My rant on blended learning and teachers who refuse to embrace it

This week’s topic was to explore something of interest that relates to blended learning. To be honest, I was not sure where I wanted to go with this blog post, but then an article caught my attention….

To be honest, it sparked some anger. For years now, colleagues have ignored blended learning, dismissing it’s potential, and many are unwilling to learn about, or implement any online tools or aids. Frankly, this annoys me. I can’t stand when a teacher is at the front lecturing. From my experience, many students tune out (including myself). They miss half the lesson, feel tired and bored and do not see the importance of the given lesson.

via GIPHY

I often wondered why teachers were so negative about blended learning when there were so many benefits. In my research I came across the article 6 Common Misconceptions About Blended Learning and I found these misconceptions to be the most prevalent:

  1. Students work in isolation.

Blended learning “can serve as a means to increase interaction and personalized contact time between students and teachers.” The idea that teachers take a break from lecturing to make connections with their students, discuss their work and improve together is very valuable. Maybe it is important to discuss this with teachers and tell our success stories to back up our thoughts and facts.

  1. Blended, hybrid and online learning are less work than traditional, face-to-face instruction. This made me laugh. Blended learning is so much work. I often find that I will finish a lesson and within a couple of weeks, or the next semester I will need to update the information. I find myself constantly making sure my links work and are engaging. I also have the responsibility of teaching the content to my students, but also ensuring my Google Classroom is up to date and everything is ready ahead of time. I wish it was less work, but it is not. I am not complaining, I know my students are more interested, but blended learning is much more then uploading.

The article also had some informative infographics:

Blended Learning Blog Infographic 1

I feel like it is a teacher’s obligation to learn things that are beneficial for student learning, and blended learning is a great way to engage students. Blended learning ensures students are investigating themselves. It provides them with the chance to learn about anything they want, and allows them to be interactive and responsible. It also allows them to use the internet, where they spend most of their time anyway!

I also think it is a great way for teachers to learn new topics, step out of their comfort zone, and heck, get some help with content delivery (I know a lot of us teachers think we know everything, but we don’t!) I am not saying that we need to ditch teaching face to face all together, but we need to be able to combine the two types of teaching and learning in order to do what is best for our students, what will make them take in the most content, and take the time to interact, investigate and participate in the world around them.

In the article BLENDED LEARNING IS NOT AN OPTION ANYMORE BY MATTHEW LYNCH He explains that it makes sense that factory-style education should disappear from schools. Modern technology has changed the way we think about work and how we perform our jobs. This same technology has changed education for the better.

He lists a few reasons why blended learning is for the better, such as it is less restrictive. No one likes being told how to think and do. Blended Learning allows students to research their thoughts and opinions. The students feel like they have a say and in that we create empowered students.

via GIPHY

Blended learning is more authentic- we don’t know everything enlist the help of experts! Lynch describes how blended learning is a “versatile tool that helps students learn new material or reinforce what they have just learned.”

It also creates flexibility. Students are able to work at their own pace, investigate areas of interest and connect with people they might not have otherwise.

I cannot stand when other teachers are against blended learning. I am happy that I was able to investigate my feelings (okay, maybe rant to you guys) but also I was able to educate myself. Read about why people do not like blended learning, but also reaffirm why I incorporate blended learning into my classroom. Hey, maybe I can even change some teacher’s minds with my new found facts!

Photo Credit: Harris County Public Library Flickr via Compfight cc

 

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5 thoughts on “My rant on blended learning and teachers who refuse to embrace it

  1. Good post. I agree with you that it is super frustrating when people are just closed off to blended learning without even giving it a chance or putting in the work to see how it can transform their teaching. Thanks for the rant! haha.

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  2. Hi Amy!
    I loved reading your post. I understand your anger and frustration. I agree that blended learning is a great tool if done properly. You are right, there are people who are against it for various reasons. I do think that some major reasons are lack of time, since as the chart you included shows, that it requires 18-19 hours a week compared to the face-to-face teaching requiring 6-7 hours a week. Many teachers are not even sure what blended learning means, where to start and how to incorporate it. I believe teachers need to be provided with more time and support to learn about implementing blended learning. Hopefully as more of us are taking technology classes and becoming connected educators will make a difference.

    Thank you 🙂

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  3. PREACH!!! That is all. 😉 People need to get over themselves and see the value in this style of learning for the betterment of their students. We need to prepare kids for the world they are growing up in and without technology and blended learning, I don’t think we are doing it.

    Keep fighting the good fight,

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  4. Can I hear an Amen. I totally agree with you. It’s like we expect the kids to come in with open minds ready to try new things and change and then Ts can be the biggest hypocrites. I know many Ts fear change and have convinced themselves that there way is the only / best way (probably because that’s how they learned best). Some Ts are a bit on the lazy side – where’s my binder and what day is it ok I’m good. Sometimes the Ts are worried that they will actually have to talk to the students and be a bit vulnerable. What ever the reason … we need to keep in mind we are there to help our students. Best practice is best practice and I’m not going to bash some really good things going on that have been done for a long time, but the reality is the world has changed and so has our learners and we need to create experiences that will empower and engage and using technology the right way can blow many traditional ways out of the water. It comes down to the teacher in the classroom loving what they do and who they serve … and I can feel that passion in your writing. Keep up the great work, rant away, and yes keep fighting the good fight (our army is growing :-)).

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  5. Wait… I don’t know everything?? Rude.
    Just kidding, my kids teach me new stuff everyday!! That’s one of the things I love about working in the classroom- the kids can keep you updated on all kinds of things.
    Teachers sometimes say that they don’t like change or technology is the devil, or that they DO know everything, but I think a lot of it is also just laziness. Like Dean says, keep up the good work.

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