What is ‘Blended Learning’ And how will it help students?

What is ‘Blended Learning’ And how will it help students?

What is ‘Blended Learning’ And how will it help students?

A girl using mobile for online classes

Covid-19 forced institutions to make immediate changes that no one would have thought possible. Considering how the global pandemic forced educators to adapt to digital education overnight, will schooling be ever the same? Is India ready to use technology in their existing curriculum even after the crisis is over? Yes, there are challenges associated with it but the nationwide lockdown proved the potential of the Indian education system to change and commit itself to unconventional methods of learning. So, what does the future look like?

Recently, a few states like Uttar Pradesh, Sikkim and Punjab have allowed schools to reopen for half the strength of total students from classes 9th to 12th. The online classes will have to continue along with offline and no student will be forced to come to schools. Does that mean that the teachers will be expected to host the same lecture twice? No, this is where the concept of hybrid learning comes into the picture.

In its most simple terms, hybrid learning is a concept where some students attend classes in-person while the rest attend the same class online from home. The Educator streams the class live using video-conferencing tools and platforms the involves interactive, virtual elements and hence students are not just merely watching the lecturer online.

While ensuring social distancing is in place, hybrid learning is certainly what the educators are preparing the institutions for and the task in hand is to blend hybrid learning with technology to boost student productivity and performance. You may have also heard of the term ‘blended learning’, and it’s quite easy to get confused between both, hybrid and blended learning.

Blended learning involves combining technology with traditional learning systems to reduce physical attendance and find a unique blend which works differently for different students. Till now a student had to be time-bound for learning, the 6-hours of school time was all they had to learn and ask. Blended learning turns it completely, and gives access to all information from the lectures at school, to teachers’ notes and real-time access to live classes and recorded sessions.

To unfold the genius within a student, some sense of freedom and liberty is needed, and that is exactly what blended learning empowers students with, to find their own way of learning and developing their own method to get there.

This is what we think the future looks like. A synergy of hybrid and blended learning where both the concepts meet and complete each other. A platform for hybrid model uses blended learning as its cornerstone to tackle limitations like accessibility and students are no longer expected to learn at an equal pace.

Education without technology is outdated, education solely with technology is incomplete, and to combine the two for a unique learning experience is what makes them the future of professional education.

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Can India learn the online pedagogy in a post covid world?

Can India learn the online pedagogy in a post covid world?

Can India learn the online pedagogy in a post covid world?

person using laptop

The acceptance of online classes seems to be very difficult to overcome for a few decades now. However, the pandemic forced schools and universities across the country to adjust to online classes for an accessible education & rethink the current framework. In a bid to overcome this, the most recent NEP 2020 released a policy on how to overcome difficulties with online classes with the foresight of transforming education in India by 2040.

Before we discuss how to overcome difficulties associated with online classes in India, it is imperative to highlight key areas that have been contributing to these difficulties:

Key Challenges facing Online Classes in India

1. Old system of pedagogy

Many teachers are caught up in the “chalk and board” system, and as a result, are not familiar with online classes. We have seen willingness from teachers to embrace technology in a big way during covid & it is rapidly growing with hybrid learning being the future of education.

2. Lack of quality network

From Ookla global index speed test, the mobile data speed in India currently ranks at 129th in the world. With rapid digitization & acceleration of 4G adoption along with budget friendly smartphones, education is being democratized and is a key equalizer between different segments from a remote village to an urban center.

3. Unaffordability

This can be termed as the major obstacle for adapting to online classes. The low-income households can often not afford spending on technological aide such as laptops, broadband, smartphones and simultaneously continue to shell the data cost.

How to overcome these challenges?

1. Online content and resources training for teachers

The reality of stable and quality online classes in India begins with training the teachers with online learning tools and platforms. They need to be updated with additional skills on how online classes work so that they can manage online platforms by themselves. The training should be structured for the betterment of teacher-student engagement through online resources, and startups like Learnpod promises to offer unlimited training hours to the teachers as required so that technology is no more a barrier for them to educate their students.

2. Creation of government parastatal for E-learning

A parastatal with the sole aim of fostering digital learning should be established by the Indian Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD). This parastatal will be tasked with monitoring the needs of online learning in schools as well as tertiary education. It should be made up of professionals from the discipline of digital pedagogy, e-governance, educational technology, and IT. They will work diligently to ensure that high-quality education is delivered to the students.

3. Mediums like Radio & TV

Online learning can also use television which is viewed by majority of the population in India. A typical example of TV education is Kerala Infrastructure and Technology for Education (KITE) which uses Victers Channel under the name First Bell to hold classes for grades 1 to 12. To make it easier, the channel was made available for free on cable networks, local television stations, and the Internet. The Indian Government can look into the television and radio aspect because it seems to be an easy and widely accessible solution.

4. Improvement of Internet Service

Many cities across states in India still make use of 2G & 3G networks, while those with 4G network are not stable. Statistics of general availability doesn’t seem good for major mobile operators as there are only 1.3 fixed broadband subscriptions per 100 people, and therefore, internet access is critical and calls for improvement.

As much as online classes are necessary, hybrid models of face-to-face learning and virtual classes is definitely the future of modern education. With the introduction of platforms like Learnpod, traditional modes of learning are set to become more blended with a lot of focus on making the entire educational experience easier and more effective for both students and teachers.

Here to make a positive impact on education 

Join the fast lane to a unique online classroom experience

Made with 🍕  🍪 and ❤️

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