Considerations for Hybrid Learning
Leading a successful hybrid learning experience requires a different set of strategies. Teachers will have to adapt quickly to new instructional challenges, who have proven to be resilient and adaptive during these tough and uncertain times.
Here are a few considerations:
a) Focus on establishing well-being relationships:
Before any meaningful learning takes place, the idea that physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual well-being must be taken care of before meaningful learning can occur – is paramount.
The three focus themes for school systems to consider in the upended COVID-19 environment are – well-being, engagement, and feedback.
It’s important to keep a focus on relationships, and it’s going to be more challenging with the shifting learning/teaching environments. Even if teachers have to start the academic year remotely, they can transfer some of the community/relationship building that traditionally takes place in a brick-and-mortar classroom to the online environment. Teachers must allow for building in student engagement and interaction to presentations.
b) Adapt Consistent Communication and Follow Through:
The barrage of school-related digital communications ushered has been tricky for all to navigate. Many Teachers and Students are required to use online technologies for the first time consistently in their lives!
To ensure that we (stakeholders of Learning-Teachers, Parents) aren’t scrambling to stay in touch with students and families, the following are resourceful:
- Reflect and write out a communication plan.
- Keep communication consistent and follow through.
- Try texting services and keep messages short and sweet. Many students and parents will receive smartphone communication.
The idea of routines for communication will increase engagement. In order to have a sync between parents and students for continued engagement, Teachers need to know what to expect. Having a strong communication channel established and the expectations of the course early on and often are the way to initiate and take up further.
c) Emphasize being Digital:
As learning/teaching needs worldwide have shifted online, more digital being embraced, online learning should be embedded into all students’ learning experience.
Within a hybrid learning environment, the dependencies on screen time and digital tools will still be heavy.
Initiate and Consider establishing a digital culture from the start of the course lessons.
d) Explore modes of learning vs strategies:
Teachers must always look into and consider which types of activities are best suited for online vs. in-person learning in a hybrid environment.
Content delivery can be done online, but Teachers need to focus on their skills while students are in class because it’s difficult to focus on individual skills during a synchronous lesson with, say, 15 or more kids during an online session.
The following strategies are best suited to each learning mode (reported by Education Week Magazine):
Activities for the Classroom:
- Interactive discussions and hands-on lessons
- Lab or science work that needs supervision
- One-on-one instruction time for vulnerable students
- Well-being check-ins
Activities for Remote Learning:
- Self-paced learning materials in presentation or video format
- Independent work like worksheets, reading, and writing
- Elective, remediation, or advanced work
Teachers should focus on checking in with students individually or in small groups however possible. For the self-paced learning to really count, students should be given opportunities to ask questions and receive personalized feedback.
It’ll be essential for Teachers to make our limited face-to-face instruction and interaction as meaningful as possible, even with health and safety protocols making that a challenge.
e) Be vary of the Tech tools – aim to facilitate seamless continuity in learning:
Teachers need to be mindful about not overwhelming students with technology tools during hybrid instruction. Most students by now are somewhat familiar with the basics of online learning. But with emerging technology options to supplement learning, teachers need to be careful.
Pick top three to five and slowly introduce those tools to students. Keep adding gradually so that students (are enabled by teachers) to experiment with different tools, it could be a little overwhelming, especially for those students who have possibly multiple teachers doing the exact same thing.
f) Value, Encourage and Teach Self-Care:
Teachers will be useless in their attempts to bring normalcy to the school year if they don’t value self-care. Extending grace in all directions including to themselves, as even the most effective teachers will feel incompetent at times during the coming years.
Talk to the team of mPowerO experts to leverage the prospects for know-how on Hybrid Learning, as a Product Offering.
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