It is often said that the bigger the problem, the bigger the solution. After a difficult 2020 that has been marked by Coronavirus (COVID-19), the B-learning or Blended Learning model has emerged as one of the of the educational system’s most effective responses to the obstacles that the pandemic has imposed. We are talking about a learning method that is by no means new, but that for the first time is beginning to be understood as the ideal option for the present and the future and to take teaching to a new level.
The great advantage of Blended Learning is that it is a mixed system in which the student carries out their learning by combining attendance of face-to-face classes whilst also following the syllabus online. Thus, you can take advantage of the digital tools available to you to learn in a totally personalized way which is adapted to your individual, social and even economic needs.
Social distancing consolidates the importance of B-Learning
As a ‘social animal’, human beings have always preferred face-to-face teaching. However, COVID-19 has totally changed the educational context and made social distancing measures the norm. Consequently, education has had to adapt and it didn’t take long to realize the great advantages of using Blended Learning to minimize the risks of contagion and to achieve optimal results.
Here are some of the advantages of Blended Learning:
- It is the most complete method, because being mixed it combines the benefits of face-to-face education in classes with all the benefits of online and remote learning.
- It is also the safest, because as we have pointed out, it does not require students to spend as many hours in class as in the fully face-to-face model. In this way, overcrowding in the classrooms is reduced, it is easier to respect social distancing measures and it contributes to curbing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- It is fully adaptable and allows for customization. With students as protagonists, they can learn where they want, when they want using a methodology that adjusts to their abilities and aptitudes.
- It offers teachers and students a multitude of tools such as video conferencing, whiteboards, screen sharing, instant messaging, content platforms or virtual reality games and learning. In fact, as technical resources improve and evolve over time, so do Blended Learning’s possibilities.
- Participation and communication are encouraged, so that the student feels more integrated and can be more proactive. B-Learning offers plenty of tools, but at the same time it invites people to work with the teacher and peers constantly, to learn to face and solve problems.
B-Learning is here to stay
Uncertainty is an inevitable consequence of COVID-19, but one of the clearest lessons that this pandemic has taught us is that this learning model is coming into its own. Until now, not everyone was convinced of its viability, but Blended Learning is undergoing a demanding test period and is passing all the tests with flying colors.
In other words, change is being forced upon people who had not even considered changing their teaching model. There are many schools, institutes, universities, etc. that have used this mixed model for the first time and have discovered that, in addition to being the ideal solution to prevent the spread of the virus, the use of technology makes it the future of education.
Professor Enrique Dans mentions these benefits in the prestigious magazine Forbes, but also reminds us that we still have to face some problems during this evolutionary process towards a fully hybrid system of face-to-face and distance learning.
Specifically, the article talks about:
- The digital divide. Not all students or all schools have access to the Internet, broadband and computers or smartphones. Alternatively, there are cases where this access exists, but is limited. Therefore, it is necessary to invest in these tools and for governments and associations to promote plans and programs to favor the implementation of e-Learning and, specifically, B-Learning.
- The need for teachers to adapt. Staff must change the way they teach and are being asked to have the fundamental technological and digital skills to respond to this challenge. In this sense, the way of teaching will be more complex and varied , since it will not be limited exclusively to the classroom and will also take place in a virtual, inverted environment (flipped classroom), with all that this implies. This means that teachers must get involved more than ever, acting as guides, favoring personalization and adapting methodologies to each of their students’ needs.
- The change of approach that institutions must assume, mainly towards already standardized learning methods. Now they must change their approach and stop relying on memorization and focus on selecting appropriate information and the training capabilities of students. The future is heading towards a more practical than theoretical environment in which you learn to perform tasks, solve problems, work and function in work groups.
Ultimately, the question is not whether Blended Learning will be integrated and accepted, because it is already happening right now; the question is how this process will unfold. In many cases it may be seen as a temporary solution, but once the worst is over, it will be the main option in the core educational systems around the world. In fact, it is possible that each teaching center and each organization end up shaping this method according to their circumstances and needs, deciding over time whether they prioritize face-to-face teaching or distance learning.
Everything to achieve full integration in the mid to long term, allowing the development of mixed and complete learning programs and strategies, totally efficient and profitable, from which students, teachers and, of course, society benefit.
CAE’s commitment to Blended Learning
The recent success of Blended Learning has not taken us here at CAE by surprise. Throughout our extensive experience in the field of teaching in digital environments, we have found that blended learning is effective and is exactly what students are looking for when facing the challenge of acquiring new knowledge in an interconnected environment.
That’s why we have developed the eBook ‘The success of Blended Learning in languages’, which can be downloaded for free from this link. In it we reflect on its main characteristics and advantages; and we also delve into key aspects that help improve it, such as educational technology and platforms designed to create the right virtual environment.
And what better way than to put all this knowledge at the service of students who are trying to learn a new language? For this reason, we have a wide range of Dexway courses , which combine online training with an innovative methodology that offers a multitude of teacher support tools for their face-to-face classes. Discover all its advantages here and ask for a no-obligation consultation so that you too can benefit from the enormous leap forward of B-Learning.