Students in the twenty-first century are definitely digital natives. They cannot remember a time when smartphones, e-mail, and the internet didn’t exist.
Today’s teachers are faced with the challenge of reaching students on a level that they themselves might not have always been familiar with. Preparing today’s learners for a future in our workforce means finding a way to blend teaching strategies with readily available technology tools.
Benefits of a Blended Learning Classroom Environment
It’s so important to engage reluctant learners in the classroom. With the help of technology, all students can work at their own pace without being challenged to keep up with their peers. Instruction delivered through technology can be much more personalized and fit the needs of every student.
Julie Kalinowski, Istation Professional Development Special Project Lead, tells us that blended learning increases student interest and empowers them to take ownership of their learning. Holding students accountable for what they are learning has the power to keep students’ attention and motivate them to try their best.
Student Centered Blended Learning
Starting small is the easiest way to implement something new. It’s important to talk with other teachers at your school to coordinate and plan for the types of blended learning techniques that will work best for your school’s culture and your students’ needs.
One easy way to mix in technology is with the rotation model. Easing students into technology-driven stations at any level can be key to starting the shift to a more technologically integrated classroom. A school in Houston, Texas, uses the station rotation model for its early learners who easily work in two stations: 30 minutes of guided reading with the teacher and 30 minutes of Istation Reading on the classroom computers.
It’s important to differentiate instruction for students with any type of blended learning model. Technology can level the playing field for students. Listen to the podcast below to hear more about how blended learning prepares students for success.