In its simplest terms, blended learning combines traditional, teacher-to-student lessons with technology-based instruction.
Many schools use a “rotation” model, which is often viewed as an effective means of providing students with more personalised instruction and smaller group experiences. In some cases, saving money (through larger overall class sizes, for example) is also a goal. The basic premise involves students rotating between online and in-person stations for different parts of the day. There are many versions of this approach, however:
Do students stay in the classroom or go to a computer lab?
Does online instruction cover core content, or is it primarily for remediation?
Are all students doing the same thing online, or do different students have different software and learning experiences?
One big trend for schools involves trying to make sure that what happens online relates to what happens during face-to-face interactions with teachers. That could involve giving teachers a say in selecting the software that students use, for example, or making a concerted effort to ensure online programs provide teachers with data that is useful in making timely instructional decisions.
Another trend involves boosting students’ access to the Internet outside of school. Robust blended learning programs involve “anytime, anywhere” access to learning content for students—a major challenge in many communities, that is what iCoachU is offering.