines traditional face-to-face classroom teaching methods with online educational content and online interaction opportunities.
Integrating blended learning into your school educational approach means both the teachers and students will be physically present in the classroom.
Subjects/courses and assessment materials can be accessed online by your students at any time of the day.
The main differences between Online and blended learning
Though they are intertwined, there’s a vast difference between online learning and blended learning. Knowing the difference, advantages, and disadvantages of the two will help you in evaluating the best options for your school.
- Location of learning
Online learning takes place primarily online, while blended learning is both online and offline.
In blended learning, technological devices play a supporting role to help facilitate the classroom learning experience.
The main benefit of online learning is that learners can learn anywhere and anytime.
The first obvious similarity, yet the difference between the two innovative pedagogical methods, is flexibility.
While blended learning offers some flexibility in teaching and assessment, it requires a lot of personal interaction between the teachers and the students. It also requires the students to stick to the classroom sessions as well as the rules and regulations of the school.
Online learning offers another level of flexibility. The teaching, learning, and assessment are done at the student’s convenience and pace. Depending on the design, learning and digital communication between teachers and students can be at any time of the day.
Most online educational platforms allow the participants to freely set their own pace and choose their learning time.
Since blended learning often takes place in a building with the supervision of the teacher, all the spoken and unspoken rules are expected to be adhered to.
The teacher supervises and reminds the students of their school works and assignments within the specified time. It means all learning and assessments are often done at the appropriate time.
Online learning has little or no supervision, and the learning schedule is at the student’s discretion. While that can provide the students with an independent and relaxed learning experience, it requires a lot of discipline on the part of the student to stick to the lesson plan and time.
- Social interaction and collaboration
The best experiences of a brick and mortar school for many students is from personal interactions with their peer group. Group works and projects also enhance team spirit in the students. These values are instilled in them within the blended learning method.
It can’t be argued that the qualities of independence and autonomy are some of the values that online learning offers.
Online learning can have online forums where they interact with other students and teachers, which cannot take the place of physical interactions.
Benefits of online and blended learning.
Research has shown that the blended learning approach is more effective in schools than purely face-to-face classroom teaching methods. Blended learning methods can also result in higher levels of student academic performance.
Personalized Education: The customization of education to fit every student’s learning style and personality can enhance the learning experience of students.
Instructions and feedbacks are tailored to meet the academic needs of students. These methods give the student the freedom to learn at their own pace without feeling intimidated by other students’ abilities and progress.
Students can work and learn on their own and teachers have more time on their hands to give students more individualized attention.
Active Learning: One of the demerits of the traditional method of teaching is that the teacher does most of the talking, researching, and assessments. This approach makes students passive participants in their learning. They get bored quickly with this approach.
Online and blended learning puts the students at the forefront of their learning. It improves students’ attitudes toward learning. The blended learning approach engages the students and holds their attention all through the learning period.
Encourages leadership traits in students: A school that incorporates blended learning encourages students to demonstrate independence, self-determination, responsibility, collaboration, and accountability. Student logins and study times can be measured by parents and teachers to ensure accountability. This is a major contribution to students’ satisfaction and success in such subjects.
Immediate feedback: Online educational platforms and apps provide immediate feedback to students. Tests and assignments are automatically scored, providing instantaneous feedback. Blended learning provides teachers, students, and parents detailed information about students’ academic progress.
The LearnNova Blended Learning Platform
The Learnnova Learning Support Platform enhances the quality of education you provide in your school.
It is an award-winning provider of a large repertoire of high-quality educational content in mathematics, phonics/diction, and reading for children aged 3 – 11 years old.
The Learnnova Learning Support Platform helps optimize teaching and learning experiences. It makes teaching more rewarding and inspiring and learning more fun and worthwhile.
Our learning platform is used by educators, students, school administrators and parents around the world.
The goal of this platform isn’t to replace educators and teachers who shape our children’s minds and futures. It is rather a tool to help them perform their duties better.
This platform can be accessed on www.learnnova.com.
Some of the subjects offered on this platform include:
- Mathematics: This learning resource combines the national and international nursery and primary school curriculum. Its aim is to help children develop strong numeracy skills.
- Reading & Comprehension: This is a literacy Skills Development Program tagged, “I Can Read”. It helps to groom children into readers, orators, and book lovers. It is structured to encourage each child to read at least 10 books each term.
This means that from ages 3 to 11 a child would have read 270 books apart from their normal school books. All these books are available on the platform.
- Phonics/Diction: This course was designed to improve diction in children. It contains 270 phonics/diction lessons for pupils aged 2-10.
This Learning Support Platform costs only a token amount.