Blended Learning in Schools, a Post Pandemic Reality
The online learning were considered temporary compensation to the classroom learning, the blended learning seems inevitable.
A study conducted by FairGaze revealed that over 68% of respondents are happy with the blended learning model of schooling and over 49% agreed that blended learning will be more interactive than just classroom teaching. However, an overwhelming 84% of the respondents agreed that blended learning requires more time and effort from both the students and the teachers and over 67% of the respondents opined that social skills like manners and good behaviour is difficult to teach online while over 48% respondents felt that blended learning is difficult for students upto to class 8.
According to Dr Ragini Kaul the biggest advantage of blended learning, along with the cost savings, is the possibility to 'pre-engage' with students by sending study materials and assignments encouraging self-study. Dr Amrita Vohra emphasised that blended learning is cost intensive due to associated technology enablement at teachers, students and the school level but highlighted that blended learning encouraged self-learning skills in students.
Asked on the contribution of technology in blended learning, Ms.Charu Nouheria said that technology is core to enabling blended learning and added that technology allows student to engage interactively with the content that increases the retention rate to over 90% compared to less than 20% in the conventional mode.
Sharing his thoughts on preparedness required on the part of the school and the students to adapt to blended model of learning, Mr. Kanwaljeet Khungar said that blended learning is the reality ahead and that pandemic has accelerated that process. He added that at the fulcrum of blended learning is the teacher, who needs to understand the nuances of technology and blend it with teacher's own spontaneity.
Summarising the thoughts of the panellists, Dr Rachna Pant elaborated on the concept globalised student with integrity and self-learning as opposed to the past practice of spoon-feeding the students. She surmised that the blended learning is here to stay with positive results provided the mindset to adapt and willingness to experiment is encouraged.
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